Over 150 folks from “Down Under” took over Prospera Place on Wednesday night to take part in a truly Canadian spectacle.
Big White sent 162 of their Australian guests to watch a good ol’ hockey game as the Kelowna Rockets took on the Everett Silvertips.
“It is an experience I would go back to anytime we were here,” said Cath Dunne. Who, along with her husband Mark and their two boys (17 and 14) are visiting the resort from Melbourne, Australia.
“The club was awesome. The commentator came over to us all last night with the mascot to have photos and got us involved. Really great experience with our two boys – they had a blast.”
Sending large group's of Aussies to a hockey game is an annual tradition for Big White's managers, who will send a total of 500 guests by the end of the season.
“In January, we have more visits from Australian and New Zealander skiers and snowboarders than any other time of the year,” says Rob Crichton, sales manager at Big White Ski Resort.
“It’s amazing that these guests – who have travelled half-way across the world to visit Canada – are able to take in what is a truly Canadian experience and then go home and share with their friends and their family.”
The relationship is mutual according to Anne-Marie Hamilton of the Kelowna Rockets, who says the foreign fans are some of the best to visit the arena all year.
“The groups that come down, the families, everybody loves it because they cheer loud and they make the games lots of fun,” she says.
“The players notice, as well – a lot of the times they’ll wear funny hats and sit close to the ice. And, a lot are repeat customers – they come back every time they come to Big White.”