Big White staff moves in

Big White is investing $10 million to expand staff housing.

This first of four new staff accommodation buildings was completed earlier this fall, and seasonal staff are now moving in, preparing for opening day of the ski and board season, which is just two weeks away.

The $3.5-million building opened up 48 more beds for on-mountain employees to offset the growing popularity of accommodation owners switching to nightly vacation rentals.

The four buildings will cost $10 million, adding 192 beds for Big White Ski Resort staff.

The resort already owns 30 units with 194 beds and leases two more with 12 beds.

The mountain employs 1,000 staff during the winter season.

“Our staff are our most valuable asset,” senior vice-president Michael J. Ballingall says. “With the economy booming and the introduction of Airbnb, normal seasonal rentals have turned into nightly rentals for the owners of individual accommodations. We … have worked as quickly as possible with developers, builders and the regional district to get these important staff beds built.”

The second through fourth buildings are in various stages of construction, with the roof being added to building two and first floor walls going up in building three. The foundation has been poured for building four, with the next steps being taken in the spring.

Each building contains five four-bedroom units, each with a common area and kitchen, in addition to four studios with washrooms and cooking facilities.

They form the beginning of a new subdivision in the Black Forest area of the mountain.

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