It has been quite a ski season for the Kimberley Alpine Resort, and its sister resorts in Fernie and Golden, dealing not only with COVID-19. In Kimberley there was also the additional hiccup of the main lift being down for over week in January.
Matt Mosteller, Senior Vice President – Resort Experience with the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR), KAR’s parent company, agrees, saying the season has been weird, overwhelming, and crazy at times, but that there has been a lot of support from everyone as well.
“It has been a very different ski season for sure. Very proud of our teams in the community of Fernie, Kimberley and Golden, as they worked very hard in concert with Canada West Ski Area Association to develop our Ski Area Covid Safety and Operational plans which were tested during summer operations and with on-going input by Interior Health and various other government entities, like WorkSafeBC. Our continued priority and focus is to do everything we can to create a safe skiing environment, and protect our communities.”
Mosteller says that skiing and snowboarding offer a low risk opportunity to get outside, and get badly needed physical activity in winter but most importantly there is the health benefit for your mind being outside during this time of forced isolation.
Resorts are operating on different protocols this season, and there was a lot of work done prior to the resorts opening on developing a comprehensive plan for everyone’s safety.
“We want to thank everyone for wearing their masks. Not only is it up to us but there is a duty of care that each and every skier and snowboarder must do to keep this ski season safe, continue to ski only in your approved bubble, wash your hands and continue to practice social distancing during your day on the mountain.
“We are fortunate for all essential workers – at every turn in our communities- from post office, delivery, grocery, and so many more. We are grateful for incredible care from all health care team members and service providers, who are on the front lines dealing with this virus and giving their all to assist and care for people.
“We also want to thank all of the businesses in our local communities and region for doing their part. This has not been easy and it is great to see everyone working together to make sure we have the safest community experience possible. Huge effort of support from the local Chamber of Commerce, Destination Marketing Organizations (like Tourism Kimberley, Tourism Fernie, Tourism Golden, Kootenay Rockies and Destination BC) and the municipal support from City of Fernie, City of Kimberley and Golden. Special thank you to the Mayors of each of these communities for all of their support for the care and well-being of our communities.”
Mosteller also said that RCR supports ever health and travel advisory that the health authorities have put in place and advise everyone to heed and follow all travel advisories that are in place.
“We also recognize that in many of the communities that are near the Alberta border, we have our friends, neighbors and family who have been sheltering here, living here, many since March, and others have had to provide a place to stay for family members who have experienced hardship during Covid and have no other place to go. It is not about the license plate, it is the responsibility of each of us to do our part to stop the spread.
“We believe that continued priority is on-going education and one example is our continued effort to share ‘Know Before you Go ‘, so people who are considering going skiing know what is expected of them before they visit their local ski area. All details are posted on the ski area website. Most importantly it is time to ski local, to only ski with your bubble, wear your mask (always and everywhere), wash your hands, and practice social distancing.
“Also vital is to be respectful, understand that many are going through challenging times now, so be patient and caring.”