Ski hills offer respite uring latest health restrictions

·2 min read

The recent restrictions imposed by the provincial government may have closed indoor arenas and recreational facilities but it has not affected those operations who host their sports outdoors.

Ski resorts in Ontario are open and operating for the season.

Last year, ski resorts were placed on the restricted activities list, forcing them to put a stop to all operations.

This happened right a peak season for Ontario winter resorts. The Ontario Ski Association lobbied the provincial government in a bid to allow the resorts to open, however they missed most of the season.

The resorts took a huge financial hit because of the shut-down. This year, ski hills were not placed under any operating restrictions under the new provincial shut-down rules. However, there are still plenty of minor restrictions when it comes to hitting the slopes.

Most notably, you must book lift tickets and rental equipment on-line before you show up at the resort for a day on the slopes.

There are also rules in place regarding who can go on a chairlift together. You must be in the same group to share a chairlift.

Face coverings are required for all visitors. There are also restrictions on indoor facilities like restaurants, so if you decide to go for the day, be prepared to spend all your time outdoors.

You most likely will not have an opportunity to step indoors and warm up.

The ski season has gotten off to a slow start this year. A lack of snowfall means many of resorts are operating only some of their runs. Other runs are closed.

As of January 7, the Hockley Valley Resort listed eight of their 16 runs as open, but had plenty of snow making machines on the go.

The colder recent temperatures means resorts have started snow making operations so hopefully they can produce a good solid base on the hills and get the rest of the runs open.

There are 59 ski resorts listed on the OSA website that feature both downhill and Nordic style skiing.

Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times

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