Playtime at Apex Mountain Resort is about to start.
With Apex Mountain Resort opening to the public on Dec. 6, manager James Shalman waited for mother nature to help him with the white stuff. He got what he wanted with snowfall Tuesday night bringing the mountain 40 centimeters for nearly 16 inches of new powder.
Shalman said that everything has been great in getting ready for a new season and last weekend, they opened up for training with teams coming from Canada, the U.S., Japan and Australia. The resort is able to help out the national teams thanks to its snow making machines and cold temperatures.
“We had a Warren Miller ski movie in Penticton Thursday night (Nov.20), that got everybody excited,” said Shalman. “Everyone is excited for winter. People are excited to get back on their skis and snowboards.”
Shalman added that skiing is one of the few sports that people can do in a social environment. With it being a smaller resort, he said that works to their advantage.
“You get to see so many people so many times throughout the day,” he said. “I just really enjoy everyone coming up and enjoying our small community that we have. Enjoying the village atmosphere, the skating rink, the skating loop, tubing. All the extra stuff. Everyone loves winter, they embrace it.”
Season passes are selling on par to last season, which pleases Shalman. Apex Mountain Resort is always trying to bring tourists with campaigns across Canada and the U.S. They recently attended a Seattle ski show and were in Wenatchee, Wash. They also market online in Australia and New Zealand, as well as Europe and the United Kingdom.
The majority of people who support the mountain are locals, while 20 per cent of their customers come from within a four to five hour drive and the other 20 per cent from further destinations. Shalman hopes with the new direct flight with WestJet connecting Penticton to Calgary that that will attract more people.
“I’m looking forward to another fantastic season,” said Shalman.