Kimberley Alpine Resort will open for the season on Friday, December 14, 2012. This will be a full opening says Resorts of the Canadian Rockies VP Matt Mosteller, and a preview weekend prior to that date will be decided upon closer to the date. A preview weekend would mainly depend on snow conditions, Mosteller says, given that December 14 is earlier than previous years.
“We’ll announce a preview weekend if the snow is there,” Mosteller said. “Right now we are making sure that we’ve got everything ready. We’re continuing to keep undergrowth down on the runs so we can open with as little snow as possible.”
There were grooming changes last year, with some of the steeper runs being groomed.
“I think people saw positive changes with grooming last year and that will continue,” he said.
Mosteller also says snow making capabilities are being continually enhanced with new technology making it possible to make snow earlier in the season.
“There’s a newer nozzle technology on the snow guns which allows water to move through in a different way, that gives us an opportunity to make snow at warmer temperatures.
“That is a key thing. We’ve got an opening date we want to meet so we will do all we can to use the technology that allows us to make snow at warmer temperatures. We’ve been testing it. And you use less water, which means using less energy to produce a higher quality snow.”
Mosteller says locals will also appreciate the mobile site which allows people to cheque ski conditions on their phones
There are also enhancements indoors at various venues such as Montana’s restaurant and Trickle Creek Lodge.
One of the venues KAR will be promoting is the new Kimberley Conference and Athlete Training Centre.
“We want to try to build more business around the conference centre,” Mosteller said. “We want to create a destination wedding experience.”
And that doesn’t mean just spring and summer weddings, though the Resort did invest in an event tent large enough to host weddings outside in the Resort plaza and also did some improvements to Kootenay Haus at the top of the Quad Chair for those who want to be married on the mountain top.
“You can use the deck of Kootenay Haus, or the cross beams of the old T-bar for a spectacular backdrop for the bride and groom,” he said.
Mosteller is also interested in promoting winter weddings.
“Who gets married in the winter? Lots of people do and we can offer the whole package.”
The Resort will offer New Years Eve fireworks again this year, he said, which proved to be a big success last year, as well as the popular skating rink and fire pit. And visitors will be able to make Kimberley their home base but their lift tickets will be inter-changeable with Fernie Alpine Resort and Kicking Horse so guests can experience all of RCR’s resorts in the area.
“We are already seeing UK numbers increasing for Kimberley this year, so that’s a positive,” Mosteller said.
Finally, he added that RCR is supportive of any skiing event that could bring people to KAR including the bid for the 2015 World Para-Alpine Championships.
“We are hugely supportive of that bid,” Mosteller said. “Lloyd did a tremendous job putting the bid together and it would very important to the community to get it.”
A decision on that world championship bid is expected later this fall.
For more information on the coming season at Kimberley Alpine Resort see www.skikimberley.com