Tourism Sun Peaks Quarterly e-Newsletter Sun Peaks Resort
FOURTH QUARTER 2010 | WINTER 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.

Happy New Year from all of us at Tourism Sun Peaks!


In this e-Newsletter:
Sun Peaks Recognized with the Best in the World!
Message from the Chair
Message from the President
Central Reservations: Winter Sales Pacing to be a Great Success
Sales: Switching Gears, Winter to Summer Focus
Marketing: Refining our Brand Message and the Search for a Snow Bum
Media Relations and Communications: Extensive Media Coverage Kicks Off Winter Season
Events and Adventure Centre: Winter Events Take Centre Stage
Sun Peaks Recognized with the Best in the World!

Sun Peaks is honoured to be recognized over the last quarter with several accolades, both in our region and abroad.

2nd Best Resort in Canada, 13th Best Resort in North America
Conde Nast Traveller Magazine, 2010 Ski Poll

Best Winter Day Trip in British Columbia (Winter Festival of Wine)
Westworld Magazine, Winter 2010 Issue

5th Best BC Getaway (Editor's Pick)
www.getawaybc.com, 2010

Innovative Marketing and Promotions Award (I want to be the Snow Bum)
TOTA Tourism Excellence Award 2010

New or Enhanced Visitor Experience (Summer Experience program)
TOTA Tourism Excellence Award 2010

Message from the Chair

Submitted by Marlie Beets, TSP Board Chair

On behalf of the Tourism Sun Peaks Board of Directors, I want to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year. There is a feeling of optimism in the air at Sun Peaks as we head into 2011. TSP staff members and Sun Peaks' representatives first began to sense a positive "buzz" during pre-season ski shows and promotional activities. Visitor interest in Sun Peaks as a holiday destination appeared to be strong, but no one wanted to get overconfident about the coming season prior to seeing some concrete results.

Now that we know early season booking figures show an increase over the previous year, it does indeed look like this winter season is starting off well. We all hope the numbers stay strong throughout 2011.

At the time of this writing, ski conditions are excellent. All three mountains are delivering the kind of Bluebird Day bliss that TSP promises in our myriad of Sun Peaks marketing programs.  

Based on market research, TSP has launched new on-line advertising initiatives to reach a skiing public that increasingly relies on the internet to obtain information. Print media, radio and television are also still valuable tools for promoting the resort and TSP staff members constantly evaluate the relative success of all communication efforts to determine where marketing funds are most effective. To date the new on-line initiatives are generating a lot of interest, as is this season's Snow Bum 2: The Snapshot campaign. 

I continue to be impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the Tourism Sun Peaks staff. Their job is to promote this wonderful resort to potential visitors from near and far; to convince people to come here and to help them enjoy their stay when they arrive. Throughout this newsletter you will see details of all the TSP efforts.

As property owners or local residents, I trust you will help us maintain our unofficial reputation as the friendliest resort in Canada and make all our visitors feel at home here!

To everyone - have a safe and spectacular time on the slopes and in the resort!

Best regards,

Marlie Beets
TSP Board Chair
marlie.beets@cablelan.net

Message from the President

Submitted by Christopher Nicolson, President

Advertising is one of several strategies (eg: sales, media coverage, events) utilised by Tourism Sun Peaks (TSP) to generate guest visits. Increased presence in North American ski and snowboard magazines, increased investment in on-line promotions, and dynamic packaging have been hallmarks of this winter's resort advertising campaign. 

Following extensive consumer research in the months leading up to the season, TSP developed its First Day and First Night On Us promotion. Thanks to the support of many accommodation partners and the lift company, the resort has experienced strong consumer response to the promotion.   

By early December, Central Reservations' individual bookings were up 28% over last year, representing an incremental 800 room nights. It should be noted that Central Reservations represents only 20% of resort-wide bookings, but it does serve as a primary indicator for campaign results. The advertising plan allowed for immediate review of results through various tracking mechanisms. Adjustments to the message, offer, and creative continue to be made based on the ads that generate the most results.

TSP invested heavily in on-line strategies, and results show that 53% of Central Reservations bookings have been online this year. Significant advancements have been made in the presentation and diversity of packages on the website, and new advertising techniques utilising video have been employed in web savvy markets like Washington.

January, February and March reflect the months in which we see guests arrive from overseas. Sun Peaks appears to have retained its marketshare growth from last year in Australia. The smaller UK market continues to be challenged by factors led by the economy, and recent reports have suggested the resort may see some last minute bookings from the German market.

Closer to home, the Washington market has shown signs for optimism. Retail stores had a strong fall which is indicative of an intention to ski. Central Reservations received significant advance bookings, though this pace slowed into December. As expected, competition for the BC and Lower Mainland market is at an all time high. Whistler has targeted this market aggressively, which has further intensified the competition between BC resorts. Snow is always 'the' determining factor in the regional market, but based on initial campaign results, TSP remains optimistic for growth this season. 

