The last ride in history of the original Powder Chair, which served Big White for 39 years. -Image: Big White

Family Day move ‘disastrous,’ says B.C. ski hill

Family Day is on the move and it’s not something everyone is excited about

The NDP government’s decision to move the Family Day holiday to the third week of February will be a disaster both for the tourism industry and for British Columbians keen on spending time on the slopes over a long weekend, says the executive vice-president of Big White Ski Resort.

B.C. ski resorts are more popular than ever, said Michael J. Ballingall, and aligning B.C.’s family day with the rest of Canada’s simply means more competition for the finite number of rooms at the resort.

“All we’re doing is cramming everyone into one weekend,” said Ballingall. “So you’re just displacing people from B.C., with people who have already booked from America and Ontario.”

B.C. residents, he said, don’t usually plan trips until the fall, so they’re going to miss out on the Family Day vacations at local ski resorts until booking patterns change.

READ MORE: OFFICIAL MOVE TAKING PLACE

The second weekend of February, where Family Day has been thus far, will likely be less busy and that means fewer working opportunities for those who are employed at the resort.

In defending the holiday switch, 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.

Ballingall said that doesn’t ring true. Tourists tend not to drive B.C. highways in the dead of winter for a long weekend visit. They fly — and the flights available will be at a premium given the increase in competition to book.

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.

An order in council filed by the provincial government earlier this week, cemenring the move.

Related: BC Family Day a record breaker at Big White Ski Resort

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


@KelownaNewsKat
kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach society goes to bat for insect eaters

Two bat houses built to monitor population in Heritage Forest

Parksville reopens portion of wetland

City undertakes review, remediation of liability concerns

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

Vehicle knocks out Parksville power pole

Traffic single lane heading southbound

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

175 evacuation orders lifted as floods recede in Grand Forks

Officials hope to have all 3,000 people back in their homes by Monday night

B.C. Lions bring back 6-time all-star offensive lineman Jovan Olafioye

He was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes last year.

Whitecaps rally for 2-2 draw with FC Dallas

Vancouver climbed out of a two-nil hole to tie FC Dallas 2-2

B.C. VIEWS: Making sense of climate policy

Flood and fire predictions have poor track record so far

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Most Read