After three challenging years, Kimberley Alpine Resort’s 2022/23 season has been a huge success and came to an end with a bang this past weekend with a Spring Splash and Dummy Downhill for the books.
“It’s been an excellent year,” said KAR manager Ted Funston on the Sunday of Dummy Downhill. “It feels great to be back on track after a few challenging years, with COVID and then with the arson last year.
After two years of navigating the COVID pandemic, the resort’s main chairlift was taken out of commission by an arsonist on opening day of last year’s ski season. Funston and the team at KAR, as well as the tourism and business industry and the community at large were all heavily impacted by this, but showed tremendous resiliency to make it through.
This year will be remembered not only as a return to form, but for the amazing snow conditions skiers and snowboarders here in Kimberley enjoyed throughout the season.
“The snow has been excellent all winter right up until now, so the skiing has been great all year,” Funston said. “And not to compare to other resort towns or other ski resorts, but Kimberley has been in the zone this year.
“We’ve been getting snow that other areas of the province have not necessarily been getting and I feel we deserve it as a community, after a couple of challenging years.”
Funston said the resort has received a lot of positive feedback from people riding at the resort this year, with people “voting with their presence.” He added he’s noticed a lot of new people in Kimberley as well, young people and active retirees have been showing up and enjoying the powder skiing and big events in the Plaza.
It was a busy year for the resort and the tourism industry in Kimberley by extension, capped off with one of the biggest Spring Splash parties KAR has ever hosted.
“This is just a great way to end the season: a big fun community party with BC/DC here and it was such a good vibe here yesterday, it was awesome,” Funston said.
Hundreds of people packed the Plaza and the chairlifts for one final winter weekend, enjoying watching people sail across, or splash into the pond, taking in some epic music, laughing at the Dummy Downhill and enjoying each other’s company.
As Funston reflected on the season, he said another high point of it was all the ski racing put on by Dreadnaught Ski Racing, thanks to the efforts of Donna Briggs and Lloyd Steeves and their team of volunteers.
“They put on some major, major events, which are great for the whole community because they bring a lot of people here, some for the first time, and they get to see Kimberley in a good light with this high-level racing,” Funston said.
Funston also extended his gratitude to the entire staff at KAR who have had to work through some challenging circumstances these past years.
“It’s been a great crew this year, they’ve got a great attitude, they’ve worked really hard to make it happen for everybody up here. “It was great to get back on track this year.”
The season was capped off with a huge party with music from the legendary BC/DC and local favourites Alderbash, but the resort has hosted music at the Stemwinder throughout the entire season, bringing in musicians from abroad and also giving a great platform to numerous local artists.
“That’s what we like to be all about, people coming here for great skiing and riding and for good times at the resort, which we’ve seen a lot of this year.”
Looking ahead after this banner year, Funston said the future is bright and he can’t wait to continue to strive to give people access to this great mountain and great snow.
“It seems that good things come out of bad sometimes,” Funston said. “The fact that we won the Best Small Town in B.C. and then we followed up with having one of the best ski seasons with regards to the snow and the fun people have had, and so I love when we live up to our name as one of the best places to be.”