SilverStar moves forward with resort association status

·2 min read

The community for SilverStar Mountain Resort is moving forward with its plan to become a resort association.

The designation—not to be confused with a resort municipality designation—will provide the community of about 1,000 homeowners more of a say in how money is spent in the community, according SilverStar realtor Don Kassa.

Kassa co-chairs the SilverStar Task Force, which initiated the process. He said things are moving forward, and that the next step will be to elect a board of directors.

There is already an 11-member board in place. Five of the positions will be elected in the near term, with the remaining positions to be elected in two years.

“The biggest benefit I would suggest is we have a cohesive body which now is mandated to negotiate with all levels of government for the betterment of the community,” he said, explaining the importance of the association.

Kassa added the association will have the ability to fund and apply for funding for projects that will support the development of the resort community. It will also be used to market the resort as a year-round destination.

Resort associations, such as Tourism Sun Peaks, collect a fee from property owners who use their property for rental, business or commercial purposes. The association will have access to the hotel tax as well as a fee, known as a resort management fee, paid by some homeowners in the area.

Gaining association status has been a long process for the task force, which is currently made up of individual property owners, businesses, hotels and the resort operator.

The Regional District of North Okanagan, which oversees the resort, had to agree to set it up, and then at least 50 per cent of the landowners within the resort association boundaries (representing 50 per cent of the property value) had to sign a petition in favour of it.

Kassa said that the group is happy with the level of services provided by the regional district.

“Many of the needs for services are being met very well currently,” said Kassa.

There has, however, been some opposition to the plan.

In an interview with CBC in March 2020, a homeowner said he worried that bookings would be centralized and homeowners would be forced to pay fees.

According to Kassa, there is no plan to centralize the reservation system, but under the new framework, all homeoneers will have to pay the resort management fee, which he said would be between $400 and $800 a year per home.

“The feeling of the current board was that if you are renting a property and making a substantial return on your property….then you should, in fact, be part and parcel of the cost to make that resort go forward.”

Joel Barde, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Sun Peaks Independent News Inc.