Tourism Sun Peaks Quarterly e-Newsletter Sun Peaks Resort
THIRD QUARTER 2010 | FALL ISSUE

From international and regional marketing campaigns to world class culinary events, Tourism Sun Peaks promotes and drives new clients to resort businesses. Check out some of the highlights and successes from the last quarter in this edition.

In this e-Newsletter:
Message from the Chair
Message from the President
Central Reservations: Selling Winter Events
Sales: Summer Energy Evident in Sun Peaks Sales Team
Marketing: New initiatives for brand awareness and online marketing
Media Relations and Communications: A Record Summer for Media Visits
Events and Adventure Centre: Successful Summer Events and Winter Preparations
Message from the Chair

Submitted by Marlie Beets, Tourism Sun Peaks Board Chair

Over the summer, we had the opportunity to travel and visit resorts across Canada while reflecting on what Sun Peaks has to offer and what a critically important task it is for Tourism Sun Peaks to market the resort to the rest of Canada and the rest of the world.

Being a tourist all summer gave me a chance to compare how other areas provide information to visitors, how they welcome guests, how they advertise and what products they deliver that make people want to spend time there. It was gratifying to meet people who knew of Sun Peaks - either by name or through a personal visit. And the encounters with people who had never heard of Sun Peaks were a strong reminder of the need for TSP to continue "branding" efforts to keep spreading the name and image of Sun Peaks into known markets and to explore new markets where feasible.

I had an opportunity to tour a couple of very popular Eastern ski resorts - one in Quebec and one in Ontario - and both were enjoying a very busy and successful summer season. In both cases, the key to bringing in summer visitors appeared to be regularly scheduled activities and entertainment. This is a strategy that TSP has also been employing to a higher degree in the last couple of years.

There is no magic formula and the economic uncertainties in North America and overseas mean that all tourism businesses will be challenged for the foreseeable future. But as Sun Peaks' residents and visitors know - we have a super product, a wonderful Village environment and a great resort. TSP's priority is to get that message out and bring visitors in!

In addition to the resort of Sun Peaks, we now also have a growing Community as the Mountain Resort Municipality begins to take shape. Members of the TSP Board of Directors are keen to co-operate with the new municipal leaders and develop close working relationships to ensure everyone is pulling in the same direction to benefit the whole community.

As we see the summer season wind up, TSP Board members and staff understand that Sun Peaks' commercial operators and residents are counting on a successful winter season. We know that the retailers, hoteliers and rental property managers, restaurateurs, service providers, real estate sales teams, home owners and others will be putting their best efforts into delivering the kind of high end service and products to our visitors and guests that earned Sun Peaks the Conde Nast Traveler poll recognition as the 2nd best ski resort in Canada and 10th in North America. 

With that in mind, the TSP team is continuing to market this wonderful resort to the rest of the world with pride and enthusiasm!  Many of the TSP staff members' activities are included in their individual reports and I encourage everyone to review the details.

Kind regards,

Marlie Beets
marlie.beets@cablelan.net

Message from the President

Submitted by Christopher Nicolson, President

SUMMER
Tourism and resort partners have executed many new initiatives over the past summer that have generated some exciting results.  These include new village events like Retro Music Weekend and attendance records at the Farmers' Market, to a comprehensive new culinary and activity offering branded Summer Experience. 

The combined member activities have grown Sun Peaks summer overnight stays by a forecasted 18% for the period between May to October 2010.  This represents an increase of nearly 5000 room nights over last year.

It should be noted that 2010 occupancy rates are still shy of 2008 levels, and average room rates and in-resort guest spending remains low.  However, Sun Peaks is one of the very few jurisdictions in the province to post double digit growth.

WINTER
In preparation for winter, Tourism Sun Peaks has led a thorough campaign development strategy with members.  Divided into three phases (research, development and execution), TSP has taken a systematic approach to generating visits this winter.

  • Research: TSP marketing committee directed research in three new markets this year - Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto.  This is in addition to existing research from Vancouver and Seattle.  Customer preferences and motivation for ski travel this winter were tested.
  • Development: Based on the research findings, TSP has prioritised market segments into those that best match the Sun Peaks experience, and then designed messages and offers that cater to their motivations.
  • Execution: Consumers will see strong Sun Peaks representation in North American ski and snowboard media, significantly increased on-line presence on sites frequented by skiers, as well as aggressive messaging and offers in regional media.
  • Complementing this program is a new "buzz" campaign to build upon the success of the Snow Bum campaign from last year. It will be launched in November.

