One Okanagan ski hill remains open despite COVID-19 protocols - InfoNews

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One Okanagan ski hill remains open despite COVID-19 protocols

Baldy Mountain Resort near Oliver is one of four small ski hills still operating in the B.C. interior.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Baldy Mountain Resort Facebook page
March 19, 2020 - 6:30 PM

A small community-based Okanagan ski resort continues to welcome skiers to its slopes as it keeps a close eye on COVID-19 guidelines.

Baldy Mountain Resort Operations Manager Caroline Sherrer says the resort is in constant communication with the Canada West Ski Area Association, the provincial health authority and other operating ski hills in the province as they continue operations on the ski hill east of Oliver.

“We’ll stay open only as long as there is community support. We are only open because we are trying to offer a way for people to get outside and have some activity,” she said today, March 19.

The resort has eliminated the bar, cut cafe seating to 50 seats and is actively discouraging use of the dining area.

“We’ve been encouraging takeout, brown bagging and eating in their cars, and asking people to keep their distance from each other. That’s what has been happening. It seems people are being respectful of social distancing,” she says.

Sherrer says small community resorts such as Baldy Mountain are able to control use of their lodge, and use local employees, where the province’s larger ski areas are destination resorts with a high percentage of foreign workers.

“The main concern over those areas shutting down was to stop people from travelling, and their staff had to go home. That’s what affected them,” she says.

Sherrer says the resort is seeing roughly average turnouts of skiers, most of whom are regulars from the Oliver area.

Sherrer says other small B.C. resorts still operating include Mount Timothy at Lac La Hache, Troll Ski Resort in Quesnel, and Hudson Bay Mountain in Smithers.

“We are all communicating with each other how to best provide a community service of this nature, within guidelines. I updated provincial authorities yesterday, and they supported our efforts to eliminate any kind of indoor food service, as well as giving them an update on our cleaning procedures,” she says.

Sherrer says the resort hopes to continue operating until March 29, but realizes things are changing pretty fast.

“We’re aiming for March 29. If we close any time before that due to an escalation in virus concerns, it will pretty much be last minute,” she says.

Baldy Ski Resort is open today through Monday, March 23, closed Tuesday and Wednesday, March 24 and 25, with its last day of operation on March 29.

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