Tourism Sun Peaks Quarterly E-Newsletter Sun Peaks Resort
FOURTH QUARTER 2009 | WINTER ISSUE



In this e-Newsletter:
Message from the Chairperson
Message from the President
Central Reservations: Additional products keep the phones ringing
Sales: Gracious hosts, informative guides, and natural beauty
Regional Marketing: New messaging communicates strong belief in the Sun Peaks product
Media Relations: An Epic Start to FAM Season
Resort Experience: Holiday Concerts, the Winter Festival of Wine, and Summer Planning Begins!
Message from the Chairperson

Submitted by Al Raine, TSP Chairman

On behalf of the Tourism Sun Peaks Board of Directors, I'd like to wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.

The 2009/10 winter season at Sun Peaks Resort is shaping up to be a very special winter. We opened early, the snow is fantastic, bookings are improving over last year, and BC will host the Olympic Games in February. While it is difficult to forecast the direct impact of the 2010 Winter Olympics on Sun Peaks, trends suggest that destination visitors are seeking resorts other than Whistler. There is no question that the 2010 Games will focus worldwide attention on our province and will increase interest in winter destinations for future years; however, we still need to reiterate with skiers and snowboarders in the Pacific Northwest that it is business as usual at Sun Peaks and snow conditions have never been better.

This Fall, the Tourism Sun Peaks Board concluded that additional market research was necessary for the Vancouver and Seattle marketplaces. As a Board, we are confident that Sun Peaks has the best resort village in the province, guaranteed snow conditions and one of the largest skiable areas in the country. However, the research outlined several perceptions of Sun Peaks that new marketing campaigns are working to combat. The following report from Christopher Nicolson, Tourism Sun Peaks' President, highlights the results of the research and the details of the marketing campaigns that followed.

One quick note for property owners in Sun Peaks. Real estate activity has picked up very sharply in the past three months and values are once again moving upwards as interest in Sun Peaks continues to grow.

Please visit www.sunpeaksresort.com/tourism to keep your contact information current so you can stay updated on Sun Peaks Resort.

Enjoy the ski season!

Al Raine
TSP Board Chair
araine@cahiltylodge.com

Message from the President

Submitted by Christopher Nicolson, President

Tourism Sun Peaks looked to new consumer research to guide a dynamic new winter ski campaign launched this fall in the Vancouver and Seattle markets.

The research confirmed the top reasons people choose a resort, and also identified the perceptions of Sun Peaks Resort. For example, the study confirmed that ease of access and terrain size are two important considerations in the market, and that Sun Peaks was perceived to be smaller and farther than other comparable resort options. As a result, Tourism Sun Peaks launched its "Biggest, Closest, and Best" campaign on Vancouver and Seattle television and radio stations this past November.

The "Biggest, Closest, and Best in the BC Interior" positioning was demonstrated to perspective guests through the following facts: Sun Peaks' three mountains offer the largest vertical drop and the most skiable acres in the Thompson Okanagan, it is the closest interior BC resort to Vancouver and Seattle with two viable highway options for driving, and lastly, Sun Peaks was rated as the best resort in Canada, second only to Whistler, by the 2008 Conde Nast Traveller Magazine reader poll.

In addition to the above messaging, Tourism Sun Peaks launched a bold new initiative that "guaranteed" the resort experience as an incentive to purchase a Sun Peaks vacation. The research showed that 93% of survey respondents would refer Sun Peaks to friends and family, and past surveys rated most aspects of a Sun Peaks vacation (facilities, terrain, snow, lodging, etc.) at above industry averages.

Based on the confidence of this strong satisfaction rating, Sun Peaks Resort Corporation (lift company) and many resort lodging partners agreed to "guarantee" guest satisfaction levels for guests who booked the package by December 15, 2009. This offer displayed a strong sense of confidence in the resort and provided an opportunity to convince skiers and snowboarders to try Sun Peaks for the first time.

The "Biggest, Closest, and Best in the BC Interior" messaging will continue through the winter advertising campaigns and the "guarantee" offer will be reviewed in early January, before the mid-winter campaigns begin.

The confident and bold positioning of Sun Peaks provides optimism for the coming months at the resort. With many Olympic-themed events and television screens in village restaurants and pubs broadcasting the games, the energy and celebrations is another opportunity to introduce Sun Peaks to new guests. It promises to be an exciting time in the province of British Columbia and on the slopes of Sun Peaks.

