Ski Canada - Alberta

Sunshine Village Resort Reviews

Ski Canada - Alberta

Sunshine Village Resort Reviews

Visitor reviews for Sunshine Village Ski Resort

Sunshine Village Ratings

Overall: 3.4. Based on 59 votes and 101 reviews. Vote

Access: 3.8

(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Sunshine Village.

Public Transport: 3.6

(1) There are no buses or taxis to Sunshine Village, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.

Scenery: 4.6

(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.

Accommodation: 3.5

(1) No places to stay in/near Sunshine Village, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.

Cheap Rooms: 2.8

(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.

Luxury Hotels: 3.9

(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Sunshine Village.

Ski in/Ski out: 3.5

(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.

Childcare: 3.6

(1) There are no child care facilities at Sunshine Village, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.

Snowsure: 4.5

(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Sunshine Village is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.

Snowmaking: 1.7

(1) Sunshine Village relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.

Snow Grooming: 3.9

(1) There are no snow groomers at Sunshine Village, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Sunshine Village are groomed daily.

Shelter: 3.3

(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Sunshine Village is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.

Nearby options: 3.1

(1) If snow conditions are poor at Sunshine Village, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.

Regional rating: 4.5

(1) Sunshine Village usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.

Lift Staff: 4.0

(1) The staff at Sunshine Village are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Sunshine Village are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.

Crowds/Queues: 3.7

(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.

Ski Schools: 4.0

(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.

Hire and Repairs: 4.1

(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.

Variety of pistes: 4.2

(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Sunshine Village has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.

Beginners: 4.0

(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.

Intermediates: 4.3

(1) No intermediate terrain at Sunshine Village, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.

Advanced: 4.0

(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.

Snow Park: 3.7

(1) Not even a kicker at Sunshine Village, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.

Off-piste: 4.0

(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.

Cross-country: 2.2

(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Sunshine Village, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.

Luge/Toboggan: 1.3

(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Sunshine Village has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.

Mountain Dining: 2.9

(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.

Eating: 3.2

(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.

Apres-Ski: 3.1

(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.

Other Sports: 2.0

(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.

Entertainment: 2.5

(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.

Winter Walks: 2.7

(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.

Ski Pass Value: 3.3

(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.

Value (National): 3.5

(1) Overall, Sunshine Village is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.

Value (Global): 3.5

(1) Overall, Sunshine Village is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.