Each month, TSP meets with members to discuss research, activities, events, and results. Communication channels include monthly resort-wide meetings, sector meetings, local newspaper updates, flyers, posters, email communication, and village business visits.  I encourage and welcome any member to contact myself or the TSP office if you would like more information on association activities.

Happy New Year

Christopher Nicolson
President
tsppresident@sunpeaksresort.com

Central Reservations: Winter Sales Pacing to be a Great Success

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

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Sales Pacing Ahead of Last Year
• Over the past three months, sales have paced ahead of last year in all categories. Package sales are up, with the huge success of the First Day and First Night on Us promotion and the introduction of Christmas and New Years' special packaging. These specials attribute to room nights being up 800 nights over last year.
• In the transportation department, Kamloops shuttle seats and revenue have all seen significant growth with a Year to Date increase of 18%.

Telephone vs Online Bookings
• Winter telephone call volumes have been consistent with last year, as more people turn to the internet to book their holidays.
• 53% of winter bookings year to date have been sold online. This increase is attributed to the new addition of online calendars and images that have been uploaded to the website. A huge thank you to Corey Wiwchar with the SPRC Marketing Department for helping complete this project.

New Staff Join the Team
• We are pleased to welcome two new seasonal staff to Central Reservations. Sheena Kirouac is a reservations agent and Katrine Villiger is supporting us in the Transportation side.

LOOKING AHEAD

360 Degree Property Tours
• Beginning in the New Year, www.sunpeaksresort.com will offer 360 degree property tours as part of a new project launching in partnership with SPRC's Marketing department and a private company, Really Big Tours.
• The tours will showcase accommodation options, village and resort amenities and possibly restaurant and retail shops, allowing guests to view and feel the resort atmosphere prior to confirming their vacation. The tours will be loaded onto the website within the relevant areas, as well as on one collaborative landing page where all tours can be viewed.
• TSP will be contacting properties and resort members about this opportunity with all of the details. 360 degree tour packages of your property start from $150.

Winter Festival of Wine Ticket Sales
• Package and ticket sales for this annual festival have been increasing over the last few weeks and we anticipate a very busy week in January as guests pick up tickets and purchase last minute seats to events.

Shuttle Transfers
• With the busy shuttle transfer season beginning, please ensure you and any of your guests contact Central Reservations up to 48 hours in advance to secure airport transfers. The Central Reservations Transportation Department is open 7 days a week from 9:00am to 5:00pm to assist. Please call 250-578-5391.

Sincerely,

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

Sales: Switching Gears, Winter to Summer Focus

Submitted by Colin Brost, Manager, International Sales Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Ski Show Season Complete
• TSP's sales team and our Ambassadors have attended more than 28 independent ski shows, including the Warren Miller movie nights, throughout our key markets this quarter including, BC, Alberta, Washington, Ontario, UK and Germany. These shows are a critical part of our overall sales strategy as our team has an opportunity to speak to and influence decision makers of upcoming ski holidays.
• In addition to the shows, our team has continued to work with ski clubs and ski shops in these same markets to increase our brand awareness and investigate promotional opportunities. We would like to offer a special thank you to our accommodation providers and SPRC in support of these promo initiatives.

Summer Travel Trade Shows
• Recently TSP attended Canada West Market Place, a trade show hosted in partnership between Tourism BC and Travel Alberta. This show brings qualified tour operators from around the world that focus on selling vacations in BC and Alberta. A total of 45 pre scheduled appointments with these tour operators were conducted and follow up has begun.
• The award winning Summer Experience program that was launched last spring continues to be well received within the travel trade and an upcoming sales mission into the Lower Mainland will continue to focus on this program.

Regional Activities
• Within our regional markets the team has been active in promoting our existing events that take place both in summer and winter. Sales missions have included quilter's guilds in conjunction with the Wine and Culture Festival and Specialty Wine Shops promoting the Winter Festival of Wine.
• Other specialty groups that have been approached include car clubs, ESL schools, church groups and wedding planners. In November, we contacted 140 Brides-to-be and informed them of the picturesque wedding venues available in the resort.
• In 2008, Tourism Sun Peaks created the "Alumni Program" which offers special rates and promotions for Alumni organization members within Canada and the US. In exchange for these rates, Sun Peaks receives listings on their websites and inclusions in e-blasts and newsletters. This program has expanded to include selected airlines, corporations and Military organizations. To date, we have a partnership with 14 associations representing hundreds of thousands of members.

