By Carlie Connolly
Cold weather and snow gear can be put into motion soon for the exciting opening of ski and snowboard season. Hidden Valley Ski Resort will be opening its hills for the public on Nov. 29 for a soft start on weekends only. This will be good for everyone to get warmed up for the full everyday opening in December.
Kevin Fisher, the general manager of the Cypress Hills ski slope said that this year, Hidden Valley is off to a good start. He said they were a little late at first due to a beautiful warm fall, but was off to snow-making come Remembrance Day.
“We’re about a third of the way done with our snow-making but we’ll see how the weather goes,” he said.
Last year, the hill had 4.1 million gallons converted into snow, whereas this year, they are looking at 4.2 million. He said that’s only 100,000 gallons difference, so it’s around the same spot. The hills are currently down now due to the burst of warmer weather Medicine Hat has seen in the recent week, but as soon as it hits zero, off they go. Fisher said it starts to become cost effective at around minus five, so anything warmer, they tend not to make snow, only if they have to.
Last year, Hidden Valley was opened a week later than it is this year as they just didn’t have the staff in place.
“Its always nice to get open early,” he said. “”I think we’re off to a good start.”
Each year, they see around 35,000 attend the slopes, the busiest being at Christmas time. After the holidays, Fisher said they go into a different kind of operation, like school programs. Three times a week, various schools will come on trips, and January and February see tons of families and kids on the weekends.
Fisher said, Hidden Valley is always tuning its programs, as it’s a very program driven business.
“We are a learn to ski facility so we are always trying to make newer and better programs.”
The fun bus provides transportation with multiple stops through Medicine Hat, generally for young people to come out for the day.