Family Day move restricts B.C. residents from booking into B.C. ski resort

The holiday, that now aligns with the U.S., Alberta and Ontario is keeping B.C. residents out of accommodation

Big White Ski Resort is preparing for an overwhelmingly busy Family Day weekend.

Last year, before the provincial holiday was moved back a week to align it with the rest of the country, Michael J. Ballingall senior vice president of Big White Ski Resort said resort traffic was spread over two weeks.

Now everyone is focused on the same weekend and it’s squeezing out locals.

More than half of the resort has been booked by Americans and the rest by out of province visitors, not giving the residents of B.C. a chance to stay at the resort for their long-weekend.

“All they did was move B.C. to a day that is busier than New Year’s Eve or Christmas on the mountain,” said Michael J. Ballingall.

“People are used to doing this on Family Day long-weekend, now it’s moved for the first time. On top of that, the biggest problem this year is people from B.C., who started (calling) in late November, December and January to book, we couldn’t accommodate them. There’s no room.”

Ballingall says that the resort has already lost between $700,000 to $800,000 from the holiday being moved.

“The big deal is that it worked really well when the days were separated from a resort perspective. People were able to travel within province and enjoy a non-stressful Family Day long-weekend.”

RELATED: Big White calls for full-time ambulance service

In defending the holiday switch last year, B.C. Premier John Horgan called the decision the right thing to do for businesses, small and large, and for families who may be spread out across the country.

“This gives families an opportunity to schedule and spend more time with loved ones from other provinces,” Horgan said.

Tourism Kelowna supported B.C. Family Day staying on the second Monday of February as it created economic benefits for local tourism businesses.

“The staggered holidays gave tourism businesses an additional opportunity to increase visitation and generate revenue,” said a representative of the organization.

RELATED: Okanagan real estate may be the most affordable near ski resorts

“As a result of this change, Kelowna and local tourism businesses will now compete with other destinations for visitors during this weekend. We will factor this change into future destination marketing plans to increase overnight visitation to Kelowna and area.”

The push to have the dates changed was influenced by several fronts. The finance industry complained about Family Day occurring when the Toronto Stock Exchange was open, then working the following Monday when the market is closed. As well, federal employees in B.C. don’t get the day off.

The United B.C. Family Day petition initially launched in 2015 boasted 20,000 signatures as of last year, and was publicly supported by Green Party leader Andrew Weaver.

The switch also had the support of the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaNewsKat
kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vernon dusts off old grad dresses and tuxes for first ever Adult Prom

Literacy Society of North Okanagan “fun-raiser” brings back puffy sleeves and blue tuxedos

Our history in pictures

Vernon’s first home built in 1860s

Vernon City Hall now a pub

The building, built in 1903, is now where Marten Brewing Co. is

BX blaze sends woman to hospital

Firefighters rescue cat from early morning fire near Vernon

Enderby Library closed for maintenance

Okanagan Regional Library encourages patrons to visit Armstrong branch in meantime

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

A Gardener’s Diary: Not too soon to think of spring in Vernon

Jocelyne Sewell gives advice on getting a leg up on gardening

LETTER: Worst customer service award goes to…

To the Editor, Worst customer service award: And the Winner is….. BC… Continue reading

Morning Start: 100 year anniversary of the Volstead Act

Your morning start for Friday, Jan. 17

Oil and gas industry applauds Supreme Court’s dismissal of B.C. TMX case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Airliner crash a mistake that pleased Iran’s enemies: Supreme Leader Khamenei

Iran’s supreme leader says dowining of Flight 752 was a bitter accident in rare sermon

Sub-zero B.C. weather freezes clothing in just 45 minutes

A local photographer decided to have some fun with the frosty weather before its gone

Penticton RCMP take down local drug trafficking operation

Weapons, suspected drugs, seized by RCMP

Most Read