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News Release

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Organizers celebrate the most successful Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival to date
January 21, 2014: Significant growth in ticket sales and resort occupancy
 
Sun Peaks, BC  - The 16th Annual Winter Okanagan Wine Festival wrapped up on Sunday, with 95 per cent of available tickets sold -  a significant growth over last year. Organizers are celebrating this year’s festival as the most successful to date with the vast majority of events sold out and thousands of guests visiting the resort to enjoy the excellent ski conditions and one-of-a-kind wine  and food events.
 
“The festival is of key importance to the community,” says Christopher Nicolson, president of Tourism Sun Peaks. “It attracts first time visitors to Sun Peaks and provides an exceptional vacation experience unlike any other in Canada. The festival also encourages our many businesses to experiment and challenge themselves with new food and wine concepts as they work with wine professionals from the Okanagan. The results of this partnership are very evident in the festival’s creative events, but also elevate our guest experience for the entire year.”     
 
The festival culminated on the final weekend, with festival goers sampling wines from 30 different British Columbia wineries during The WestJet Progressive Tasting, choosing from five events on Saturday and the traditional Bella Italia Brunch on Sunday.  
 
Resort occupancy was up 4 per cent from the previous year over the last week of the festival, and the month of January is pacing 11 per cent ahead of last year. Guests enjoyed the favourable snow conditions in B.C.’s Interior region and clear and sunny skies, perfect for skiing and snowboarding, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, dogsledding, snowmobiling and other outdoor winter adventures.
 
Once again, Sun Peaks has proven to be the perfect venue for the Okanagan Wine Festival Society’s annual Winter Okanagan Wine Festival.
 
“The incredible partnership between Sun Peaks Resort and the Okanagan Wine Festivals has not only lasted 16 years but just keeps getting better," says Nancy Greene-Raine, director of skiing for Sun Peaks Resort. "The creativity, the planning and the absolute professionalism in execution is a great example of the Canadian business spirit alive and prospering."
 
The popularity of the Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival continues to grow, as seen in the recent announcement by WestJet, awarding all the Okanagan Wine Festivals the Fun ‘n’ Festival Award for Top Festival in British Columbia. More than 600 festivals were entered and over 50,000 votes across Canada were cast to choose the winners.
 
Guests can mark their calendars for next year’s 17th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival from January 17 to 25, 2015.


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About Sun Peaks: Sun Peaks Resort is interior British Columbia’s largest four season destination resort, located 45 minutes northeast of Kamloops. Recently declared the 2nd Best Ski Resort in Canada and 13th Best in North America by Condé Nast Traveller Magazine readers, Sun Peaks offers spectacular alpine and Nordic skiing amidst three unique mountains which surround an intimate ski-through village. The community is both vibrant and welcoming. In warmer months, Sun Peaks offers a diverse range of leisure activities including 18 holes of golf, a legendary bike park, scenic alpine hiking as well as numerous sporting events and music festivals. Sun Peaks Resort was the first ski resort in North America and remains the sole resort in Canada to receive the ISO 14001 designation recognizing the resort’s environmental policies and practices. Sun Peaks can be accessed by two airport gateways - Kamloops (45 minutes) and Kelowna (2 1/2 hours) and by car, only a 4 ¼ hour drive separates Sun Peaks and Vancouver, B.C.

About Okanagan Wine Festivals Society: The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society is responsible for the development of the wine tourism sector in the interior of British Columbia. It is well known for producing two annual valley Okanagan Wine Festivals in spring to celebrate the bud break and in fall to celebrate the grape harvest. Its Winter Okanagan Wine Festival is run in partnership with Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops. It is also responsible for Signature Wine Events and two annual wine judging competitions. www.thewinefestivals.com

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