LOOKING AHEAD

Corroboree
• While most of the resort is heavily involved in ski season operations, the sales department will be in Australia toward the end of January promoting summer travel and the Summer Experience program, and will also meet with key winter tour operators. Australia represents over 30% of summer room nights.
• Corroboree is a travel trade road show hosted by the Canadian Tourism Commission with an audience of travel agents, travel media and tour operators. A number of destinations from across Canada will present at this show and Sun Peaks Resort will be there along with these fellow BC destinations: Tourism BC, Tourism Whistler, Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Victoria. As you can see, Sun Peaks will be among the top selling/most well known destinations in the province.

Prepping for FAM season
• Many of you have seen, participated in and/or supported some of our recent FAMS and we truly do appreciate all your support. Due to the high level of effectiveness in educating operators and dispelling misconceptions (ex: size of terrain, village, etc), FAMS remain a key strategy in our sales program.
• We have a busy winter season coming up hosting tour operators and industry partners from around the globe including agents from Ontario, Colorado, Mexico, UK and of course the lower mainland.

Cheers,

Colin Brost
International Sales Manager
salesdirector@sunpeaksresort.com

Marketing: Refining our Brand Message and the Search for a Snow Bum

Submitted Christina Antoniak, Destination Marketing Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

A Refined Brand Message for Regional Advertising Creative
• Winter creative in our regional consumer markets, which include British Columbia, Washington State, Alberta and Ontario, uses a refined brand message built upon messaging from the 2009-2010 winter advertising campaign.
• The messaging focuses on terrain size in combination with lack of crowds, giving skiers an experience second to none. Example: "Canada's third largest ski area... All to yourself. This is the feeling you get when you ski Sun Peaks..."; Secondary messaging focuses on the slopeside convenience of the village and accommodation, along with the friendly resort atmosphere. Secondary messaging also includes snow and weather quality. Imagery is focused on ski and board photos that sell the "vastness" of terrain, quality of snow, and big mountain feeling.
• For electronic mediums, a new Sun Peaks jingle was developed in partnership with Sun Peaks Resort Corporation. A contemporary, upbeat tune, listen for it not only in radio and TV advertisements, but in various resort videos, at resort events, and more.

Online Initiatives Contribute to Bookings Increase
• A comprehensive online campaign utilizing video pre-roll advertising in Washington State has provided excellent performance in directing consumers to www.sunpeaksresort.com. With this campaign and other online tactics, Central Reservations has seen an increase in the proportion of online bookings to 53% of all bookings. 
• Some of these additional online tactics include e-blasts to the Lower Mainland, resort database e-blasts, a comprehensive Google AdWord campaign, various online contesting, a Travelocity.ca campaign and more.   

Key Print Publications Target Skiers and Snowboarders
• As noted in last quarter's report, strategic direction was taken to increase Sun Peaks' brand awareness with skiers and riders across the nation by advertising in major snow sport publications, including SBC Skier, Snowboard Canada, Ski Canada, Mountain Life, Escarpment, SKI, Snow and SnoWorld.
• Television advertising also continues with commercials on Global TV BC as well as radio spots in the Lower Mainland, Edmonton and Calgary.
• Direct mail is another core program, with 125,000 mail-outs in November, followed by another 125,000 to the same households in January. This includes the Lower Mainland, Prince George, Edmonton and Kamloops.

Snow Bum 2: The Snapshot Offers a New, Exciting Twist!
• Following the momentum from last season's I want to be the Snow Bum, TSP launched Snow Bum 2: The Snapshot on November 17 with the chance to win a trip for four to Sun Peaks for six nights, plus a day with videographer Kevin Hagell (Kaizen Visuals) who created Sun Peaks' own promotional video.
• The goal this year was to make it easier for people to enter, so we're simply asking for people to submit a Snow Bum themed photo before February 20, 2011. In addition to the grand prize mentioned above, we are also giving away equipment and outerwear from Salomon to the person with the "Most Votes" on their photo.
• As with last year, we rely solely on a public relations strategy, social media integration, and viral spread to market and promote the contest. To date, 5,000 people have visited www.snowbumcanada.com and over 55 entries have been received.
• Last season's Snow Bum winner, Thiago, visited us over the holidays and had a great time meeting up with old friends, hanging out on the slopes and shooting new video footage of Sun Peaks. Check our YouTube channel for future video posts from Thiago. 

LOOKING AHEAD

Winter Campaign Monitoring
• As we move through the next winter months we'll be monitoring our advertising campaigns in terms of response, results and bookings, making adjustments as needed. Campaign results will be provided in next quarter's report.

Summer 2011 Resort Brochure
• Our goal is to launch the summer resort brochure earlier than ever, with a plan to have the brochure racked throughout the resort by the beginning of February. This will give more time to cross-promote to our winter guests.

Snow Bum Contest Wrap-Up
• With the contest closing on February 20, our season 2 Snow Bum and friends will be in resort before the end of the season to redeem their prize and spend a day filming with videographer Kevin Hagell.