Happy New Year!

Christopher Nicolson
President
tsppresident@sunpeaksresort.com

Central Reservations: Additional products keep the phones ringing

Submitted by Theresa St. Louis, Central Reservations and Transportation Manager

This season, Central Reservations has expanded its team to five agents. With additional staff, we have been able to extend our hours and as a result, have seen an increase in reservation packages and transportation bookings. There is an excellent selection of inventory available and our agents have been able to confirm any last minute inquiries with ease.

New Winter Products
Heli-skiing comes to Central Reservations with new partnership with Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing and Robson Heli Magic. There are one day excursions as well as three and five day vacation packages available. Nancy Greene's Cahilty Lodge is offering transportation in conjunction with the one day "8 Peaks Experience" at Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing. Transportation reservations are to be placed directly with the Cahilty Lodge at 1-250-578-7454. Both Wiegele and Robson Heli Magic are offering packages beginning January 17, 2010. Call Mike Wiegele directly to book your package!

Packages
New this winter, we have regular season packages with participating resort properties. In addition to our Ski and Stay Free package, offering a free night and a free day of skiing based on a four night stay, we are also offering one and two night package options. This new strategy has proven to be a success with over 200 bookings to date. Ski package can be booked online through the packages page on the Sun Peaks Resort website.

Transportation
The Transportation department has been very busy this season with an increase in tour operator bookings and an influx of last minute bookings and walk-on travelers. With over 2,000 seats sold, we have already reached nearly 50% of our sales target for this winter season. Our contracted shuttle company, Sun Star Shuttle, has done an excellent job this season transferring guests and negotiating the difficult winter flight schedule unpredictable flight delays and cancellations. Please remember that airport shuttles must be booked at least 48 hours in advance by calling Central Reservations at 1-800-807-3257.

Winter Festival of Wine Tickets
Tickets are already selling out for some events at the 12th Annual Winter Festival of Wine at Sun Peaks, so if you're planning to attend, call Central Reservations to book your tickets now! Guests can either book tickets through www.sunpeaksresort.com under the event listing, or can call direct at 1-800-807-3257 ext. 1. The festival runs from January 16 to 24, 2010 and with more days and extra events, it's sure to be a memorable week!

New Rental Properties
Our office has been receiving numerous inquiries about how the reservation service works at Central Reservations. If you are interested in renting your vacation property through Central Reservations, please contact me directly and I would be pleased to forward you the paperwork. It's a very simple process and our user-friendly software can be set up very quickly.

Kind Regards,

Theresa St. Louis
Central Reservations/Transportation manager
crezmanager@sunpeaksresort.com

Sales: Gracious hosts, informative guides, and natural beauty

Submitted by Colin Brost, International Sales Manager

Familiarization Tours
The fall season has proven to be a busy time for the Sales team at Tourism Sun Peaks. We've just finished a successful season of consumer shows and the reports have been that awareness is up and the image of Sun Peaks Resort as a first class resort has increased. Familiarization (FAM) tours are now on our agenda and take up a considerable amount of time and energy to coordinate and execute.
 
To help organize and execute our FAM's, I would like to introduce Ms. Nicole Martinez, our new Sales Coordinator, who is covering Marianna's maternity leave. Nicole joins us most recently from Tobiano but has experience working in the sales and marketing department at Sunshine Village and brings fresh eyes and new ideas to our team. Please join me in welcoming her to the resort.

Many of you have seen, participated in, and supported some of our recent FAMS and we truly do appreciate all your support. Due to the high level of effectiveness, FAMS are a key strategy in our sales program. As you will read below, the feedback on the resort from FAM participants is extremely positive.
 
"I really want to thank you guys for such an amazing time. The trip really opened my eyes to a great destination. I'm doing training with our staff on Sun Peaks this afternoon to tell them all about it. I really think that we can grow our numbers pretty easily." Mike E. - Product Manager

"In all my years, I don't think I've ever heard this many amazing comments like: "the best FAM I have ever been on!" and "Just wanted to thank you for the Coolest FAM I have ever been on!" You guys were the best hosts anyone could ask for. I honestly didn't feel like I was on a FAM! The itinerary was spectacular. The hills were amazing, the accommodations were wicked!"  Joanne, Sales Manager, N. America, Tourism British Columbia

"I really enjoyed the trip with all the activities and naturally the great skiing, especially after 20 years I guess I am hooked again. After all the skiing it really gives you a different perspective and it is easier to explain all the runs and the 3 mountains." Doris B. Contracting Manager

Regional Market Training
In the regional markets, Ron has conducted agent training in Calgary and Edmonton at eight of the busiest AMA (Alberta Motoring Association) offices. This put Sun Peaks in direct contact with 50 sales agents and office managers giving them a better understanding of the competitive advantages of a Sun Peaks holiday.

