Kinosoo Ridge will be open this winter with new rules and restrictions in place in order to conform to AHS regulations.
According to Reeve Greg Sawchuk the decision didn’t come lightly for council.
“This was another tough call to make, because we have to abide by the public health rules that the province puts down,” he said on Thursday’s The Morning After.
“You’re limited for your gatherings like with people inside, there’s lots of concerns around food service and handling of personal items, rental equipment like skis and helmets, these are all things that need to be considered by Kinosoo staff.”
Sawchuk said that the M.D. had been working throughout the summer on how they could have the facility open for the season, often observing the situations in Australia and mountain parks around Canada to help put together plans.
“The big question for council was what’s this going to cost us,” said Sawchuk. “We’ve already heard that schools aren’t planning to do field trips, which is a great source of revenue for the ridge.
“With the decision to open, there are going to be some restrictions that deviate from the norm, but the experience as far as skiing and tubing are going to stay the same. Where you’ll see changes is in how rentals and the cafeteria are handled.
“We’ve talked about maybe having table servers versus the cafeteria set-up that’s the norm, and maybe having service to people in the cars if they wanted to eat together as a group.”
Finding employees has been another issue facing the M.D. due to CERB payments.
“It’s hard to convince people to drive out to a remote location and work in the cold when the other option is to be at home and collect a monthly cheque,” said Sawchuk.
Administration has also been looking into possible federal and provincial grants to help offset the expected $320,000 loss of revenue and expenses for the 2020-2021 season due to the global pandemic.
There is no date yet for when the hill will open, which was forced to close on March 16.