Government gives ski resorts a lift

Silver Star beaming over support from provincial government to market B.C.'s ski resorts

Skiers from across North America are being encouraged to hit local slopes this winter.

The provincial government has launched a $1.1 million marketing campaign to promote B.C.’s ski resorts.

“It’s fantastic and great to have the eye of the (tourism) minister and the premier,” said Robin Baycroft, resort services manager at Silver Star Mountain Resort.

The campaign, which runs from November to March, will focus primarily on Greater Toronto. For four weeks starting Nov. 14, there will be ads in elevators, transit shelters and subways encouraging residents of Canada’s largest city to enjoy B.C. powder.

WestJet provides direct flights between Toronto and the Kelowna International Airport.

“We’re the closest resort for them in Western Canada because of the direct flights,” said Baycroft.

“If they go to Vancouver, it’s two hours to Whistler.”

The marketing campaign will also target San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle, while B.C. and Alberta residents will also be urged to visit B.C. ski  resorts.

Baycroft was recently in Toronto and he says challenging economic conditions haven’t deterred people from getting away over winter.

“We represent a good family holiday and even when times are tough, people want to spend time with their family,” he said.

The government’s marketing campaign has been developed in partnership with the Canada West Ski Areas Association, which represents 13 resorts. B.C.’s ski industry generates annual revenues of about $500 million.

“Skiing is an important part of B.C. tourism,” said Baycroft.

 

The tentative opening date for nordic skiing at Silver Star is Nov. 11 while the projected season opener for alpine skiing is Nov. 24.