Many of B.C.’s ski resorts capitalized on the inaugural Family Day long weekend, and Vernon’s Silver Star Mountain Resort was no different.
When Premier Christy Clark announced last May the holiday would be held on the second week of February (a week ahead of similar holidays in other provinces), resorts saw an opportunity to increase business by avoiding a potential tourism overlap.
In light of Family Day’s strategic timing, a group of resorts embarked on a major promotion, offering 50 per cent off regular lift ticket prices to draw the masses. And it worked.
“There’s a snowball-like momentum this season,” said Marke Dickson, Silver Star’s director of sales and marketing. “February numbers were strong but now look spectacular due to this first B.C. Family Day. Visits across the weekend were 47 per cent higher than last season, with a 75 per cent increase on the holiday Monday.”
Added Michael Ballingall, Big White’s senior vice-president: “We were ecstatic with the results of Family Day. So many first-time visitors and new skiers and snowboarders. Our ski school was up 62 per cent, and hopefully we will see those smiling faces again.”
Other participating resorts included Apex (Penticton), Crystal (West Kelowna), Fernie, Grouse (North Vancouver), Hemlock (Agassiz), Kicking Horse (Golden), Kimberley, Manning Park, Mt. Seymour (North Vancouver), Mt. Washington (Courtenay), Panorama, Red (Rossland), Revelstoke, Sun Peaks (Kamloops), Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler Olympic Park and Whitewater (Nelson).