As we monitor our competitors at this early stage of the season, the marketplace looks extremely competitive. The travel industry is reminiscent of the winter months following 9/11. However the weather forecasts for an "old fashion" snowy winter has started to generate fervour. The first consumer ski show in Seattle reported increased attendance and interest in ski vacations. 

Cheers,

Christopher Nicolson
President
tsppresident@sunpeaksresort.com

Central Reservations: Selling Winter Events

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

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

A busy summer of sales

  • Over 950 nights were sold this summer from June through July.
  • Over 100 lodging packages were sold this season with our three brochure advertised packages: Stay and Play Golf, Discover the Mountain Bike Park, and Discover Alpine Hiking.
  • A 3-for-2 lodging special was added in mid-July and became the top selling package.
  • Walk-in traffic was extremely busy this summer, with guests looking to book a hotel room for the night, planning winter vacations, or looking for information on venues for family reunions in Summer 2011.
  • There was an increase in new property listings this summer.

Golf Kamloops Call Centre - A profit centre operated by Central Reservations

  • Sales were down over Summer 2009, consistent with all over BC golf destinations.
  • Early season call volume was slow when compared with Summer 2009.
  • Call volumes increased in July to be on par with 2009 levels.
  • A new 3-for-2 package was released for the fall season (August to October).
  • There was an increase in sales with last minute group bookings.

Winter Bookings are up against last year

  • We have seen an increase in winter bookings over the past six weeks, with most bookings for holiday periods: Christmas, New Years and Spring Break.
  • Winter transfer bookings on the Shuttles to Sun Peaks are ahead of last year, with over 600 seats sold to date. 90% of those bookings have been placed through wholesalers.

LOOKING AHEAD

Rental Agreement   Central Reservations will be sending an out an amendment to our Rental Agreement for the beginning of the second quarter. We have revised and included the agreement for this fall.  The incremental increase goes directly to Sun Peaks marketing.  This additional 2% is equal to the AHAT (Additional Hotel Accommodation Tax) that is already collected by resort Hotels and Nightly Rental Companies.
 
2010 Firefighters Gala   Tickets are now available for this event which will take place Saturday, November 20 at the Delta Sun Peaks Resort hotel. Please make your table requests when you call Central Reservations to reserve your tickets.

2011 Winter Festival of Wine  Wine Festival tickets are now on sale through Central Reservations with both individual tickets and full event packages available. All tickets will be available for pick up at the Tourism Sun Peaks office beginning January 10, 2011.

Winter Packages and On-Going Tracking  Working closely with the marketing department, we will be creating incentive winter packages for the upcoming season. Central Reservations will continue to conduct sales reporting and tracking.

Welcome Back!
We are delighted to welcome back Jennifer Nield who is returning from maternity leave. Jennifer will return to the position of Central Reservations Supervisor and will focus on Sales and Agent support, as well as the lead supplier contact for property listing. She can be reached directly at 250-578-5389 or crezsupervisor@sunpeaksresort.com.

Sincerely,

Theresa St. Louis
Central Reservations/Transportation Manager

Sales: Summer Energy Evident in Sun Peaks Sales Team

Submitted by Colin Brost, Manager, International Sales Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Commitment to the travel trade  

  • Over the summer months, the TSP sales team has maintained our commitment to stay top of mind with our travel trade partners through trade shows. Skitops University was attended and approximately 45 top North American agents and product trainers attended the Sun Peaks presentation.

Asian Focus  

  • The sales team attended the Canadian Inbound Tourism Association (Asia Pacific) event in Vancouver focusing on the Asian markets and conducted sales missions targeting the resorts receptive tour operator partners to deliver the Summer Experience Programs' messages.

Diverse markets visit Sun Peaks  

  • Tourism Sun Peaks hosted a number of operators from around the globe this summer showcasing our award winning resort to operators from Vancouver, Japan, United States, the United Kingdom and others! These operators focus on selling ski trips, summer fly/drive itineraries, group travel (including student groups), wedding planning and corporate meetings.

Resort Ambassadors hit the streets  

  • Resort Ambassadors have conducted training at three new tour operators in Brazil, participated in major ski shops' anniversary sale in Seattle, attended a ski club picnic in Washington, and are continuing to push Sun Peaks Resort to Ontario Ski Clubs.

Regional Efforts Strengthens  

  • A targeted effort towards promoting Sun Peaks events, wedding planners, student travel, small meetings and conventions and group travel within our regional market (BC, AB and WA) is beginning to show results.

