While there's no snow on the ground yet, ski hills in the greater Ottawa-Gatineau area say season pass sales are selling quickly — or are already gone.
"Our season passes have been posted as 'sold out' since the first week of October," said Erin Boucher, assistant director of Camp Fortune in Chelsea, Que.
She says tickets were snatched up because skiing became so popular in 2020. With few other activities open to the public, Boucher said families turned to the slopes to get outdoors.
Last year Camp Fortune and others also needed to implement capacity limits, she said.
The surge in popularity also meant it was difficult to buy the already limited single-day lift tickets, possibly leading to an increase in sales for the season passes this year.
"Also maybe new habits, right? Maybe all the new skiers from last year really enjoyed skiing with their families and want to keep skiing, and we're grateful for that."
'People fell in love with skiing again'
If staff find pass holders aren't visiting as frequently as they're expected to, more Camp Fortune season passes could go up for sale, she said.
"So we do have quite a few disappointed people," Boucher said. "But unfortunately, this is sort of industry-wide right now. There's an awful lot of ski resorts who have posted 'sold out' and that's just because we have to manage on-site traffic."
The Ottawa Valley's Calabogie Peaks Resort says it's experiencing a typical sales year so far, while Mount Pakenham, located west of Ottawa, says it will be limiting its full season passes and daily lift tickets.
Mont Cascades Ski Resort's Luc Desormeaux said his staff is experiencing a similar run on passes as Camp Fortune, although they haven't sold out just yet. His team is anxiously waiting for a run of cold days to open up for the season.
"I think a lot of people fell in love with skiing again because we were one of the only activities open last winter," he said.