(File photo)

What to expect skiing this year at Apex Mountain Resort

General manager expects skiing and boarding to be popular among locals this year

Apex Mountain Resort is anticipating a big season ahead.

The mountain is currently scheduled to open Dec. 5 for the 2020/21 season but that is subject to change depending on weather.

The resort’s general manager, James Shalman expects the 2020/21 season to offer a welcome respite for skiers and snowboarders after the mountain was forced to close early in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, there will be new coronavirus precautions in place this year.

On the mountain things will look more or less the same as in past years. Indoor spaces like the cafeteria and bar will all require physical distancing, have capacity limits and face coverings will be mandatory — but there is no need to bust out the surgical masks.

A regular ski mask will work just fine as long as it is covering your nose and mouth.

Shalman is expecting another great year in terms of snow quality. The mountain has purchased multiple new snow making guns and the long-term forecast is predicting a cold winter with plenty of precipitation.

“Things are actually looking really good up here, we’ve got everything on track,” said Shalman.

Like many businesses, Apex has been hit hard financially by the coronavirus pandemic. Shutting down early resulted in a “significant” loss of income and the new measure in place for the upcoming season are also expected to result in lost revenue, explained Shalman.

“By the time you add up all those losses it’s quite a large hit for us but that’s just what COVID has done,” Shalman said. “Apex isn’t here for a season or two. We’ve been here for 55 years and plan on being here for a long time to come so we’re just sucking it up like a lot of businesses have had to do.”

Shalman expects Apex to have more of a “locals only” feel this winter as people will not likely be able to travel abroad for their winter vacations.

“Assuming you can’t spend vacation money on a tropical vacation people will likely be spending it locally and skiing and boarding is a pretty good winter investment for fun,” said Shalman.

Early bird season passes are on sale until Oct. 4. An early bird adult pass costs $789 if purchased before the Oct. 4 deadline. Passes purchased after the deadline cost $1,199.

If you had an Apex Mountain Resort Season Pass for the 2019/20 season the mountain is offering a 10 per cent discount towards your purchase of a 2020/21 season Pass. The offer is to make up for the early closure as a result of COVID-19.

READ MORE: Whistler Blackcomb to require reservations, face coverings for 2020/21 season

READ MORE: Special air quality statement in effect for Okanagan Valley



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

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