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

Port McNeill Cannabis Committee stumbles out of the gate

“I’m worried we could just be all over the map and I need to see a plan.”

Port Alice’s new RCMP officers going through clearance process

The medical process can take several months to complete as there are several steps involved.

East Zeballos placed under evacuation alert as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

BC Wildfire Service says rolling debris on steep terrain poses danger to firefighters

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Port Hardy Fire Rescue knocks down wildland fire

PHFR members responded to the scene, located the fire, and contained it to the immediate area.

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Authorities mull evacuation order for Zeballos

Smoke billowed from the steep hillsides of Zeballos on Friday evening, as… Continue reading

Safeway union urges prejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Most Read