The race is on to get lifts up and running in Alberta’s ski hills, with some set to open this weekend.
Matt Mosteller, senior vice president of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies that operates the Nakiska ski area, said the weather is creating an optimal start to the season, allowing the hill about an hour west of Calgary to open Saturday.
“Rarely do we have the combination of cold temperatures and natural snowfall. And this season is magical,” he said, adding that 10 inches of snowfall and colder temperatures in recent weeks will create a more durable surface on the slopes.
He said the ski hill will start with seven or eight runs at the top of the mountain, which will consist of only intermediate and expert terrain.
And next week there will be more slopes available for skiers, he said.
Calgary Eye Opener7:38Opening of ski slopes
“We’re still doing our snow dance. We call it thanking Mother Nature for the snowfall and it’s great. We’re lucky in Alberta to have a season where we can start earlier than most in North America,” he told Calgary Eye Opener.
In a social media post, Lake Louise Ski Resort said it would also open for the season on Friday.
🚨NEW OPENING DAY🚨 We open the season on November 3rd. Thank you to our hard-working staff who have been able to make this happen. Stay tuned to find out what to expect THIS Friday!
David Finch, a marketing professor at Mount Royal University, said Alberta’s 32 ski slopes are an important part of the province’s economy, contributing several billion dollars a year.
He said Alberta is a good place for ski enthusiasts. After skiing here, Finch said he immediately approached his boss about a transfer to Calgary from Ottawa.
“In the context of Calgary, we’re twice as likely to ski compared to most of the rest of the province and the country. So we’ve always been a magnet for skiers,” he said.
Calgary Eye Opener7:04Business report with David Finch
Andre Quenneville, general manager of Mt. Norquay Ski Resort, said it will open on schedule Friday. It is expected to see up to 1,000 people on the slopes.
Norquay will start with two lifts open, he said, and the rest of the lifts will open in the coming weeks.
“It’s the start of the season. People want to try out their gear and get the season started. So it’s definitely the enthusiasts that are coming out, and we’ll be ready for them.”
Banff’s Sunshine Village spokesperson said the operation is aiming to open Nov. 9, depending on snow.
The ski hill at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary is scheduled to open on November 24.