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‘Successful’ Family Day long weekend for Okanagan tourism sector

It was a busy weekend for tourism as many Okanagan residents and visitors celebrated Family Day across the Interior.

Hundreds of families took part in Kelowna’s family day event at MNP Place in the Lower Mission area. In the first half an hour of the event, the City of Kelowna says over 700 families came out to try different activities.

While outside of town, local ski hills welcomed hundreds of visitors over the weekend.

“This is a big weekend for us, certainly with Presidents Day weekend, having Americans up here is great. Also, the Family Day long weekend so the Canadians are out so it’s just really helpful that we did see the numbers that we saw,” said Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association CEO Ellen Walker-Matthews.

“Certainly, our local ski hills… Apex, Big White, Silver Star, Sun Peaks, all the ones in the in the majors in the region… I have heard very good feedback that there was great snow and great visitation on the hills.”

While local ski hills welcomed hundreds of visitors over the weekend.

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After a tough start to the ski season with little snow and extremely cold temperatures, Apex Mountain Resort’s general manager James Shalman says this was their busiest weekend so far this season.

“It was an absolutely fantastic long weekend exactly what we would have wanted or could have ordered if we could order anything. We had fresh snow. We had clear skies. Everybody was happy,” said Shalman.

“Lifts were busy, but it wasn’t crazy. The longest lift line we ever saw was 10 minutes or less and that was at a busy point. The mountain still holds volume really well. It’s just so big that people really spread out when you’re out skiing or snowboarding, and it doesn’t get very congested down at the bottom.”

And it wasn’t just local skiers on the slope, as Apex saw an influx of lower mainland travellers as well.

“Skiing is one of those sports you can do as a cohesive family unit where everyone can kind of enjoy it together and parents aren’t just watching the sport from the sidelines. It was a great activity for everyone to come out and enjoy for Family Day,” said Shalman.

“A lot of Vancouver people because just unfortunately the conditions down on the Coast are not so good and people realize that the Okanagan is a place to be for skiing. So, a lot of Vancouver and area people that were coming up from Vancouver Island as well. So, all in all a very successful weekend.”

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