Show all 35 ratings

March 03, 2011
from Ski Canada Canada
Sunshine has been my hill since I was a little kid, but now at the age of 45, I will not be renewing our seasons passes. While the snow is excellent, and the terrain is entertaining, the hill experience has grown steadily worse for several years. The staff, frankly, are treated like crap, and it shows in their demeanour and their attitudes. The owners treat the hill as a private fiefdom, and recently when a member of the owners family was caught skiing in out-of-bounds severe avalanche terrain, the ski patrollers who kicked him and his friends off the hill were fired. I strongly suggest to anyone considering a trip to sunshine that you boycott, and send the hill an email telling them of your decision. I will most likely be buying a pass at Kickinghorse resort instead. It's another 90 minutes down the road, but I simply will not support a hill that allows the owners family to endanger lives and flout rules that would have any of the rest of us banned from the slopes.
March 03, 2011
from Ski Canada Canada
The "junior patroller" was a mid-level employee with 3-4 years patrol experience. He was the patroller who first stopped Taylor Scurfield from taking his friends into an area that was closed due to shallow snow and natural hazards. He was fired by Ralph Scurfield personally even after providing a letter of apology for doing his job and being left to sweat for a few days. His ROE indicated he was "laid off" however he was replaced almost immediately by an inexperienced foreign worker employed on a temporary visa at a lower rate of pay who was working on trail crew. That action alone is illegal. Sunshine Village is not telling the real story here.
March 08, 2011
from Ski Canada Canada
Generally SSV (Sunshine Village) has good powder, however, with DD and WW closed, the terrain available is rather ho-hum.
March 15, 2011
from Ski United Kingdom United Kingdom
I love skiing in Canada but I've found this year's experience at Sunshine deeply disappointing. If I'd known I would have to walk across town to catch the ski bus I would have gone elsewhere. I've been tracking the snow safety/ski patrol debate with interest but the simple fact of the matter is that the best terrain at Sunshine is closed and doesn't look like opening this season. Lake Louise, whilst often having poorer, more weather affected snow, is a much better bet this season. Come on guys, stop treating your customers poorly. I hate the thought of going through US immigration but at this rate I'll be visiting Utah or Colorado before I come back to Banff.
March 26, 2011
from Ski Australia Australia
I think it's really funny that everyone was talking trash saying Sunshine wouldn't open the Dive or Wild West this season cause of the who ski patrol who ha. Funny that the Dive has been open for two weeks and Wild West has been open for nearly a week all without problem and all without the fired 4. There are very competent people in snow safety, ski patrol and operations new and old that remain at Sunshine. Why not show a little support for your local resort. Sunshine has amazing snow and great spring skiing. It should be about the sport not the drama.
April 10, 2011
from Ski Canada Canada
I am just one of many staff members working at Sunshine, and also one of many who is truly enjoying the experience. From day one, I've loved every moment from the amazing snow to the new and repeat guests and to my co-workers. The snow has been more than plentiful and with the Spring sun peaking around the corner these days, I have had some of my best days out here. The Dive AND Wild West are open (weather and avalanche conditions permitted) giving guests big smiles and positive reviews! If you're finding some terrain blues and not getting the thrill you are looking for, take the time to ask the staff on some insider hot spots. It's a shame that the ski patrol/SSV dispute has turned a lot of folks away from such beautiful mountains. I don't know the hard facts and personally avoid drama like the plague. I do, however, understand sticking to your beliefs of not supporting companies who don't treat their staff well. But when was the last time you bought something at Walmart or a box store in a mall? I'm sure you can google a few disputes there as I am sure some of their employees have had better employers. I have never once felt mistreated and disrespected. I love my job and plan on coming back next year, as I know others are as well! You may have been following the media over the past few months and have your mind jet set on "boycotting" Sunshine, but just think of this: there are approx 600-800 staff that still provide the best service they can for guests and love doing it! Is that not something to support? Also, avoiding Sunshine and putting a bad name to it puts a huge dent on Banff tourism, which already has been struggling. SSV is an asset to Banff Tourism and community, which needs the support of the Bow Valley citizens and visitors alike. sincerely, a proud staff member of Sunshine Village.
April 11, 2011
from Ski Canada Canada
While it is nothing short of amazing that the patrol managed to open the Dive and the WW without their fired co-workers, it is not a smooth operation at all this year. Differences riding freeride terrain between this years and years prior: Lack of confidence. They kept blowing up Delirium all year like we've never seen before, resulting in no snow on top 100m vertical of the ridge for most of the year. Delirium wasn't closed cause there was no snow, this was a huge snow year, but that's useless when you blow it all away after every storm, until we got to the good old stable spring snow pack. They are short staffed and opening steep terrain is delayed by days after every single storm and timing is completely unpredictable. The hotline is never updated early in the morning like it was years prior. Takes them hours each morning to get into steeps and scope them out. They are blowing the entire ridge line after every storm instead of having the confidence that it's stable. They are too short staffed to get to work on terrain on time, resulting in too much settling and consequently the avalanche running to ground when they do get to it (Milky Way and Cream). The only time Delirium is functioning normally this year is when its been a 10 days since the last storm and there is no avalanche danger cause it was shredded to pieces 5 days ago when it opened unexpectedly 5 days after the storm. SSV patrol did amazing work and they have my full support, but things are not as usual at SSV steeps. If you ride groomed runs, everything is fine. If you want to ride steep and deep, good luck with the terrain being open on the day that you arrive - not likely.
April 21, 2011
from Ski Canada Canada
Well it's quite obvious that SSV (Sunshine Village) has dispatched it's PR team to add some reviews on here. Let me address some of the issues as I have been a season pass holder for 4 years now. 1. Yes, they have been open for a bit now, but with the snow that SSV has gotten, how would they not be? It's actually quite sad it took them this long. And every time there is 10 cm of snow they obliterate the place by bombing. I have never heard so many charges being set off in the 7 years I have been at this place. It's quite obvious that things aren't the same without the fired staff. Last time I checked the phone was updated around 9:00-9:30, as the previous poster highlighted. Some of the people who rent beacons/shovels to ride this terrain are totally hooped by this. Unfortunately, I will be buying another season pass, as the the slack-country/out-of-bounds areas around SSV are truly epic. At least then I don't have to deal with all the drama and I can assess the conditions myself. [Editor's note: edited slightly for purpose of relevance]
May 05, 2011
from Ski Canada Canada
I think we've done a better job of updating the phone every morning for the last couple weeks. We now try to do it by 8:30 every morning and change it during the day if closures/openings change. We've also started a Twitter account so you can get updates on your phone. Follow us at ssvsnowsafety. Sorry for the late updates in the past and thanks for the feedback. We're on it now.
May 11, 2011
from Ski Canada Canada
Sunshine has the best spring skiing in the Rockies. Located only a few miles from Banff, Sunshine Village is beautiful. May 10th and I just skied powder. 3 Incredible mountains, my favorite is Goat's Eye. Daycare is excellent and my kids had fun. Delirium Dive is the most amazing run ever (need a peeps and shovel). I will be back for Slush Cup on May long weekend.