Military Discount Program
In Seattle, TSP attended an event that was hosted by Military Merits which is a discount program for all branches of the U.S. Military in the Pacific Northwest. The program has been streamlined, making it more functional for the military personnel in Washington State. The following week we hosted two representatives from the Morale, Wellness and Recreation office at Fort Lewis. They were very impressed with the resort; we are working with them to promote Sun Peaks to the 20,000 personnel who are stationed there.

Tourism Sun Peaks Alumni Program
The Alumni program is in place on our website and we have been working with the participating Alumni groups to promote the program. The program is being promoted through their websites and e-blasts to alumni members. For example, the UBC Grad Gazette e-blast reached 85,000 UBC Alumni email addresses. Sun Peaks was also included in two monthly e-blasts that went out November 27 and December 14, for a total of 170,000 impressions.

2010 Sales Strategy
Moving into the new year, the sales team will continue to host FAM's and begin planning our sales strategy for 2010. This includes reviewing the ski show strategy, revamping the international co-op marketing program, generating new business leads through sales missions and trade shows, and continual maintenance of existing relationships with key clients.

Regards,

Colin Brost
International Sales Manager
salesdirector@sunpeaksresort.com

Ron Betts
Regional Sales Manager
salesmanager@sunpeaksresort.com

Regional Marketing: New messaging communicates strong belief in the Sun Peaks product

Submitted by Christina Antoniak, Destination Marketing Manager

The opportunity of a lifetime!
In the last newsletter the "I Want to be the Snow Bum!" contest was introduced, as launch day for this exciting contest was October 1, 2009. Headed by Tourism Sun Peaks, with the support of Sun Peaks Resort Corporation and a variety of resort accommodation and restaurant partners, the contest spiraled through media and social media networks with the assistance of a contracted communications agency from Vancouver, Curve Communications. On day one alone, dozens of media stories about the contest were created by media outlets around the world, helping spread the word to potential snow bums. A strong media strategy was supported by social media messages through Facebook and Twitter and this collective promotion resulted in over 20,000 unique consumer visits and over 160,000 page views to the dedicated microsite www.SnowBumCanada.com.

In the end, 52 entries were received from 10 countries including Canada, USA, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Russia, Netherlands, Germany and France. Tourism Sun Peaks was extremely pleased with the quality of entries and this made it difficult for the judges to narrow the field. The 20 finalists went through a telephone interview and were asked to submit a written essay. The judges looked at these two components, as well as their interaction with the contest and fit with the resort. Thiago Lucena, from Sao Paulo, Brazil, was declared the official Snow Bum on December 1!

Thiago, a 28 year old freelance videographer, has a contagious personality and is overjoyed with the opportunity to spend three months at Sun Peaks while writing blogs and creating videos about his adventures here.

A welcome reception for Thiago is taking place Tuesday, January 5 at Masa's Bar and Grill from 6pm to 9pm and all are welcome! Please stop in, have a drink and introduce yourself to the first ever official Sun Peaks Snow Bum.

And of course, follow Thiago's stories on www.SnowBumCanada.com

Regional advertising rolls into market
In conjunction with the early season opening on November 14, regional advertising initiatives rolled into the market with print, TV and radio advertisements. This season, messaging is taking a strong, bold approach as Tourism Sun Peaks strives to stand out from the clutter as a unique BC ski destination and capitalize on the Whistler aversion due to the Olympics.  

Through the BC Ski Country consortium, Global Television 15 second ads are running the entire winter with our new Guarantee Program messaging, as outlined in Christopher's newsletter message. You may see an ad while watching your favorite prime time show or during the newscasts. The consortium is also sponsoring the Global Snow Reports. This plan includes a radio buy with stations in Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, and ads will run during selected weeks throughout the winter.

