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Ski shops, resorts in southern Alberta preparing for upcoming ski season

Last year was busy for ski shops like Alpenland in Lethbridge and resorts in southern Alberta, and pandemic demand is expected to remain high again this season.  Last year was busy for ski shops like Alpenland in Lethbridge and resorts in southern Alberta, and pandemic demand is expected to remain high again this season.
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LETHBRIDGE, Alta. -

It's not exactly winter yet, but excitement is building for the upcoming ski season.

Last year was busy for ski shops like Alpenland in Lethbridge and resorts in southern Alberta, and pandemic demand is expected to remain high again this season.                                                                                                    

“Today is a little snow, so I think people are going get excited about winter again. Once its heavy snow out there then people really start coming to shop,” said Joe Molina, the marketing and web manager at Alpenland.

Molina said as a result of the increase in people trying out winter activities last year, staff at Alpenland planned ahead and ordered large quantities of stock, which has already begun to run low.

“We’re really heavy on cross country ordering this year, and despite that we are still starting to see low levels of inventory already and we're (only in) mid-November,” said Molina.

The current storms and flooding happening in the B.C. interior are causing a shipping delay of certain products that are coming from the west coast by truck, according to Molina.

“The important thing is going to be getting it while you can to get the gear you want while we have the inventory,” said Molina.

Last year was busy for ski shops like Alpenland in Lethbridge and resorts in southern Alberta, and pandemic demand is expected to remain high again this season.

RESORTS READY TO WELCOME VISITORS

It isn’t just ski shops preparing for the upcoming season. Ski resorts across southern Alberta say they are excited to welcome people back on the slopes soon. Castle Mountain Resort spent the off season injecting in about $1.5 million on upgrades and infrastructure. 

“We’ve put in a new water storage reservoir, added a new pump which helps us get water up the hill more quickly and make snow more efficiently and greater quantities. We’ve also put in 1.1 km of underground snow making infrastructure, that’s the pipes, the electrical, up a portion of the north road,” said , Cole Fawcettsales and marketing manager at Castle Mountain Resort.

A second pandemic ski season also comes with a few changes including the limiting of daily ticket sales and the Restriction Exemption Program with vaccine requirements in place for access to the day lodge and T-Bar.                                                                                    

“Guests do not need to be vaccinated to enjoy a day of skiing, but some of the elements may not be available to them,” added Fawcett.

Castle Mountain is scheduled to open on Dec. 3, Fernie alpine resort is set to open on Dec. 4, with Pass Powderkeg in Blairmore still undecided.

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