New B.C. Family Day holiday seen as boon for Revelstoke winter tourism

Revelstoke tourism stakeholders applauded the B.C. government's plan to create a new family day in February, saying timing was key

Revelstoke tourism stakeholders are applauding the B.C. government’s plan to create a new ‘Family Day’ holiday in February, saying it will be a boon for winter tourism.

On May 28, Premier Christy Clark announced the provincial Family Day holiday will take place each year on the second Monday in February.

Clark promised the new holiday during her B.C. Liberal leadership campaign last year. It will join February holidays in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Prince Edward Island. “Creating a Family Day in B.C. was an important priority for me. Today, my government is following through on that commitment and I am proud and delighted to let families across B.C. know that our very first Family Day will be on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013,” Clark said in a statement.

An extra vacation in February bodes well for winter tourism in general, but choosing which weekend was key. Alberta’s Family Day is on the third Monday in February, as is President’s Day in the U.S., creating one of the busiest weekends of the year for Revelstoke Mountain Resort and local accommodation providers.

Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce executive director Judy Goodman said the local chamber lobbied minister of labour Margaret MacDiarmid for the second Monday to help alleviate the bottleneck of long lift lines and over-booked hotel rooms. “That’s what the majority of our members wanted,” Goodman said. “That’s good news for us.” She said the majority of businesses supported it, though a few had concerns.

Revelstoke Mountain Resort marketing manager Kevin Manuel said the resort was “extremely excited” about the opportunity. “Due to our close proximity to the Alberta border, both the town of Revelstoke and Revelstoke Mountain Resort are at full capacity over the Alberta Family Day Weekend. Having B.C. Family Day fall on the second weekend in February not only offers British Columbians the opportunity to experience Revelstoke’s attractions, but it also represents a significant economic opportunity for the community as a whole.” Manuel said the resort was already planning ski-and-stay packages for B.C. residents for the 2013 long weekend.

Revelstoke Accommodation Association executive director Thom Tischuk said the RAA had also lobbied for the date. “It only makes sense to spread out the visitor traffic in February and not disappoint skiers and snowmobilers wanting to come to Revelstoke because they cannot [get] accommodation,” he said. “The B.C. date will bode well for many of our Revelstoke businesses.”

Their sentiments were echoed by the ski industry as a whole. “The B.C. ski industry would like to thank the provincial government for how it has managed the Family Day consultation. We are very pleased with the outcome and we are confident that this decision will drive significant benefits for the tourism industry, the provincial economy and the people of British Columbia,” said David Lynn, president and CEO, Canada’s West Ski Areas Association.

On May 28, NDP MLAs supported B.C. Liberal members in the key legislature vote to approve the new statutory holiday.

The new holiday is not without its critics. Independent MLAs criticized the move and forced a standing vote, after listing the costs it would impose on business.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business estimates that Family Day will cost the average small business more than $1,100 in wage costs, either paying employees to stay home or overtime to come to work.

Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington reminded the legislature the new holiday is imposed on business after three increases in the minimum wage in the past year, an average $3,000 transition to the harmonized sales tax and soon a similar cost to switch back to the provincial sales tax next year.

~with notes from Tom Fletcher/Black Press

 

Just Posted

Expect delays on Highway 1 west of Golden due to vehicle fire

Expect delays while driving Highway 1 between Golden and Revelstoke. Drive BC… Continue reading

Source of Turtle Creek contamination identified

Revelstoke Mountain Resort made the repairs immediately

Highways, weather, avalanche conditons for Revelstoke area today

Information for if you plan to head outside today

Alleged robbery turned kidnapping prompted Kelowna police presence

RCMP allege it was a targeted crime believed to be linked to the drug trade

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Semi loses control on Highway 97A in Shuswap

Slippery roads contribute to crash of transport truck carrying tires

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Infighting at Kelowna Yacht Club makes it to court

Marc Whittemore, a local lawyer and prominent member of the club, filed a notice of civil claim Feb. 1

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Syrian refugee responds to racism in Canada

Guest columnist Mustafa Zaqrit

Most Read