Tourism Sun Peaks Quarterly e-Newsletter Sun Peaks Resort
THIRD QUARTER 2011 | 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 President
Introduction of Officers
Central Reservations: Summer Package Sales Increase
Sales: Efforts Show Results!
Marketing: The Strength and Power of a Message
Media Relations: 50th Anniversary Leads the Media Pitches
Events: Summer Events Energize the Village
Message from the President

The recent summer months have demonstrated a significant shift in Sun Peaks' summer markets and the value of events in the resort. July and August resort-wide occupancy levels increased 12% and 4% respectively over last year. The growth has come predominantly from the local and regional markets and shows a clear response to increased investment in resort events, and corresponding local and regional marketing and promotions.
 
New events such as the Canadian Enduro Championship and the Home Tour attracted an incremental audience to the resort. The August long weekend's Alpine Blossom Festival festivities and the Retro Rock Concert Weekend also drove visits into the village on an unprecedented level for summer.

The May, June, and forecasted numbers for September show a flat or declining trend line over last year, in large part due to significant drops in international arrivals to Canada. These are the traditional months for summer visitors from USA and overseas destinations.

Summer 2012 planning is well underway with an expanded event schedule. In conjunction with the municipality, TSP is also working on an application with the province to provide additional events scheduled at the start and end of the summer to extend the season.

The coming winter brings with it challenges and excitement. The global economy and our market intelligence indicates the competitive environment in Western Canada is at least equal to last winter as supply continues to exceed demand.

TSP has long known that awareness levels are lower than desired, financial resources are finite, and the resort experience is rated as one of the highest in the country.

TSP staff and many resort stakeholders have been engaged over the last few months in an effort to strengthen Sun Peaks’ presence in the marketplace. The result is an exciting new campaign that presents a bold and enticing resort image to the consumer, and encourages them to book Sun Peaks. It is aimed directly at the large market that has not yet visited the resort. It will complement offers and invitations to previous guests to return to Sun Peaks.

Lastly, Tod Mountain at Sun Peaks Resort is 50 years old this year and we invite you to share the party with your family and friends at the resort. There are celebrations of various types planned through the winter and summer months. Click on the 50th Anniversary logo at www.SunPeaksResort.com to plan your calendar, submit your best 70's ski photo, or connect with lost ski friends through Facebook.

As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions related to Tourism Sun Peaks. I'm elated that some have taken me up on the offer over the past few months, and each contact has resulted in some great ideas and discussions. Thanks for your time and interest.

Cheers,
Christopher Nicolson
tsppresident@sunpeaksresort.com

Introduction of Officers

The TSP Board of Directors has selected its officers for the coming year. The group represents strong association experience and expertise. Each director on the Board serves in a volunteer basis for a two year term, and the association is fortunate to have such committed individuals focused on Sun Peaks' success.

Chair: Roman St. Germain, Single Large Hotel Director
Vice Chair: Reiner Brecht, Non-hotel Lodging Director
Secretary: Petr Duda, Residential Director
Treasurer: Joanne Foster Stoner, SPRC Director
Past Chair: Al Raine, Hotel Director

TSP wishes to thank and recognise Marlie Beets for her dedicated service as Chair of the Board over the past year.

Central Reservations: Summer Package Sales Increase

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

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Overall Summer Sales
• Summer Sales have exceeded 2010 in most categories.  The one of most note is the number of guests in resort booking through Central Reservations has increased by 16%.  The amount of nights booked has increased 8% and the revenue booked has increased 5%.

Summer Package Sales
• Package sales are ahead of 2010. The largest growth has been in the 3 for 2 Summer Special.  This accommodation only package was available to guests calling in as well as online.  Once in resort, guests would purchase their vacation activities.

Golf Kamloops
• Golf Kamloops Sales for accommodation packages sold as well as rounds sold has exceeded 2010.  This is attributed to the package "4 for 3 Green Fees all season long" that has brought new groups of 8 or larger to the Kamloops area courses.

LOOKING AHEAD

Winter Preparations
• With the winter season just around the corner, reservation staff have been busy with loading our travel products to prepare for the fall campaign.
• New season staff will be joining the reservations team during October and November.  This season we will have 7 employees including myself to assist and secure vacation packages and transportation reservations.  The new team will participate in resort and sales training throughout the month of October.

Travel Insurance Sales
• Travel Insurance Sales is a key objective for Central Reservations to achieve this October.  We have been completing licensing requirements and will be going back to school so to speak in preparation for this new product.

Shuttle Transportation
• Shuttle sales continue to be one of Central Reservations' main winter focuses. October and November see a large volume of International Tour Operator bookings, while December to February typically increases with bookings from Canada's eastern provinces.
• Once again this season we are working with our transportation partner, Sun Star Shuttle to service the Kamloops Airport, Kelowna Airport and Inter Resort Routes.  For  service times or reservation inquiries please contact 1-800-807-3257 ext 1  or visit us on the web at http://www.sunpeaksresort.com/plan-your-trip/getting-here/

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

Sales: Efforts Show Results!

