A new tube park has opened just west of Brandon.
Tubin’ at Grand Valley Park owners Jordan Ross and his wife, Katherine Jeroski, have been working to get the tube park open for several years.
They run the small campground located at Grand Valley Provincial Park in the summer and have been looking for a way to grow into year-round operations, he said. The campground has had a lease on the land located in the park for five years — in that time, they have seen a growing number of people coming out to explore the area.
Winter is a great time to investigate the park, and Ross hopes the new tube park will help people find a new way to discover adventures at Grand Valley.
They have spent time touring tube parks around Manitoba and thought it would be the perfect winter activity for Brandon.
“We had actually built a test track over the years and found it was a lot of fun,” Ross said. “It’s a great time with the family.”
The tube park gained ground when an opportunity to purchase equipment in Winnipeg became available.
Ross said tubing can be accessed by plenty of people and does not require the same skills sports like skiing or snowboarding do.
Tubin’ at Grand Valley Park is located at the former waterslide park and follows the same path as the waterslides.
“A lot of people have a lot of fond memories of the park out here being a former waterslide,” Ross said. “Some people that we’ve had out here already were reminiscing about the good old days at the waterslides.”
If the park can attract a small fraction of the guests who used to visit the waterslides, they will consider the season a success, Ross said.
Before the opening, they completed many test runs and trials with friends to ensure they were ready to welcome the public. Ross said the Grand Valley team is grateful because everything went as planned during their grand opening on Thursday.
Ross added they had a lot of fun welcoming visitors to check out the new park. It was great to see many families out for the day and the amazing weather helped everyone enjoy the hill.
The tube park was forced to close Friday due to the extreme weather in the Westman area, including high-speed winds.
“We know going into Manitoba winters, we are going to have some cancellations. [Friday] was one of those days where we made the call with the weather. The wind was just too strong.”
The park currently has two tube lanes available for visitors, but they are planning on adding a third lane when the region gets more snow.
To get up the hill, users have access to a handle-tow lift. The tubes have a lanyard attached that can be hooked to the lift so they can be pulled uphill.
“You just have to sit there and ride up.”
He noted visits to the park must be booked in advance online based on available timeslots. The hill is running at a reduced capacity that allows for 40 people at a time during two-hour time slots.
“We’re nice and close to town, so actually two hours seems to be working out quite well. Once you get going up and down, you get quite a few runs in,” Ross said. “We also want to keep our capacity low too, just to avoid any long waits in lines.”
Tubin’ at Grand Valley Park has a snowmaker to help maintain the track for users and a tractor is used to groom the runs. No trees were required to be removed in the creation of the tube park.
Ross said they will see how the rest of the winter season rolls out as they find their footing — the ultimate hope is Mother Nature plays along and provides a plethora of snow.
“We’re hoping to introduce it to a lot of families that haven’t tried winter tubing. Being this close to town, it’s a great recreation option for families.”
For more information on Tubin’ at Grand Valley Park, visit grandvalleypark.com/tubin.
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Chelsea Kemp, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brandon Sun