Old man winter hasn’t made himself known in and around Lethbridge much this season.
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But according to Alpenland Ski and Cycle in Lethbridge, that hasn’t stopped those who love the snow from being prepared to hit the slopes.
“It has started to pickup,” co-owner Wes Heaton said. “Obviously when the snow comes, things start to get busy and it starts to feel like things will ramp up here.”
While Friday’s snowfall isn’t the first this winter, the Canada West Ski Areas Association is ready for the season ahead.
“Expectancy? Yes, it’s the beginning of the winter season, this is the most exciting time of year for ski areas,” said association president and CEO Chris Nicolson.
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“December is where most ski areas operate and the season ahead looks, from an operations perspective, looks very, very exciting and we’re also seeing that in the marketplace.”
That sentiment is echoed by the Ski Council of Canada, which predicts Canadians will race to the hills once the snow stays.
Paul Pinchbeck, president and CEO of the council, has been looking ahead and likes what he sees.
“This year, looking at travel stats, we have a strong number of Canadians willing to go into an overnight trip within their province,” he said. “And then of course we also have some, a really strong amount — 1 in 10, ten percent of the population — want to move from province to province so we’re very excited.”
With Castle Mountain reporting up to 40 centimetres of snow has fallen since Thursday, the wait won’t be long, and that’s music to retailers ears.
“We are very excited,” Heaton said. “Anytime there’s snow, it’s great advertising for us. I know everybody else hate snow, but in the ski industry, we love snow.”
For those who enjoyed the white stuff, Heaton had a simple reminder” “make sure your equipment is checked by a shop every year and get a helmet.”
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