Submitted by Colin Brost, Director of Sales

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

US Travel Trade Training
• The Tourism Sun Peaks sales team recently attended Skitops University, training the top 40 North American ski travel agents. We are proud to let you know that TSP was awarded 3rd Place for the best presentation (out of 26) for most relevant content and information.

Japanese Escorted Ski Tours
• The sales team attended the Canadian Inbound Tourism Association (Asia Pacific) event in Vancouver focusing on Asian markets. Results have shown an increase in escorted ski tours being promoted to the Japanese markets through these tour operators.

Showcasing Sun Peaks to the World
• Tourism Sun Peaks hosted a number of Sales Familiarisation Tours over the past three months. The team is proud to have hosted over 40 guests from India, Australia, Washington, Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

Consumer Show Season Begins
• The sales team has begun intense planning for the upcoming fall ski show schedule, including the Warren Miller premier movie nights. The sales team will be promoting the resort at 23 shows in 15 different cities through BC, AB, ON, Washington and the UK.

Regional Efforts Strengthens
• Based on the successes our regional sales representative program had over the past year, Tourism Sun Peaks is in the process of expanding the team to include one more In-Market Contracted Representative. Efforts will be focused on specific market segments throughout the BC Interior and Alberta.

LOOKING AHEAD

Strong Regional Season
• With the additional sales efforts and targeted travel trade initiatives, TSP anticipates a strong year of growth from regional markets, groups and FAM tours. This includes regional decision makers, product managers and travel agents.

Sincerely,

Colin Brost
Director of Sales
salesdirector@sunpeaksresort.com

Marketing: The Strength and Power of a Message

Submitted by Christina Antoniak, Destination Marketing Manager

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Sun Peaks Brand Messaging Receives a Facelift
• Story & Co, a creative agency from Kimberely, BC, has been engaged at the resort over the last three months with a series of stakeholder meetings and TSP/SPRC marketing team sessions.
• The result of strategic stakeholder engagement and guest feedback is a revitalized and strengthened creative look, message, tone, and brand story for Sun Peaks. This will be communicated in all outbound marketing activities beginning this winter, from advertising and communications, to media and sales.
• These results tackle head on the issues of low Sun Peaks brand awareness in both established and new market segments, along with misperceptions of the Sun Peaks experience in markets where awareness does exist. More often than not, guests will rate that their experience "far exceeded" their expectations of what they thought Sun Peaks was going to be, and that there was "so much more" to the resort and the experience than anticipated.
• There are three main outcomes of the agency project, which include:
-Primary positioning statement: Sun Peaks Resort, Canada's Alpine Village
-Campaign theme and messaging: sparks interest and plays on the theme of "learning" - learning more about Sun Peaks and learning more about yourself when you're here
-Brand tone: is engaging, witty, confident, fun, and informative while inspiring consumers to engage in discovering more about Sun Peaks Resort online
• Business stakeholders will receive tools to help them use the messaging and story in their own marketing and guest communications. This will bring consistency to the story we are telling about the resort through multiple communication channels with guests and potential guests.

Lights! Camera! Action!
• Kevin Hagell of Kaizen Visuals, the filmmaker and producer of the popular Sun Peaks winter promotional video (which has received 10,000 views on the Sun Peaks YouTube channel), was contracted to return this summer to film and produce a summer promotional video.
• After two weekends of shooting with amazing weather and lively energy throughout the village, the resulting footage portrays the unique, dynamic summer side of the resort, from village entertainment and events to the plethora of outdoor adventures.
• This video will profile the resort in High Definition footage and will act as a tool for marketing and sales. The footage will also translate to new video imagery for advertising commercials and media relations stories.

LOOKING AHEAD
• Advertising planning for winter 2011-2012 will see an increased focus on online communication channels, including targeted e-blasts and web ads, video pre-roll ads, search engine optimization of www.SunPeaksResort.com and online partnerships with traditional media outlets.
• Integrated presence in national ski/snowboard and outdoor magazine publications such as Ski Canada Magazine, Mountain Life Magazine and others, will continue as these are key channels to targeting skiers.
• A strategic partnership of the Canadian Destination Ski Consortium with the Canadian Tourism Commission will bring a unique social media campaign to the market targeting US consumers.
• For the second year, Tourism Sun Peaks will partner with SPIN News Magazine and Sun Peaks Resort Corporation in the creation of the comprehensive Resort Guide that will be distributed throughout the resort in November.

Cheers,
Christina Antoniak
Destination Marketing Manager
tspmarketing@sunpeaksresort.com

Media Relations: 50th Anniversary Leads the Media Pitches

Submitted by Melanie Simmons, Media Relations and Communications Specialist

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Top journalists dominate the Summer FAM visitors
• The sheer variety of stories and angles at Sun Peaks was a huge draw this summer as TSP saw visits from high calibre journalists throughout the season, including: The Travel Guys TV Show, Just for Canadian Doctors Magazine, the Globe and Mail, freelance writers for the National Post and Georgia Strait, and more!
• For the first time, Sun Peaks hosted a Blogger FAM during the Retro Rock Concert Weekend. Three writers from Vancouver-based blogs spent the weekend at the resort, posting content on Social Media Channels (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube). Shortly after their visit, blogs were posted on their various websites. Combined, these sites received approximately 834,980 page views on a monthly basis. To read the posts from the Sun Peaks Blogger FAM, check out the following links on Inside Vancouver, VancouverisAwesome.com, Vancitybuzz.com and about.com.

