History of Big White – Part I

Do you know the history of Big White Ski Resort? Have you ever wondered who discovered this mountain paradise and ultimately founded the resort it is today? I’ve collected some interesting facts and details while researching the history of Big White Ski Resort that I will share below in Part I of the series.

Cliff Serwa and Doug Mervyn opened the mountain in 1963 named Big White just outside of Kelowna with one Main T-bar, and it wasn’t until 1968 that the first accommodations, a few private chalets were constructed on the mountain. By the end of the 60’s there were 3 T-bars. Population in Kelowna at the time was 10,000.

The legendary Snow Ghosts were discovered in 1965 and are still a big hit with locals and tourists alike!


The 1970’s saw lift and trail structure growth with the ridge double chair being installed in 1971 and both the Easter Triple Chair and Powder Triple Chair installed in late 1970s. The accommodations also grew from just a couple private chalets to facilitates and condominiums.

The Schumann Family purchased Big White Ski Resort in 1985 with the goal to build a world-class ski resort. They were to focus of offering new skiing terrain, customer convenience and service while increasing capacity.

With the Schumann Family rapidly growing the resort, along came The Plaza chairlift, the first quad chairlift in BC, the lengthening of the Alpine T-bar, Cliff Platter, and the Ridge Rocket all constructed before 1990.



Joan Wolf

[email protected]
Office: 250-869-0101
Cell: 778-231-0308