Tourism Sun Peaks Quarterly E-newsletter Sun Peaks Resort
THIRD QUARTER 2013 | FALL

From international and regional marketing campaigns to music and sport
events, Tourism Sun Peaks promotes awareness and drives new visitors to
resort businesses. These are highlights and successes from the last quarter.


In this e-Newsletter:
Message from the President
Member Notice: New Paperless Billing Available
Central Reservations: Summer Occupancy Success
Sales: New Partnerships and Overseas Initiatives
Marketing: Summer Guests Increase and Winter Campaign Began in October with Key Magazines
Media Relations: Growth in Summer Media Relations
Events: Continued Summer Events Strategy Sucess
Message from the President

Dear Members,

The community of Sun Peaks enjoyed a strong summer in 2013. Proceeds from the Resort Municipality Initiative funds combined with Tourism Sun Peaks investment has resulted in a summer event strategy featuring concerts, races, and festivals. I’m proud to say this strategy has just been announced as a Marketing Campaign of the Year finalist for the Canadian Tourism Awards. Plans for summer 2014 are underway with some announcements coming shortly.

Summer resort wide room nights grew 14% between the months of June and September compared to last year. This includes the highest visitation in July and August on record. Sun Peaks is also seeing an increase in the length of stay per guest which is vital to the restaurant, retail, and activity sectors. The mix of guests reflects more regional and independent travellers compared to the large one-night international group tours. That said, it is important to recognize the total number of room nights sold between May and October has only just caught up to pre-2009 (global economic crisis) levels. We can be proud of our effort as Sun Peaks is trending better than most in the industry, but we still have significant gains to make to reach our goals.
  
As winter approaches, our sales and marketing teams have been active with new initiatives including direct advertising and creative sales efforts in markets such as Australia. These promotions include our tour operator partners, but allow Sun Peaks to brand itself directly to the consumer and communicate the benefits of a Sun Peaks vacation.

The ski industry has also been successful in partnering with the BC government and Destination BC to promote ski vacations. As Chair of the Canada West Ski Areas Marketing Committee, I’m pleased to report that the government has invested a total of $3,000,000 into ski initiatives. This support is critical to generating interest in British Columbia in a hypercompetitive market. It is also part of the reason winter bookings are pacing ahead of last year.
   
New WestJet air service into Kamloops Airport via Vancouver and Calgary will be featured in Sun Peaks’ promotion this year. The additional flights provide more convenience for travellers, and increase the competitive environment for airfares.  

In closing, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the many volunteers and businesses that supported the new initiatives over the past summer. The energy in the resort was vibrant. It was only made possible by the passion and commitment of those who consider Sun Peaks home. Thank you.


Cheers,


Christopher Nicolson
President, Tourism Sun Peaks
President@SunPeaksTourism.com

Member Notice: New Paperless Billing Available

In efforts to increase efficiency and member convenience while reducing our environmental impact, TSP’s accounting department is now offering paperless billing via email. Members who are interested in changing how they receive invoices can contact Karen Kilba at 250-578-5380 or Admin@SunPeaksTourism.com.
Central Reservations: Summer Occupancy Success

Submitted by Theresa St. Louis, Central Reservations Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

New Summer Occupancy Record
Resort occupancy numbers from June to September are 14% above last year, setting a new record for this period. Summer occupancy for May to October is pacing 10% ahead of 2012. August 2013 was the highest occupied August on record at an 18% increase over last year. Summer success can be attributed to the summer events strategy including music concerts, family events, running and biking races plus weddings, conferences and golf tournaments.

Summer Event Ticket Headquarters
Central Reservations was the summer event ticket sales office for concert tickets, photo shoots, Mountain of Beer, Quilting in the Mountains and car show registrations.

Operating the Adventure Centre
The Sun Peaks Adventure Centre was operated out of Central Reservations from June to September. The location, in the Tourism Sun Peaks lobby, was home to Canoe and Kayak Rentals, Nordic Pole Walking and Voyageur Canoe Tours, Stand Up Paddle Boarding Lessons, Horseback Trail Rides and a few new additions in the Shuswap with Ziplining and River Rafting. The team managed their new challenge of tour sales very well. Daily operating hours were 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. The Adventure Centre will be relocated to the Village Day Lodge during the winter.

LOOKING AHEAD

16th Annual Winter Okanagan Wine Festival - January 11 to 19, 2014
Winter Okanagan Wine Festival event tickets and packages have launched for the 2014 festival. Contact Reservations at 1-800-807-3257 ext. 1 to book tickets and packages.

New Air Service and Shuttles
Expanded service into the Kamloops Airport has resulted in four new shuttle transfer times daily, making for 18 daily transfers. Kelowna and inter-resort transfers will be offered four days a week beginning November 23rd. WestJet’s new service include a Vancouver – Kamloops route and an additional Calgary – Kamloops route.

