January 03, 2014 - 1:45 PM
VERNON - The snow level may be lower than normal but that hasn’t negatively impacted business at Silver Star Mountain Resort, says the general manager.
Michael Sherwood says it's been a busier season so far than last year.
“Everything’s shaping up to be a fantastic season, better business-wise than last year,” Sherwood says.
The resort’s hotels have been at 100 per cent occupancy since Dec. 28, and up 10 per cent in occupancy throughout the season. Sherwood attributes the growth to a combination of things: lack of snow at ski hills in the Lower Mainland, a stronger economy and a new sales team. One of the largest factors has been the My1Pass, which gives pass holders the freedom to downhill or cross country ski, skate, snowshoe or visit Tube Town.
“It’s an all inclusive Canadian experience,” Sherwood says. “You don’t have to reach into your pocket every time you want to snowshoe, or go skating or cross country skiing.”
Between locals, skiers from elsewhere in B.C., and visitors from Australia on their summer breaks, the hill has been bustling with activity. Several thousand people came out for the resort’s New Year’s Eve festivities, one of their busiest in several years.
While Sun Peaks has seen seven skiers delve out of bounds and require search and rescue efforts to bring them back, that's not been in the case at the Vernon hill.
“We don’t see a lot of people ski out of bounds at Silver Star. We have our boundaries marked really well. It has not been an issue here,” Sherwood says.
Mother Nature hasn’t been spinning as much snow as normal, however Sherwood says coverage is still good.
“From an overall standpoint our snow isn’t as deep as we’d have ordinarily,” Sherwood says. “But the trees are still all covered in snow (and) conditions are good.”
He says the mild temperatures have meant more cloud cover and fewer of the blue sky days the mountain is accustomed to, but it’s still a winter wonderland up there.
“We always think of our village as a snow globe. It’s got beautiful colours, the people are charming, it’s a community here and everyone’s friendly. I think it stands out as a memorable day experience or (longer) holiday,” Sherwood says.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at email@example.com, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014