B.C. residents will have even more reason to ski on the province's first Family Day statutory holiday next February.
Twenty ski resorts across the province, including Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler Olympic Park and Lost Lake Cross Country, are offering 50 per cent off all lift tickets on Monday, Feb. 11. It's a move spearheaded by the Canada West Ski Areas Association (CWSAA).
"There's no better sport to do as a family," said Stuart Rempel, senior vice president of marketing and sales at Whistler Blackcomb.
"It's an amazing thing that multi-generations can go out and ski together."
Whistler Blackcomb, he added, will likely combine the promotion with other deals, such as "learn to ski" offers, to entice families out on the slopes.
Whistler Olympic Park, run by Whistler Sport Legacies in the Callaghan Valley, is taking the deal one step further, offering the discount to everyone, not just B.C. residents.
"Whistler Olympic Park is celebrating B.C.'s first Family Day by participating in CWSAA's 50 per cent off ski and snowshoe day pass program because we believe it's a great opportunity to introduce new skiers to the lifelong sport of skiing or snowshoeing," said Lindsay Durno, Whistler Olympic Park director. "The 50 per cent off will be offered to everyone, not just B.C. residents."
The new Family Day long weekend is slated to be a boon for business in the province.
"We expect the addition of the Family Day holiday will boost the economy and the tourism industry in B.C.," said Pat Bell, minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation. "This new February holiday is an opportunity for British Columbians to share time with their families while supporting our local ski industry and hotel and food operators. And this is another indicator that 'Canada Starts Here: The B.C. Jobs Plan' is working in our province as we continue to create and support favourable conditions for our labour force."
The ski industry, through CWSAA, played a pivotal role in lobbying the provincial government to move Family Day to the second weekend in February, as opposed to the third weekend as originally intended.
That third weekend is already a stat holiday in the U.S. and other Canadian provinces and typically a very busy weekend in Whistler and other ski resorts.
After a public consultation period, the government switched the date.
"We are very excited to be able to celebrate the first B.C. Family Day by providing B.C. families with the opportunity to experience B.C. skiing at half the regular price," said David Lynn, CWSAA's president & CEO. "We hope that British Columbians take advantage of this fun and healthy way to enjoy the first B.C. Family Day."
Other B.C. resorts offering the half priced tickets on Feb. 11 include: Fernie, Kicking Horse, Manning Park Resort, Red Mountain and Sun Peaks.