Sales: New Partnerships and Overseas Initiatives

Submitted by Colin Brost, Director of Sales

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Leveraging Partnerships on Highway 5 North
TSP has enhanced its relationship with complementary neighboring suppliers and instigated a partnership designed to promote the Highway 5 corridor between Sun Peaks and Jasper. Initiatives include joint sales calls with Tourism Jasper targeting summer travel trade operators while leveraging the partnership to increase the collective efforts for both destinations on the route.

Targeted Australian Sales Mission
Complementing the recent marketing initiatives in Australia, TSP recently conducted a sales mission into market, meeting with more than 15 large private schools that have experience in hosting organized school race training oversees. While focus was given to official school training sales pitch, cross promotion of the Sun Peaks Family Cup, Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival, Nordic camps and the new Family Race Camps all resonated well.

Official Support in Brazil
Continuing efforts in the Canadian Tourism Commission’s key emerging market of Brazil, our TSP Ambassador, Thiago Lucena, attended Showcase Brazil in August. After more than 20 meetings with wholesale and retail operators, an increase in demand from Receptive Operators confirms the new interest and potential for Sun Peaks in this market. Feedback from operators indicates that Sun Peaks can compete very well for the Brazilian family ski market who currently holiday mainly in the United States (Colorado).

Regional Sales Efforts
Wedding leads remain one of the largest segments for lead generation from our regional efforts equating to 13 of 25 leads from July through September. However, TSP is pleased to see a balance between the other segments targeted. Five leads have been generated from special interest groups with interests that mirror the events calendar, five leads for MCIT and small corporate retreats, while family reunions and ski clubs had one each.

LOOKING AHEAD

Consumer Show Season Begins
TSP is pleased to announce representatives will be attending and promoting the resort at two new ski shows this fall, along with the usual regional ski shows. The Ottawa and Manchester (UK) shows are now part of the 2013/14 fall ski show campaign, while the Los Angeles show has been dropped from the schedule. TSP had planned for attending the Scotland and Birmingham shows again, however these were both cancelled by show organizers.
Marketing: Summer Guests Increase and Winter Campaign Began in October with Key Magazines

Submitted by Christina Antoniak, Destination Marketing Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Growth in Regional Summer Visitation
Increased summer advertising campaign tactics in BC resulted in growth in Central Reservations bookings, especially from the Okanagan. The concert series featuring Burton Cummings, Retro Concert Weekend and Colin James were highlighted in the overall campaign in all markets and these weekends saw growth in comparison to the same weekends in 2012. Key sporting events – such as the Dirty Feet events and Spartan Races – along with lifestyle events including Canada’s Alpine Blossom Festival and car gatherings were also promoted in the mix. Overall the consumer campaign assisted in increasing resort wide occupancy by 0.4% and 17.9% and 6%for July and August  and September respectively.

Videos Showcase Key Summer Weekends
Working with Joy Factory Films of Kamloops, selected key resort weekends were transformed into fun videos and were launched on the Sun Peaks Resort YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/SunPeaksResortTV). These videos are another tool to showcase the resort’s diverse summer experience and will be used to promote these same weekends going into summer 2014.

LOOKING AHEAD

Winter Regional Advertising Commenced in October
The TSP Marketing Committee determined that the primary regional markets of focus will continue to be the Lower Mainland, Seattle and Toronto, with secondary markets being Edmonton, Calgary, Ottawa, Prince George and the Okanagan. Advertising starts in October with key magazine publications such as Ski Canada, SBC Resort Guide, Mountain Life, Escarpment, enRoute (Air Canada in-flight), and UP! (WestJet in-flight), among others. Online, television and radio advertising will follow in November.

Canada West Ski Area Association Consumer Campaign Continues for Second Year
This year marks the second winter that a majority of BC’s destination resorts will work in a collective partnership under the lead of Canada West Ski Area Association. The consumer advertising campaign will be predominantly newsprint focus, with online components, that are leveraged around editorial stories. This program complements the Destination British Columbia campaign, which is predominantly online focused.

E-mail Marketing and Database Strategy Evolves
Tourism Sun Peaks will continue to grow its own guest and consumer electronic database by integrating contest and sign-up opportunities in advertising, website and social media tactics. This database will continue to become more of an important tool in communicating upcoming events, resort information and special offers. 

Media Relations: Growth in Summer Media Relations

Submitted by Brandi Schier, Media Specialist

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

High Quality and Quantity Summer Media Visits
Twenty journalists visited Sun Peaks this summer on official media trips, representing various outlets such as CKNW radio, The Vancouver Sun, Global BC, Western Living Magazine, Avenue Calgary Magazine and Outdoors Northwest Magazine. Resulting coverage will continue to raise awareness regarding Sun Peaks as a summer destination in regional drive markets, with articles published both this past summer and upcoming in spring 2014.

