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

WHAT’S IN STORE: Producers getting into the holiday spirit

In business happenings, learn about Christmas efforts by two local wineries and a sausage producer.

Langley Advance What’s On: Dec. 13, 2018 edition

Submit Langley events: LangleyAdvance.com/add-event or news@langleyadvance.com (subject: What’s On).

VIDEO: Langley realtor builds holiday party for kids

Realtor Matthew Rufh hosted a gingerbread house-building party for the Langley Boys and Girls Club.

Giants defenceman Byram headed to NHL prospects game

The young player is following in the footsteps of former Giant Ty Ronning.

Throwback Thursday: Dec. 13, 2018

Can you help us caption this photo from Langley’s past.

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

Christmas fun at Aldergrove Library: VIDEO & PHOTOS

Youngsters enjoyed decorating a Christmas tree with their homemade craft decorations

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Kodiaks avenge themselves against Pilots: ACTION PHOTOS

Aldergrove and Abbotsford Junior B hockey teams tie game at 5-5

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

Most Read