Marketing Campaign Creates a Mountain of Opportunities for Sun Peaks

Over six decades, Sun Peaks Resort, one of the top ski resorts in North America, has demonstrated the power of a well-designed marketing campaign to growing its leisure, and meeting and convention business. The momentum continues as new economic opportunities are identified for the tourism-based community of 1,500 permanent residents.

Like other resorts around the world, Sun Peaks was hit hard by the impacts of the pandemic, from supply chain delivery issues to a steep decline in bookings. Out of this challenging time, an awareness campaign was created to reach a broader audience within the meetings and events sector. A successful campaign would diversify and increase revenue streams resulting in less reliance on tourism.

A strategic print and digital media campaign was launched in 2022 which included a full-page ad in Ignite Magazine, a leading meetings and incentive travel publication.  This was followed by a digital marketing campaign targeting meeting planners in BC, Alberta and Ontario. The campaign also included more flexible options for local users including municipal government, non-profit groups, weddings, Christmas parties and artisan markets.

“We had a goal of 3,000 clicks to the Sun Peaks website as a result of this marketing and by November 2023, there were 8,000 clicks,” says Colin Brost, Sun Peaks’ Senior Director, Destination and Market Development. “This gave us confidence that the awareness campaign is working.”

Versatility of the Sun Peaks Centre

The next step in the project was to boost awareness of the Sun Peaks Centre, a first-class multipurpose venue completed in 2020 with space for 350 people inside and a covered outdoor arena for up to 1,800 guests.  Both marketing projects received funding from the Economic Trust of Southern Interior (ETSI-BC) through its Building Economic Capacity funding stream.

“Greater collaboration with local hotels and conference facilities and other local service providers has increased our ability to tailor solutions to a broader market,” says Brost. “Some groups only need space for a short period of time, such as the ski teams that were training at the resort last year and wanted a space for stretching in the afternoons, and the children’s choir that needed a place to practice for two days before the Sun Peaks Music Festival.”

On a larger scale, the new adventure playground outside the front doors of the Centre involved numerous partners including provincial and municipal government, Tourism Sun Peaks, and Adaptive Sports Sun Peaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing accessible outdoor adventures for all individuals.  The land for the park was donated to the Municipality by Sun Peaks Resort, and donations were provided by the Sun Peaks Rotary and individuals.

“From restaurants to equipment rental services, many local businesses have supported our growth and benefitted directly and indirectly from the bookings that have taken place at the Centre,” says Brost.

Multi Use Drive Revenues 

As more diverse inquiries and bookings are realized, the Tourism Sun Peaks and the Sun Peaks Municipality has made operational and management changes to align with the needs of all types of users.  Room nights booked and revenue from confirmed bookings will be measured at the end of 2024 and are estimated to be approximately $168,000. This number will grow as the campaign continues to enhance awareness and increase demand.

“We now have the foundation to drive new revenue into the community, create new jobs and ensure more sustainable businesses as we return to a more robust economy,” says Brost.

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