Cheers,

Christina Antoniak
Destination Marketing Manager
tspmarketing@sunpeaksresort.com

Media Relations and Communications: Extensive Media Coverage Kicks Off Winter Season

Submitted by Melanie Simmons, Media Relations and Communications Specialist

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Early Season Media Coverage
• There has been extensive media coverage on Sun Peaks Resort in key magazines over the last couple of months, with many pieces a direct result of Winter Familiarization tours hosted last winter in the resort.
• Highlights include: Ski Canada, SBC Skier, Explore Magazine, Westworld Magazine and up! Magazine.
• The total editorial value of pieces in seven magazines totals close to $80,000.

Media Launch of Snow Bum 2: The Snapshot
• We are very pleased with some great media hits as a direct result of the launch of Snow Bum 2: The Snapshot, including S-Magazine, Planetski.eu, and In The Snow Magazine (UK). While the sheer volume of traditional media coverage has not matched the success of the original campaign in 2009, we are seeing the contest spread online after using techniques such as posting details about the contest on radio station Facebook Fan pages in various countries. As international entries continue to be submitted, we will be working to pitch those contestants out as stories to media outlets in their hometowns.

In-Resort Staff Training
• In an effort to ensure that all front line staff in the village are providing guests with consistent and accurate information, TSP has been conducting orientations and training for new employees in the village. This includes hotel front desk staff, other village employees and Sun Peaks Resort Corporation (SPRC).
• The training includes a village tour, an extensive overview of the Adventure Centre and resort activities, as well as a brief education on the different bodies in the resort and what each is responsible for. i.e. TSP is a Destination Marketing Organization and SPRC is the lift company and manages all on-mountain products.

LOOKING AHEAD

Familiarizing Media on Sun Peaks
• Over 40 people are already confirmed to visit Sun Peaks this winter on Media FAM trips, with confirmed stories on everything from 'A Day at Sun Peaks' to a family feature, to a romantic couples getaway during the Winter Festival of Wine.
• Confirmed outlets include: Canadian Living, Atmosphere Magazine, Holidays with Kids (Australia), Ski and Board (UK), and City Television.

Weekly Production of the Village Vibe
• Now that we are fully into the winter season, the Village Vibe is being published on a weekly basis. This piece includes information for guests on special events, weekly activities, village spcials and all of the fun non-ski adventures operated throughout the winter season. It is available at all hotel front desks, as well as retail outlets and restaurants throughout the village.
• To submit specials or information for inclusion in the Vibe, please email tspcoordinator@sunpeaksresort.com.

Kind Regards,

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

Events and Adventure Centre: Winter Events Take Centre Stage

Submitted by Janice Nankivell, Events Coordinator/Adventure Centre Supervisor

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

The Adventure Centre
• The Adventure Centre re-opened its Village Day Lodge location on November 20 to coincide with the Opening Day for lift operations. Most tours began operating by December 1 and bookings continue to roll in for the season, keeping the staff at the desk very busy.
• A brand new Activity Operator was welcomed to Sun Peaks in early December. Lakehead Helicopters is now offering helicopter tours in and around Sun Peaks Resort. Click here for more information or call the Adventure Centre at 250-578-5542.

Sun Peaks Christmas Market
• The 3rd Annual Christmas Market took place December 18 and 19, with a record total of 50 vendors participating. Local vendors had their tables set up in the Delta Sun Peaks hotel ballroom selling a large variety of handmade gifts, house wares, organic meats, seafood, produce and more.

LOOKING AHEAD

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 a whole range of exciting events taking place over the 9 day festival. If you haven't booked your tickets yet get in quick to secure your favourite events! http://www.sunpeaksresort.com/winter-wine-festival

The 2nd Annual Sun Peaks Family Games: February 20-25, 2011
• Come and enjoy a week of fun family oriented events with the popular Obstacle Cross, Hockey Skills Challenge and Skeleton Race. Compete against Family and Friends to win your very own Sun Peaks medallion.

Kind Regards,

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

Jan 15-23: Winter Festival of Wine
Three events have already sold out for the upcoming Winter Festival of Wine. Don't miss out, book today!
New! Helicopter Tours
Join Lakehead Helicopters for a breath taking tour of Sun Peaks and the surrounding region.
Jan 5-9: Family Cup
A week long multinational celebration of family and snow sports!
Feb 11-13: Adaptive Snow Sports Festival
This year the festival will be a celebration of our local adaptive skiing program with the theme WE CAN DO THIS!
Terrain Park
New this year, the Annual Sun Peaks Rail Slayer Series has competitors obtain points by ranking in the top ten at the Block Party, Resurgence and The Garden Ski and Snowboard competitions.
Mar 3-6: Velocity Challenge
This year will mark the 22nd annual Velocity Challenge making this unique event one of the longest running speed skiing events on the planet.
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.