Thompson, Okanagan mountain resorts sell out season bike passes within hours | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Thompson, Okanagan mountain resorts sell out season bike passes within hours

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Big White
May 04, 2021 - 6:30 PM

Local mountain resorts are looking ahead to a busy bike season, with season passes selling out within hours.

Yesterday, SilverStar Mountain Resort sold out their downhill season passes within two hours. Sun Peaks followed suit and had all season passes sold within two-and-a-half hours today, May 4.

SilverStar anticipated quick sales, but the turnout was much greater than they imagined.

"After being cooped up this winter, everyone wants to get outside, and there's a lot more families and females getting into downhill biking," Chantelle Deacon, media relations manager at Silverstar Resort, said.

The season passes at each mountain are dedicated largely to riders who plan to use the chair lifts, and while both resorts are working on adding more trails to cater to a wide range of skill levels, there are cross country trails available too.

"The sport is really evolving and becoming more accessible. I find the building has been really great on the flow trails. Some of the same (downhill) trails can be ridden at full speed by pro riders or more slowly by beginner riders on their first day," said Rob McCloskie, director of marketing at Sun Peaks Resort.

Neither SilverStar nor Sun Peaks plan to place restrictions on cross country passes because social distancing guidelines are largely related to time spent on chair lifts.

In order to keep up with current social distancing guidelines and health restrictions, season passes were limited and, like the last ski season, day passes will have to be booked ahead of time.

Season passes at Big White, however, will only become available on June 1.

Michael Ballingall, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Big White, says he feels no rush as the season won't start until July 1, weather permitting, and there is still plenty of snow on the mountain.

But that doesn't mean they aren't planning at Big White.

This year, Ballingall said they have invested in new machinery to dig snow out of forested trails. While mountain resorts are largely at the mercy of Mother Nature, it's important for trail crews to get a head start on trail maintenance before the lifts start moving.

Big White is coming up on its fourth bike season and now has 25 trails on their summer trail map.

Ballingall says there will be cross country trails in the future, but that it will take time because new trails can cost up to $300 per metre.

Health restrictions are expected to be largely similar to the recent ski season. Visitors remove their masks while they ride or eat, but while on the lift, in the lines or walking among the village, they will still be required.

Visitors should also plan to book their passes ahead of time, because there's no guarantee a lift pass will be available if a rider arrives at the ticket booth unprepared.

— This story was corrected at 11:11 a.m., May 5, 2021. Chantelle Deacon's first name was spelled incorrectly.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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