Positive Summer Media Coverage
Positive early media coverage in Kamloops driven by Sun Peaks’ events and concerts assisted in defining Sun Peaks as an exciting, standout destination in a crowded marketplace. This continued throughout the summer. Media stories also appeared provincially and in the Lower Mainland, the Okanagan and Seattle. Winter focused stories were also published in Australia to coincide with their winter season and the booking window for Canadian winter vacation.

Strong Presence at Go Media 2013
TSP’s media team attended the Canadian Tourism Commission’s annual travel media conference in Canada. Appointments and contacts were made with over 30 top quality national and international journalists, with strong interest in Sun Peaks for both summer and winter stories.


LOOKING AHEAD

Engaging Fall Media Events
This fall, the media team attended the Canadian ski resorts' media event in Boulder, Colorado to meet with vertical ski and snowboard publications and other ski journalists. Closer to the winter, TSP will attend media events in Toronto and Seattle conducted by Destination BC to pitch upcoming story ideas to mass media and important niche publications.

Early International Winter Media Visits
Winter media visits from the UK’s In The Snow and Australia’s Out and About with Kids have been confirmed for the upcoming winter season. National and regional pitching has also begun and will continue throughout the fall, using the new winter media kit and story ideas. 

Just Picture It 2.0
Following the success of last winter’s Just Picture It social media campaign that garnered over 2500 photos, TSP will re-launch the campaign with a different spin for winter 2013-14. Stay tuned for details and continue sharting photos to Instagram with #SunPeaks360.

Events: Continued Summer Events Strategy Sucess

Submitted by Janice Nankivell, Events & Adventure Centre Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Burton Cummings Rocked Sun Peaks
This year saw Burton Cummings in Sun Peaks on Saturday, July 13th with an increase in guest numbers compared to the same weekend in 2012. There were approximately 5000 people watching the afternoon show and close to 7000 people in resort. Local talent was selected to open the act with other bands selected to play on both village stages before the main stage acts.

Retro Concert Weekend 2013
The 4th Annual Retro Conert weekend was a huge hit again this year with over 1500 people in attendance, dancing the afternoon away to tunes from Heart, ACDC, Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones and more. The new venue location by the Sundance lift terminal to accommodate the expanding crowd was received well by both bands and guests.

'Thunder Under The Sun' Corvette Club Gathering
'Thunder Under The Sun' Corvette Club Gathering took place in Sun Peaks with a Show ‘n’ Shine on Saturday, August 24th through the middle of the village. Over 70 Corvettes lined the village for everyone to enjoy.

Colin James Closes Summer Concert Series
The second large scale music event was a free concert by Colin James on Saturday, August 31st with the largest audience ever, estimated at 5500 people.

Increase in Sun Peaks & Region Farmers' Market
The weekly Farmers’ Market saw an increase to an average of 23 weekly vendors from 14 in 2012. The market received support from the local community and visting guests appreciated the atmosphere and unique retail opportunities the market added to the weekend. Tranquille Farm Fresh has been secured as the weekly produce vendor for summer 2014.

LOOKING AHEAD

Santa’s Alpine Visit - December 14th, 2013Sun Peaks will get into the holiday spirit early this year with a visit from Santa and some of his elves at the 2nd Annual Santa’s Alpine Visit. Santa will be in the village taking pictures with children wanting to get their last minute present requests in! The village will come alive with Christmas Jazz by the B3 Kings, winter activities, vendors and more, so stay tuned for more details!

The 16th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival - January 11 to 19, 2014
Now in its 16th year, the Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival is shaping up to be another successful event with contracts signed, event locations secured and a whole range of new and exciting events taking place over the 10 days. Book your tickets now to secure your favourite events! http://www.sunpeaksresort.com/winter-wine-festival

Preparing the Adventure Centre for Winter
Our winter activity operators are ready and can’t wait for a great new season to begin. Bookings are starting to roll in for all of the exciting tours and activities we offer.

Winter 2013-14 Opening Day
November 23, 2013!
The Annual Charity Sun Peaks Firefighters' Gala, November 23
In support of the Sun Peaks Education Society and the Sun Peaks Speed Skiing Club, start off the season in your best off-slope attire at the Delta Sun Peaks Resort. Tickets are $80 and include a 3-course meal and live music by Henry Small Band.
Santa's Alpine Visit: December 14, 2013
The village's snowy walkways will glow with holiday lights carry the scent of hot mulled cider! Families can get professional photos with Santa and ensure last minute gift requests are heard before the big day. There will also be carolers, vendors selling handmade Christmas gifts, music by the B3 Kings and sample winter activities.
16th Annual Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival
Six news events will join the highly anticipated Sun Peaks Winter Okanagan Wine Festival from January 11 to 19, 2014.
New Family Ski Camps
Perfect for families looking to expand their skiing skills, Sun Peaks Resort is offering two new family ski camps this winter focusing on racing and off-piste skiing.
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