LOOKING AHEAD 

Sun Peaks getting the word out  

  • Tourism Sun Peaks will be attending 29 independent ski shows including Warren Miller movie nights in the next 90 days. Sun Peaks presence will be in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Seattle, London (UK), Birmingham and 3 shows in Germany.

Prepping for FAM season  

  • With winter coming the Sun Peaks Sales team will be actively soliciting and coordinating winter FAM tours which generally begin to take place in early December.

Sincerely,

Colin Brost
International Sales Manager
salesdirector@sunpeaksresort.com

Marketing: New initiatives for brand awareness and online marketing

Submitted by Christina Antoniak, Destination Marketing Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Regional winter advertising campaign development began in July, with an accommodation sector member meeting.

  • This winter's program will see an increase in focus and investment toward online initiatives, such as Google Ad Words, Search Engine Optimization and geo/lifestyle targeting with other online portals.
  • Ski publications are also a key component to increase the overall brand awareness of Sun Peaks to ski consumers. This includes programs with Ski Canada Magazine, SKI magazine, SNOW magazine, SnoWorld magazine, SBC Skier magazine and Snowboard Canada magazine. 
  • Overall target markets for the campaign are: British Columbia (Lower mainland/Fraser valley and Cariboo), northern Washington State (Seattle, Bellingham etc.), Alberta (Calgary and Edmonton) and Ontario (Toronto and Collingwood area).

New offers for winter ski season were developed in conjunction with advertising tactics that will hit TSP's target markets in mid October.

  • Includes an aggressive "book by November 15 and save up to 35%" offer. This offer is being promoted in SKI magazine, Ski Canada magazine and SNOW magazine.
  • Diverse packages are being developed as a result of TSP's consumer research and consultant work with third party companies. These will target consumers based on determined demographic and lifestyle profiling. 

A new "Buzz" Campaign in the works

  • Following the success of last winter's "I want to be the Snow Bum" social media and PR campaign/contest, TSP will be launching another "buzz" campaign this season, with a new twist! Look for details on www.snowbumcanada.com in November!

LOOKING AHEAD 

  • Full launch of the regional advertising campaign including the executions listed above as well as direct mail, newsprint, TV, radio and more.
  • Launch of this season's "buzz" campaign mid-November.
  • Working with the Canadian Destination Ski Consortium in providing copy and images for marketing programs in the UK and USA.

Cheers,

Christina Antoniak
Destination Marketing Manager
tspmarketing@sunpeaksresort.com

Media Relations and Communications: A Record Summer for Media Visits

Submitted by Melanie Simmons, Media Relations/Communications Specialist

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

New Communications Department Employee

  • Daniel Ruzic has joined the team in the position of Resort Experience Coordinator while Jen Barter is on maternity leave. Daniel is a TRU graduate in the tourism program and has worked at Sun Peaks in various capacities for several years.
  • His role will centre on in-resort communication, such as producing the Village Vibe, and he will work very closely with the restaurant and retail sectors in the village.
  • Daniel can be reached at tspcoordinator@sunpeaksresort.com or 250-578-5388.

A Record Season for Summer Media Familiarization (FAM) Tours

  • Over 50 guests have visited Sun Peaks this summer on Media FAM tours and the feedback has been spectacular as we show off our amazing summer products.
  • Highlight visits have included the Vancouver Sun, West Coast Families Magazine, PinkBike.com, Canadian Living, North Shore News and Global TV.

Industry-hosted media events

  • TSP met with over 30 travel journalists (print, radio, TV, online) at GoMedia Marketplace in Toronto in August and will spend time following up with additional details on the resort. Key meetings were with the editor of up! Magazine, the travel editor from the National Post, Westworld Magazine, the Travel Channel (UK), and several well respected freelance journalists who write for many different outlets. Invitations have been extended to key media from those appointments to visit on a familiarization (FAM) tour this winter.
  • In the lead-up to ski season, TSP also attended the Boulder Ski Media event, hosted by Tourism British Columbia in September. In addition to sit-down meetings with SKIING, SKI and FREESKIER Magazines, a dinner with a collection of area freelancers also proved to be very valuable. The stories being picked up with the most interest are those with personalities and local flavour and we will continue to share those nuggets with journalists moving into the winter season.

