Sunshine Village - The Early Days
Ralph Scurfield, John Scurfield and their brother Sergei Scurfield will commemorate their family’s 30th anniversary as proud owners of Sunshine Village in Banff, Alberta this year. The resort was purchased in 1981 by Ralph T. Scurfield and his three sons have carried on his legacy, constantly reinvesting money and resources into the mountain with an eye on maximizing the customer experience.
Ralph Scurfield, the eldest Scurfield son, is the current CEO and majority shareholder. As he pointed out in an interview with snowseekers.ca, the history of Sunshine Village is very rich and one that is intertwined with the history of Banff.
“The story about the history of this place is an exciting one,” said Ralph Scurfield.
For example, many people driving into the Banff National Park town site have likely wondered at the choice of iconic images. A weathered, heavily mustachioed man with a pipe dangling from his lips greets visitors with an intense gaze.
A curious choice for a welcome sign at first glance, but dig a little deeper and it makes perfect sense. Ebenezer “Wild Bill” Peyto was an eccentric mountain guide and outfitter who led some of the first visitors through the beautiful but often hostile Banff territory in the late 1800’s.
The Sunshine Village area was among those places explored in Banff, as Wild Bill’s knowledge of the mountain terrain and wildlife made him the preferred guide for mountain climbers looking to tackle Mt. Assiniboine.
By the 1920’s the Sunshine Meadows area had become a very popular camping site and was eventually dubbed “Teepee Town.” A rustic Lodge was built by CP rail later in the decade. Today the lodge is the oldest building at Sunshine Village housing both Mad Trapper’s Saloon and Bruno’s Bistro.
One hundred years on, Wild Bill’s old stomping grounds have retained their rugged beauty and wild nature, but the landscape has certainly changed.
“Over the decades Sunshine Village has transformed from a single tow-rope for winter sport enthusiasts to a world-class ski resort with a high-end gondola, 10 chairlifts, 107 runs and a luxurious ski-in/ski-out hotel,” said John Scurfield.