Christmas has come early for Manning Park Resort, as increased snowfall this week has allowed the resort to open Friday.
It has been snowing all week at Manning: about 75 centimetres is on the hill now and more snow is forecast to fall today and tomorrow. The resort had to delay their scheduled Dec. 1 opening due to lack of snow and at the time asked fans of the ski hill to both snow dance and pray for powder.
“We’re still looking to keep building up the base. It’s still early season conditions so there will be some stuff poking out but it’ll be pretty good coverage,” said spokesperson Robyn Barker.
The hill will be open seven days a week from Friday onwards, and cross-country ski trails will be groomed seven days a week starting Friday. On opening day the Orange Chair, Handle Tow and T-Bar will be running, then the entire hill will open for the weekend.
It will be the last season of the Orange Chair, installed in 1970, as the resort plans to replace it with a four-person chairlift. The quad is one of several investments by the Demers family, who bought the resort in 2013, with a goal of improving the guest experience.
“It’s the beginning of the last season of the Orange Chair, which is a big thing for a lot of people I think. It’s a big thing for me. It’s been there for a long time and so many people have such good memories on it,” Barker said, adding plans are in the works to celebrate the Orange before it is replaced.
Snowshoe trails are ready to go as well, for those who prefer a walk rather than a ski through E.C. Manning Park. A new event for this year, a guided snowshoe fondue, is happening Saturday.
Barker reminds those coming up for the opening weekend to use winter tires and drive carefully in the snowy conditions.
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