LOOKING AHEAD

Pre-Season Media Events

  • Toronto and Seattle Ski Dinners. Hosted by Tourism British Columbia, these two media dinners are for ski journalists and invited industry partners. TSP will have a representative at both events and will be pitching winter stories to encourage the media to come and visit Sun Peaks this winter to write a feature story on the resort. The dinners take place the night before the ski shows begin in each city.
  • London Ski Media Event. Hosted by the Canadian Tourism Commission, TSP will be networking with UK media, while giving them story ideas and information on Sun Peaks Resort as a four-season destination. This event will also include travel agents and Colin Brost, International Sales Manager, will be attending on behalf of TSP.

Buzz Campaign - Media Support

  • As mentioned in Christina's report, we will once again be doing a fall campaign in an effort to garner early-season awareness for Sun Peaks and to get people talking about the resort. As with the Snow Bum launch last winter, there will be a large media relations component to the campaign which will involve press releases and pitching to regional and international media. The Snow Bum campaign generated over 120 print/web articles alone, and we are excited about the media exposure possibilities with this seasons' campaign.

In-Resort Sector Meetings

  • As part of my new role involving in-resort communications, Daniel and I will be organizing Sector Meetings for the Retail and Restaurant outlets in the village to speak about the winter events plan and discuss some upcoming initiatives for the village. We are also looking forward to hearing from the business owners about their ideas and their own independent plans for the winter season. Dates and times for these meetings will be forwarded to the applicable parties in the coming weeks.

Kind regards,

Melanie Simmons
Media Relations/Communications Specialist
tspmedia@sunpeaksresort.com

Events and Adventure Centre: Successful Summer Events and Winter Preparations

Submitted by Janice Nankivell, Events Coordinator and Adventure Centre Supervisor

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Farmers Market 2010 

  • It was an extremely successful Farmers' Market season with an average of 20 vendors each week selling a great variety of organic produce and hand made goods that appeal to all members of the family. Our Loyalty Card program has been a huge hit with people shopping at the market each week, a gift bag full of donated items from our regular vendors was drawn at our very last market on Sunday, September 12.

Retro Music Concert Weekend 2010

  • A brand new event this year, the Retro Music Concert weekend was a big hit with people lining the village to dance the afternoon away to tunes from the Tragically Hip, Bon Jovi and ACDC cover bands.

Porsche Club of America National Gathering  

  • We were delighted to be the host destination for the Porsche Club of America's National Gathering this September. At the Escape Show and Shine on Saturday, September 11, the sun shone through the clouds to highlight over 120 Porsches that lined the village for everyone to enjoy.

LOOKING AHEAD

Mark Your Calendar with these upcoming events!

Sun Peaks Christmas Market - December 18 to 19, 2010  

  • The 3rd Annual Sun Peaks Christmas Market has been expanded to a two day event this winter. The market is the perfect opportunity to browse the many local wares on display and find those last minute Christmas gifts. You will also be treated to the holiday sounds of a Hand Bell Choir! 

Sun Peaks Holiday Concert - December 20, 2010  

  • A new pre-Christmas date has been set for this popular concert to get families excited for the holiday season. A selection of popular carols and music will be performed by members of the Kamloops Symphony.

Winter Festival of Wine - January 15-23, 2011  

  • Now in its 13th year, the Winter Festival of Wine is shaping up to be another successful event with contracts signed, event locations secured and a whole range of exciting events taking place over the 9 day festival. Book your tickets now to secure your favourite events! http://www.sunpeaksresort.com/winter-wine-festival

Adventure Centre Gears up for Winter Operations  

  • Our Winter Activity Operators are all ready and can't wait for a great new season to begin. This winter we are looking forward to offering snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dogsledding, sleigh rides and more! Bookings are starting to roll in for all of the exciting tours and activities we offer. All we need now is the snow!

Volunteers Needed!  

  • We are always looking for helpful and enthusiastic individuals to aid with putting on our winter events. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Janice Nankivell at tspevents@sunpeaksresort.com or call 250-578-5386.

Kind regards,

Janice Nankivell
Events Coordinator/Adventure Centre Supervisor
tspevents@sunpeaksresort.com

Oct 8-10: Autumn Bounty Culinary Festival
Join us for a weekend of culinary delights during this 3rd annual event.
Oct 9-11: Turkey Sale
Looking for new equipment for winter? Check out some of the best deals of the year during the annual Turkey Sale!
Nov 20: Firefighters' Gala
Dance the night away and help raise money for the Sun Peaks Alpine Club and Educational Society.
Nov 20: Opening Day
The chairs start turning at 8:30am for the first day of Winter 2010-2011!
Jan 15-23: Winter Festival of Wine
Tickets are on sale now for the 13th Annual Winter Festival of Wine!
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