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Downhill Fun and More!

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The team at Mount Norquay has been busy glading more of its treed areas to offer a better tree skiing experience. Image courtesy of Mount Norquay.

Winter is upon us and what makes this frosty season a fun one for many is hitting the slopes. To make this happen, behind the scenes there has been a great deal of preparation on the part of the ski resorts.

“We are optimistic this will be a record-breaking season on all fronts,” says Laura Meggs, communications manager at Revelstoke Mountain Resort in Revelstoke, B.C.

“Our teams have been hard at work in preparation for the official opening of the season to ensure guests have the very best experience. As many other resorts, we are hopeful for an incredible snow season. But as you know, it’s a tough one to predict. We will leave that part of the equation up to the forecasters and Mother Nature. Revelstoke typically receives a lot of snow in December, which will help us set up for the core of our season in January through March.”

With 75 named runs, Revelstoke has an extensive network of newly enhanced progressive terrain, rolling groomers, perfectly spaced glades and four wide open bowls.

Resort lifts include two gondolas (the Revelation Gondola); three high-speed quad chairs (Stoke Chair, Ripper Chair and Stellar Chair); and two surface carpets (Lil’ Bit Carpet and Cupcake Carpet).

“We have a very strong line-up of events for guests to enjoy this season,” says Meggs. “For the second year in a row, we are thrilled to welcome back the Yeti Natural Selection Tour. Twenty-four of the world’s best free ride snowboarders will gather in Revelstoke from March 10 – 17 to compete for the YETI Natural Selection title!”

Along with the Yeti Natural Selection, the resort is offering numerous events for guests to enjoy such as the Alberta Beer Festival, Rail Jam series, Colour the Slopes, IFSA 2 and 4 Qualifier events, New Year’s Eve fireworks and more!

 

Winter Equals Canadian

Calling winter a part of who we are as Canadians, Kendra Scurfield, brand and communications manager at Sunshine Village Ski & Snowboard in Banff National Park, says with Canada’s immigration hitting all-time records, “We are excited for the opportunity to share our love of winter with all who choose to call and make Canada home.”

While a milder El Nino winter is in the forecast, Scurfield says regardless of the weather, she is expecting great days on the slopes for anyone new to the sport of skiing and those getting back to winter fun.

“If this winter is milder, there will be a lot of great opportunities to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. For families, we offer the perfect place to learn to ski and progress as our three mountains of terrain can grow up with you. I recommend booking a lesson with our ski school. We also offer great learn to ski programs that bundle lessons, rentals and lift tickets.”

Heading into the 2023/2024 ski and snowboard season, Scurfield says Sunshine Village is fully staffed with a waitlist on some positions (mostly lift operations).

“We hope to welcome a more diverse audience of thrill seekers to our slopes this winter. Last year, we saw a return of international guests to Banff. With our dollar remaining low, and the growth in multi-pass products like Mountain Collective Pass and ikon pass, we expect to see a strong continuation of American skiers and snowboarders skiing Canada this winter.”

The resort is also continuing to reduce its environmental footprint by leaning into mobile technologies. For example, guests can purchase super cards and lift tickets on the Sunshine Resort app and download them straight to their phones.

“It’s the goal of our organization to lead a resort worthy of its location in the Canadian Rockies, which is why we have committed to purchasing a brand new six-passenger heated luxury bubble chair,” she adds. “This will be a direct drive, state-of-the-art lift that will replace Angel Express, which was built in 1988.”

The modern lift will feature many extras and be more environmentally efficient using less energy. The lift will undergo construction this summer with an anticipated November 2024 first flight launch date.

Jasper Johnson, marketing, and communications manager at Mount Norquay in Banff, says the team has been busy glading more of its treed areas to offer a better tree skiing experience.

“Norquay is known as Banff’s Hometown Hill, so we have a large number of local visitors, but we get many ‘day trippers’ from Calgary as well. We work with SkiBig3, and then promote Norquay on a national basis, targeting visitors from the U.S., eastern Canada and across the world.”

He says they have a large number of people who visit the resort on a regular basis for some of the unique programs it offers such as snow school lessons, and the opportunity to enjoy the tubing lanes.

 

Fun Events

There are also several great upcoming events that will definitely be popular. For example, the Norquay Masters Racing is a Beer League Series where visitors and locals can experience the thrill of night skiing with friendly competition. This takes place on select Friday nights in January, February and March.

“You don’t need to be a pro racer to join,” says Johnson. “You just need to love having a blast! During each race, you’ll get to challenge yourself and others on the course, then celebrate your achievements with delicious food and drinks at the Lone Pine Pub with nightly prize giveaways.”

The Lifts of Love will take place on February 10, which is Norquay’s fresh take on speed dating.

“Participants will spend the evening meeting someone new on every chair,” smiles Johnson. “This is a super fun and casual event for anybody who loves to ski or snowboard, whether you are seeking a man or a woman as a short-term ski bud or potential lift-mate.”

Returning again is the Bruno Engler Race on April 6. Parents and children are encouraged to take part in the two-run event held on the same course. Both parent and child will compete as a team, with the fastest family being awarded the Berchtold Trophy.

And, if this isn’t enough, in recognition of Norquay’s approaching 100th anniversary in 2026, there is the Norquay 100 Vision which is aiming to create a flagship purposeful travel experience for everyone visiting Norquay by incorporating best-in-class sustainability, learning opportunities, wellness, extraordinary adventure and respect for residents and local communities.

 

Promotions Galore

All three resorts are offering great promotions in an effort to attract visitors throughout the ski season.

At Sunshine Village Ski & Snowboard, Kendra Scurfield says with the cost of living rising, the resort made the decision to protect the consumer price of its Sunshine super card.

“The Sunshine super card will remain priced at $99. For this price, guests receive their first, fourth and seventh day free plus daily discounts. As for special promotions, the resort is bringing back some of its most popular events including Santa Skis for Charity, in addition to new events such as the Very Merry Sunshine Market. We believe the mountains are for all and that you don’t need to be a good skier to get outside and enjoy.”

Jasper Johnson says Norquay has the longest tubing lanes in Alberta and will offer night skiing beginning on December 29 on Friday and Saturday nights.

“Additionally, we offer a Cool2Carpool series on January 10, February 7 and March 6. It’s a fantastic opportunity to split the cost of a lift ticket among family and friends when you share a ride. Whether you drive your own vehicle or hop on our free shuttle from Banff, you’ll be doing your wallet and the planet a favour by reducing your carbon footprint and saving on gas. Plus, you’ll have more fun with your friends and family as you split the cost of a lift ticket among all the passengers in your vehicle.”

At Revelstoke Mountain Resorts, Laura Meggs says visitors can expect the best deals of the season from early April through to mid-November, such as early bird deals on seasons passes as well as savings of up to 40 per cent off on lift passes, lodging, rentals and lessons.

“However, if visitors have missed these early season deals, they will still have access to discounted rates by planning in advance and booking online.”

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