News

B.C. ski resorts pleased with placement of Family Day

The provincial government's decision to give British Columbians a holiday on the second Monday of February, "is a huge win" for tourism, says an industry representative.

"We believe the (government) listened to the tourism community, and the voters," said  Michael Ballingall, who represents Big White ski resort and is an active member of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association.

Ballingall was among a number of mountain operators who lobbied for the earlier placement of Family Day as soon as Premier Christy Clark announced she'd gather input from residents throughout May to find out which day they preferred, the second or third Monday of February.

"There were a lot of things that we at the resorts were concerned about," he said.

Had the province decided to place the holiday on the third weekend, he said,  then it would coincide with President's Day in the US, which is the busiest day on B.C. ski hills.

"All the mountains are full—There was no point in funnelling more people into the system," Ballingall said.

"Think of border crossings and ferries… they're already experiencing the traffic from the US and Albertan holiday, which cause massive traffic wherever you look."

Traffic jams weren't the industry's only concerns, mind you.

Ballingall explained that there could be economic benefits from stretching out the high season for two weekends.

All the part-time workers who are hired to handle the intense traffic of the one weekend alone, will now be able to get more hours at B.C. ski hills.

Better yet, he added, the rest who are lucky enough to not have to work on that day will also benefit from not having to pay U.S. rates.

Several other provinces have statutory holidays in February, but in every other case, it falls on the third Monday of the mont.

Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan celebrate Family Day, while the February holiday is Louis Riel Day in Manitoba and Islander Day in Prince Edward Island.

British Columbians now get 10 statutory holidays each year.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

One last holdup on B.C. railway tracks
 
Tips for the Elk Valley Outdoor Enthusiasts
 
A messy start to 24/7 recycling in Prince Rupert
De Groot family outraged
 
Cooking up delicious Okanagan stories
 
How does your garden grow
Penticton sale supports kidney research
 
Daffodils bloom in Elkford
 
Annual World Sight Day Challenge

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 17 edition online now. Browse the archives.