| Home | Carreer/Jobs | 2024-07-02

New Staff Accommodation at Big White Ski Resort

A Step Towards Modernization and Sustainability

As part of its unwavering commitment to modernization and futureproofing, Big White Ski Resort is set to complete the construction of new staff accommodation buildings in the Black Forest subdivision by this upcoming winter season.

This significant project aims to provide 128 new beds, increasing the total capacity to 605 beds for its seasonal staff by fall, featuring state-of-the-art facilities to meet the growing demand for staff housing. By eliminating constraints on bed availability, these new accommodations mark a major milestone. Strategically located within a short walk to both the main village and Happy Valley, this initiative underscores Big White's dedication to fostering a positive, safe, and friendly environment for both staff and guests.

Addressing the Need for Staff Housing and Community Resources

The construction of these new accommodations arises from a pressing need to ensure sufficient housing for resort staff. Historically, many housing options available to staff have been reabsorbed by the market, creating a competitive environment for this essential resource. By building its own housing, Big White can guarantee that its workforce has access to secure and convenient living spaces, enabling the resort to maintain the high level of service required to deliver memorable experiences for guests. Moreover, these new accommodations will allow the resort to support other sectors of the Okanagan. Recognizing the potential need for emergency services to access housing in unique circumstances, Big White’s expanded accommodation options will provide a vital resource for the region. As a BC Hotel Association partner, the resort also plays an important role in helping Emergency Support Services responders secure suitable accommodations for evacuees, as demonstrated during the 2023 wildfires.

Cost and Phasing of the Project

The new accommodation project, estimated to cost $13.5 million for two buildings, is part of the broader Black Forest staff building project completed for the 2018/19 season. The project is ambitious, with site preparation and foundation construction beginning in the fall of 2023 and an aim to complete the buildings before the 2024/25 ski season.

Design and Features

The design of the new multi-phase buildings is based on the resort’s existing staff accommodations and includes several innovative enhancements. The living room and kitchen areas have been enlarged to provide more comfort and convenience. The kitchens are equipped with additional appliances to facilitate easier meal preparation. Each building will feature eight suites, with each suite housing four bedrooms designed to accommodate two staff members per bedroom. This setup provides 128 new beds, significantly expanding Big White’s capacity to house staff.

Construction Partners and Unique Location

Hugh Bitz, the visionary behind the architectural design of this project, has also designed the existing Black Forest staff buildings, the Black Forest Day Lodge, and the Central Reservations building, which opened in 2023. The construction of these new buildings is being undertaken by West Bay Construction, with site servicing provided by Double T Dirtworx. A unique aspect of this project is its prime location. Unlike many resorts that place staff housing on the outskirts, Big White's new accommodations are centrally located within the resort. This strategic positioning not only makes it convenient for staff to access the resort’s facilities, but also fosters a strong sense of community.

By ensuring that staff have access to high-quality, convenient housing, Big White is enhancing its operational efficiency and reinforcing its commitment to creating a positive and sustainable environment for future operations.

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