Huge winter snow celebrations honours the past, present & future of the snow resort
Kinosoo Ridge Snow Resort was the destination of choice this past Family Day weekend for SnöJuhla; a winter snow celebration honouring the 35th year of the snow resort. Jurgen Grau, manager of Kinosoo, has been with the hill with 20 of those 35 years and says he’s been with the hill so long because of the smiles.
“My favorite part of managing Kinosoo isn’t one particular event but more about the years of smiles. I also really enjoy the staff I have had the opportunity to work with. Crazy and passionate people. They keep me looking at things differently all the time,” Grau says he wanted to ensure all these elements, that make Kinosoo such a special place were brought together for SnöJuhla.
Adding music, with family fun and a little winter magic was the trick. “I had a concert goer mention to me that he had driven across the country to see some of the DJs we had lined up, just never thought he would see them in Cold Lake,” Grau was happy that the musicians drew in crowds that may not have experienced Kinosoo before. Juno nominated Coleman Hell played to an excited crowd on Saturday afternoon, that was pumped up by Lexi Strate opening the celebrations. On Sunday Neon Steve, the Funk Hunters and SkiiTour each took a turn turning the tables and spinning tracks.
Bringing a great party was just one element, says Grau, ” Food was great, music was great, kids were competing like Olympians….it’s fun seeing all the happy faces.” Throughout the weekend the hill hosted several races, including Ski Cross on Saturday, Rail Jam on Sunday and Snow Cross on the Family Day Monday, “for me watching the kids race on Monday was quite rewarding but there were a lot of special moments.”
In true Northern Alberta fashion, the weather loved playing tricks on the event, “though the weather gave us a run for our money it was par for the course, All 35 years of weather in one weekend. The event overall was a great success.” There was a few moments were it looked as though the Ice sculptures might not make it through the oddly warm February weather; but they did and they were fabulous.
The event made impressions on other prestigious resorts, explains Grau, “we had the Marketing Manager for Lake Louise visit our event this past weekend. He was blown away. The Chalet, the staff, the vibe, the event. He had visited a lot of small ski areas the past few weeks and he felt that we were achieving something special.” Grau says the Municipal District (MD) of Bonnyville has really supported the event and the resort, “The MD has allowed me enough latitude to head the facility into a direction where it can excel. Kinosoo Ridge of course is not a mountain resort but you can feel the pedigree.”
Along with the MD of Bonnyville, Grau says the event wouldn’t have been possible without a number of volunteers, ” I would like to thank all the volunteers including the Fire department and Rugby team. Also a special thank you to Jason Fournier for all is help and our staff who went way beyond the call of duty at times.” Further the success of the event came down to the generosity of the sponsors, including;
- MD of Bonnyville
- Canada 150
- Bumper to Bumper
- Mach1 Cycle and Sports
- Marriott Courtyard Cold Lake
- Imperial Oil
- Easy Rider
- Sundance Ski and Board
- Source Snowboards
- Performance ski and Snowboard
- Out of Bounds
- Snow Park Solutions
The event was to celebrate 35 years of Kinosoo Ridge… and although nothing has been confirmed, Grau agrees it has the makings of an annual event. For more videos & pictures of the event visit Lakeland Connect on Facebook.