Family Day move restricts B.C. residents from booking into ski resort

The holiday, that now aligns with the U.S., Alberta and Ontario is keeping B.C. residents out of accommodation

Big White Ski Resort is preparing for an overwhelmingly busy Family Day weekend.

Last year, before the provincial holiday was moved back a week to align it with the rest of the country, Michael J. Ballingall senior vice-president of Big White Ski Resort said resort traffic was spread over two weeks.

Now everyone is focused on the same weekend and it’s squeezing out locals.

More than half of the resort has been booked by Americans and the rest by out of province visitors, not giving the residents of B.C. a chance to stay at the resort for their long-weekend.

“All they did was move B.C. to a day that is busier than New Year’s Eve or Christmas on the mountain,” said Michael J. Ballingall.

“People are used to doing this on Family Day long-weekend, now it’s moved for the first time. On top of that, the biggest problem this year is people from B.C., who started (calling) in late November, December and January to book, we couldn’t accommodate them. There’s no room.”

Ballingall says that the resort has already lost between $700,000 to $800,000 from the holiday being moved.

“The big deal is that it worked really well when the days were separated from a resort perspective. People were able to travel within province and enjoy a non-stressful Family Day long-weekend.”

RELATED: Big White calls for full-time ambulance service

In defending the holiday switch last year, B.C. Premier John Horgan called the decision the right thing to do for businesses, small and large, and for families who may be spread out across the country.

“This gives families an opportunity to schedule and spend more time with loved ones from other provinces,” Horgan said.

Tourism Kelowna supported B.C. Family Day staying on the second Monday of February as it created economic benefits for local tourism businesses.

“The staggered holidays gave tourism businesses an additional opportunity to increase visitation and generate revenue,” said a representative of the organization.

RELATED: Okanagan real estate may be the most affordable near ski resorts

“As a result of this change, Kelowna and local tourism businesses will now compete with other destinations for visitors during this weekend. We will factor this change into future destination marketing plans to increase overnight visitation to Kelowna and area.”

The push to have the dates changed was influenced by several fronts. The finance industry complained about Family Day occurring when the Toronto Stock Exchange was open, then working the following Monday when the market is closed. As well, federal employees in B.C. don’t get the day off.

The United B.C. Family Day petition initially launched in 2015 boasted 20,000 signatures as of last year, and was publicly supported by Green Party leader Andrew Weaver.

The switch also had the support of the Union of B.C. Municipalities.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaNewsKat
kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Top cop calls video of Kelowna Mountie striking suspect ‘concerning’

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

City of Kelowna receives $100K provincial grant to support forestry workers

When the Kelowna Tolko mill shut down in November, 233 full-time employees were put out of work

Okanagan home sales increase over last month, still below 2019 numbers: OMREB

Sales, listings see increase over May’s numbers but dwindle in comparison to 2019

Defence claims Surrey man was mentally unwell at time of West Kelowna murder

Tejwant Danjou’s jealousy ‘tormented him’, according to his defence lawyer

PPE donation reaches Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society

Ending Violence Association of BC received a $20,000 donation for personal protective equipment

B.C. records four new COVID-19 cases, Abbotsford hospital outbreak cleared

Four senior home outbreaks also declared over, eight still active

Drugs, machete found in truck with stolen plate driven by Salmon Arm man

Chase RCMP arrest driver and have vehicle towed

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

About 30% of B.C. students return to schools as in-class teaching restarts amid pandemic

Education minister noted that in-class instruction remains optional

Trudeau avoids questions about anti-racism protesters dispersed for Trump photo-op

Prime minister says racism is an issue Canadians must tackle at home, too

HERGOTT: Can you get money back if COVID-19 disrupts plans?

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Bateman program encourages people to sketch outside, connect with nature

#MyNatureSketch initiative encourages Canadians to become ‘bright-eyed three year olds’

Suspicious activity on North Okanagan bike trails

A rock deliberately placed on a hazardous corner results in bolstered security, cameras

Be cautious expanding COVID-19 bubble, Dr. Bonnie Henry tells B.C.

Senior homes stay off-limits as schools, businesses reopen

Most Read