This year's opening day for Sun Peaks is set for Nov. 17, and being the earliest scheduled ski hill opening across B.C. offers certain advantages.
Coming off a year when the resort broke the 400,000 rider mark, their best season ever for that metric, that mid-November opening day has resulted in a number of ski clubs already booked to visit for early season training. Getting an influx of skiers and snowboarders right out of the gate will put the resort on the path to match or better last season's numbers, but it's too soon for the tourism sector to get too excited.
"It's a little early to tell and as I'm sure you can imagine; skiing is definitely dependent on snow and how things are coming there, but things are definitely looking good for early pace," says Arlene Schieven, president and CEO of Tourism Sun Peaks.
Schieven says because they already have such an early opening, there's no chance that the date could be moved ahead if a heavy dose of snow does come between now and then. In the past, other resorts like Whistler have bumped up their opening day when conditions allow for it, but because they're often announced at the last minute, it doesn't really eat into Sun Peaks pie.
In order to build on last season, there will be some changes around the mountain as well, most notably the addition of the new chairlift, the Orient Ridge Quad, scheduled to open in December. The chairlift runs from the base of Mount Morrisey and takes riders up above the East Village.
Along with the powder, Tourism Sun Peaks will be hosting a variety of events throughout the winter to get more skiers and boarders out. Here are few of their highlights:
- Savour the Sun Festival (Dec. 7 to 9)
- Holiday Kick-Off Weekend (Dec. 13 to 6)
- 21st Annual Sun Peaks Okanagan Winter Wine Festival (Jan. 11 to 20)
- Sun Peaks Nordic Festival (March 16 to 17)