TSP hosts first ever #sunpeakstweetup!
• Part of the Social Media strategy at TSP is to increase efforts to directly engage potential visitors through our various online channels including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. With that in mind, TSP hosted our first ever #sunpeakstweetup at Masa's during the Retro Rock Concert Weekend. A tweet-up is essentially a social gathering that is organized using Twitter. We had a small group attend our first #sunpeakstweetup, but it's a strategy we will continue to grow and use through the winter season. Sign up on Twitter to follow updates from the Sun Peaks crew about upcoming activities and future events like this!

Pre-Winter Media Events get Underway
• Sun Peaks has a strong story this winter as we gear up to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Tod Mountain at Sun Peaks Resort and that story has been and will continue to be pitched to journalists leading into the winter season.
• TSP travelled to Boulder, Colorado in September to attend a ski media event hosted by the Canadian Destination Ski Consortium (CDSC). The CDSC event allowed resorts to meet and pitch stories to freelance ski writers based in Colorado. In addition, Tourism BC arranged for additional meetings for the resort partners at outlets such as SKI and SKIING.
• TSP also attended GoMedia Marketplace in Edmonton, Alberta in September and had appointments with over 35 journalists who write for publications such as: Westworld Alberta, the Globe and Mail, More Magazine and others. The 50th Anniversary was definitely a story of interest for the winter, as well as the overall culinary themes in the resort.

LOOKING AHEAD

Ski Media Events Continue
• The night before the Toronto and Seattle ski shows every fall, there are ski-media events which are hosted by Tourism BC and attended by Sun Peaks. Approximately 20 key ski writers are invited to attend each of these events where TSP pitches story ideas to the journalists.
• Colin Brost, Director of Sales for TSP, will also be attending the London, UK Ski Media Event hosted by the Canadian Tourism Commission.

50th Anniversary: Media Celebrations
• November 18, 2011 marks the exact anniversary of the opening of Tod Mountain 50 years ago. Official celebrations will take place on December 3rd at the resort, but on November 18, TSP will be hosting a media press conference to commemorate the occasion. Invitations will be extended to news media in British Columbia, Alberta and Washington to attend this event.
• Further to the official press conference, TSP will be coordinating a 50th Anniversary media FAM tour in January with key ski journalists.

Resort Staff Training
• In a continued effort to ensure consistent information for guests, TSP will once again take the lead on resort staff training going into the winter season.
• This orientation will be scheduled with new and returning staff at hotels and village businesses and includes a resort tour, plus details on winter events and activities and general information that can assist in answering potential guest questions.

Kind Regards,

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

Events: Summer Events Energize the Village

Submitted by Janice Nankivell, Events Coordinator/Adventure Centre Supervisor

DEPARTMENT HIGHLIGHTS

Sun Peaks and Region Farmers’ Market
• It was an extremely successful Farmers' Market season with an average of 20 vendors each week selling a great variety of organic produce and handmade goods that appeal to all members of the family. Our Loyalty Card program has been a huge success with people shopping at the market each week, and a gift bag full of donated items from our regular vendors was drawn at our very last market on Sunday, September 11.

Retro Rock Concert Weekend
• The Retro Rock Concert Weekend was a huge success with hundreds of people lining the village square to dance the weekend away to tunes from ACDC, Bon Jovi and Rolling Stones cover bands.

Music in the Mountains
• Music in the Mountains returned to Sun Peaks where over 45 musicians from the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra fill the mountains with the sounds of Mendelssohn, Mussorgsky, Strauss and more. The stage was set up at the base of the beginner ski run and close to 200 guests brought blankets and chairs and enjoyed the outdoor atmosphere during the evening concert.

LOOKING AHEAD

Sun Peaks Christmas Market: December 16-17, 2011
• The 4th Annual Sun Peaks Christmas Market will return to the village giving guests 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!

14th Annual Winter Festival of Wine: January 14-22, 2012
• Now in its 14th 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!

Adventure Centre
• Bookings are already starting to roll in for our Winter Activities and it's shaping up to be another busy season! Our operators are ready to go and preparations are in the works for the snow to start falling. For more information on our Winter Activities please visit our website at http://www.sunpeaksresort.com/winter/activities/

Volunteers
• 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

Golf Course Closes October 10
Hit the Sun Peaks Golf course for a final round or two before it closes for the season!
Winter Lift Operations Begin November 19
Get your skis and boards waxed and ready. The lifts start turning Saturday, November 19!
Firefighters' Charity Gala on November 19
Pull out your mountain formal wear and gather for a great charity evening.
50th Anniversary of Tod Mountain
Share your old memorabelia and join us at events throughout the winter to celebrate the golden anniversary of Tod Mountain!
Winter 2011-12 Events
From the Winter Festival of Wine to the Family Cup and the Velocity Challenge...stay tuned to the events calendar for all the details!
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