The number of skiers and snowboarders using the Fernie ski shuttle to get to Fernie Alpine Resort from town is down by 77 per cent this season. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Fernie Alpine Resort committed to staying open though to end of season: RCR

The resort has a closing date of April 11

A new raft of public health orders, and resort closures won’t affect the plans of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR), which has no plans to shut up shop at its three B.C. resorts just yet according to company executive, Matt Mosteller.

“Our goal is to continue providing the opportunity for our community to get outside and enjoy the natural and healthy benefits of skiing and riding weather permitting and as long as we have a safe environment to do so,” he said.

“It is vital to not let our guard down and for all to continue their efforts of social distancing, mask wearing and to be only with their approved Covid bubble as per health restrictions and guidelines.”

The closure date of RCR resorts would remain the same – with Fernie Alpine Resort scheduled to close on April 11.

“We extended the season to show our appreciation for our pass-holders who have and continue to do their part to stop the spread of this virus and so that they can enjoy some more mountain time, as the fresh air, exercise is badly needed during this time.

“The Griz responded with fresh snow and we would like to thank the Griz for that!”

A handful of resorts in B.C. have already closed early, with the first being Whistler Blackcomb, owned by Vail.

The Vail resort near Vancouver was ordered shut by the provincial government on Monday, with Vancouver Coastal Health having recorded a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the community. Year-to-date, there have been 1,120 cases recorded at Whistler.

The resort was ordered to shut for the three weeks that the new public health orders are in place which lift on April 19, but Vail announced shortly after the forced closure that it would not be re-opening in the 2020-2021 winter season.

Closer to East Kootenay, Revelstoke announced it was temporarily closing due to staff shortages, but plans changed quickly with resort management saying Revelstoke would instead be closing for the season, with eight days left on the calendar until its scheduled closure.

Big White, which has been the centre of COVID-19 attention through winter has also announced it will be closing six days early. According to reports, the resort has received a surge in inquiries about bookings following Monday’s public health orders.

Mosteller said that RCR’s COVID-safety plan was industry-leading.

“We are proud of our team for their commitment and effort in delivery of our industry leading Covid Safety plan developed in partnership with Canada West Ski Area Association, with guidance and direction of health authorities (local, regional and provincial) and for all the support and input provided by local health workers and work safe BC. This truly is a community wide effort. We thank the community for all their effort too, thank you City of Fernie, Tourism Fernie, Fernie residents and lastly the Fernie business community.”

READ MORE: FAR closing date pushed an extra week
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