For the in-resort co-operative advertising program with accommodation partners, a direct mail flyer was sent to 100,000 households primarily in the Lower Mainland. A bold message was communicated - "Come to BC Interior's Closest, Biggest and Best Ski Resort!" Repeat guests received a postcard with a booking incentive as a thank you for guest loyalty to Sun Peaks. Also look for advertisements in all Ski Canada magazine issues throughout the winter.

E-blasts are a new component of the regional advertising plan, and three have been sent to date. The e-blasts communicate last minute specials and packages to help increase occupancy close to the time of travel.

For the holidays, print advertisements in the Vancouver Sun and Province newspapers stimulated last minute travelers with new reduced minimums and room rates from accommodation partners. Sun Peaks Twitter and Facebook accounts were also used as channels to promote holiday room rate specials.

Don't forget to log onto Facebook and Twitter and forward Sun Peaks messages to your friends!

Happy Holidays,

Christina Antoniak
Destination Marketing Manager
tspmarketing@sunpeaksresort.com

Media Relations: An Epic Start to FAM Season

Submitted by Melanie Simmons, Media Relations Specialist

Media FAM visits
Media FAM season kicked off with a bang for the 2009/2010 season as many journalists are doing familiarization (FAM) trips earlier and publishing stories on Sun Peaks as part of their Olympic coverage in February. Over 15 groups have already visited Sun Peaks and we are continuing to solicit and invite key journalists to experience the resort this winter. In addition to visits from CTV, Global BC and SBC Resort Guide, we have also already hosted journalists from the following outlets:

Ski Canada Magazine - Iain MacMillan, Editor
After a multi-page story on the Austrian National Ski Team in the Fall 2009 issue of Ski Canada Magazine, Iain joined us on a FAM to experience the new WestJet connection between Toronto and Kamloops (via Calgary).
Read Iain's editor column in the next issue of Ski Canada for a few remarks on Sun Peaks before his full piece on the trip is published next winter!

Snowboard Canada - Scott Birke, Editor
After receiving an email from local Sun Peaks rider Joey Eddy, the crew from Snowboard Canada showed up to shoot parts of 5 Mile and The Other Way as a hit run on the mountain for snowboarders. The SBC team also spent time with the Terrain Park Supervisor in anticipation of doing a full feature on the park next winter.
Watch for Sun Peaks' Locals Laps in the Winter Issue of Snowboard Canada!

Toronto Sun - Lori Knowles, Family Columnist
Lori and her son Emmett flew to Sun Peaks from Toronto to research the resort for Lori's family column in the Toronto Sun. After taking ski lessons, cruising through the trees with Nancy Greene and hitting up the Tube Park and Bungee Trampoline, Emmett officially declared Sun Peaks "the best resort ever!"
You can read Lori's daily blog postings from Sun Peaks at http://loriexploring.wordpress.com/ and watch for her piece on Sun Peaks in the Toronto Sun!

With more than three months of the winter season still remaining, FAM season is really just beginning! Journalists from Swerve Magazine (Calgary Herald), Savour Magazine, Western Journey/AAA, Kind 5, CKNW and CBC Radio are already confirmed for Sun Peaks visits.

Sun Peaks Snow Bum
The Snow Bum contest, launched October 1, 2009, was a huge marketing and public relations campaign for Tourism Sun Peaks. Between the launch of the contest, the announcement of finalists and then the release of the official Snow Bum, media from around the world have picked up on the story. Close to 100 print and online articles were written, from as far away as Russia and Brazil. That is not to mention the television and radio coverage both in Canada and abroad.  With Thiago Lucena's arrival on January 4, 2010 from Sao Paulo, Brazil, the media relations component of this program will continue as we facilitate interviews and encourage journalists to meet the Snow Bum and use that as an angle in their story on Sun Peaks.

The media relations department continues to monitor and track coverage of Sun Peaks, so please don't hesitate to contact me by email if you are interested in reading any articles on the resort.

Kind Regards,

Melanie Simmons
Media Relations Specialist
communications@sunpeaksresort.com

Resort Experience: Holiday Concerts, the Winter Festival of Wine, and Summer Planning Begins!

