North Bay skiers will be top of mind when Laurentian Ski Hill reopens.
Mike King, general manager of Laurentian, says as northern Ontario reopens two weeks before the rest of the province, his team will be on the lookout for southerners coming to ski for the day.
“The City of North Bay has to be our number one priority,” King said.
King says he and his staff are fairly familiar with the regular skiers in the area and plan to ask strangers for ID if they don’t recognize them. Proof of residence will also be requested when purchasing an all-day pass.
“Is it 100 percent foolproof? No, of course not. But we have got to do our due diligence and try to do the best that we can to keep everyone safe,” King explained.
Laurentian’s beginner hills were opened for just a few days before the province-wide shutdown was announced. King says losing out on the Christmas season was a tough financial loss, but hopes a “significant lift” in purchased season passes will make up for it.
“I think we’re in pretty good shape and I think it’s a great opportunity for people to get outdoors and work on their mental and physical health,” he said.
When the ski hill opens, it will be set up in a way that allows for health protocols to be followed. King says ticket purchases and warming areas will be set up outdoors to limit the number of people inside.
As per provincial guidelines for ski hills, face masks must be worn while waiting in line for and riding the chairlifts.
When the rest of the province’s shutdown is over, King says he will be happy to welcome everyone to the hill.
“We would love to have our wonderful guests from southern Ontario in,” he assured.
The ski hill plans to reopen to the public on January 11.