Submitted by Jen Barter, Resort Experience Manager

Sun Peaks Christmas Market
The 2nd Annual Sun Peaks Christmas Market took place on Saturday, December 19 from 12:00 to 7:00pm. Market vendor spaces sold-out quickly this year and enthusiasm towards attending the event was strong throughout the Kamloops area. Vendor products ranged from handmade crafts and gifts, house wares, cosmetics, framed photography, jewelry, chocolates, honey, organic meats, fish and produce and more! At 3:00pm a festive Hand-bell performance took place within the Delta Sun Peaks Ballroom to a full crowd of on-lookers. We look forward to planning next year's market and hopefully expanding the event to take place within multiple hotel lobbies!

Symphony of Snow - Holiday Concerts
Once again, members of the Kamloops Chamber of Musicians were on-mountain performing to adoring audiences. The first performance took place on Monday, December 28 within the intimate setting of Jim and Bijou Farrell's Sundance chalet. The evening consisted of an ensemble of musicians, young performers, wine and canapes!

The second performance took place on Tuesday, December 29 in the Delta Sun Peaks Ballroom. This performance incorporated a choir, young musicians and pieces using a baby grand piano, violin and soprano singer.

During each concert intermission, young Highland Dancer Brianna Domenegato from Ontario performed a selection of traditional dances to entertain the crowd.

Sun Peaks Family Cup
We are excited to announce the 4th Annual Family Cup at Sun Peaks will be taking place January 4 to 10, 2010! Organizers from Interschool Races in Australia and Sun Peaks Resort have collaborated to create another fun week full of family activities. Participants will enjoy the Children's Obstacle Course, Gates Training Courses, Skating and Snow Tubing Parties, Fondue Dinners, a Fashion Show and trip to a Kamloops Blazers game! Be sure to keep an eye on the Sun Peaks online Events Calendar to learn how you and your family can get involved.

Winter Festival of Wine
The 12th Annual Winter Festival of Wine is shaping up to be the most well-rounded wine event at Sun Peaks to date! The new name has allowed for an expansion of events to occur and for every type of wine connoisseur to enjoy. Whether you consider yourself a wine rookie or sommelier in disguise, the Winter Festival of Wine has something to please your palette and stimulate your senses. Guests attending the festival will be able to enjoy past favourite events such as The Taste of Sun Peaks, and the festivals signature event, The Sun Peaks Progressive Tasting.
 
With the expansion of the festival this year, a multitude of new events have been added to the roster. Guests will be able to take part in The Sun Peaks Bartender Mixology Face-Off, Mixology To Music dinner with wine and entertainment, a Wild Wines and Wild Meats evening at Masa's Bar and Grill, and a new seminar called What Your Nose Knows to get back to the basics of sipping wine and understanding how to locate defects. With event prices starting at just $17 per person and accommodation packages starting at $139, tickets will not last long. Be sure to book yours through Central Reservations today!

Summer Event Planning
Yes, I said it! Summer is coming! Even though we are just at the beginning of our fabulous winter season here at Sun Peaks, I have been diligently starting to organize our upcoming 2010 Summer Events. Be sure to mark your calendars for the following upcoming events and stay tuned for more details!

Canada Day Celebrations - July 3 and 4
Wine and Culture Festival - July 16 to 18
Quilting in the Mountains - July 16 to 18

I look forward to seeing each and every one of you out during our upcoming winter events and hope that you spread the word about the exciting activities to your friends and families. 

Warmest regards,

Jen Barter
Manager, Resort Experience
communicationsmgr@sunpeaksresort.com

Thiago the Snow Bum Arrives!
Join us at Masa's on Jan 5 to welcome Thiago, the official Sun Peaks Snow Bum!
Jan 4-10: Sun Peaks Family Cup
Race for your country in this fun, recreational race, or sign up for a tubing or skating party!
Wine Festival Events Are Selling Out!
Book your tickets now! for the 12th Annual Winter Festival of Wine to avoid disappointment!
Mar 4-7: Velocity Challenge
The fastest skiers in the world converge on Sun Peaks for this annual FIS World Cup Speed Skiing event!
Mar 26-27: TELUS Nancy Greene Corporate Challenge
Register your team now for this fun, annual race. Call Melanie Smith for details at 250-578-6209.
If you have moved recently, changed your telephone number, want to update your payment method,
or to change any other options, click here to log in to your account and enter your new information. Simple!
Contact Tourism Sun Peaks
Tel 250.578.2555  |  Fax 250.578.2552  |  Email admin@sunpeaksresort.com
It is our policy to respect your privacy; therefore, we do not pass on any information from our database to outside parties.