Big White Ski Resort taking firm stand on mandatory mask rule

3 pass holders get suspended

Sarita Patel

Big White Ski Resort is taking a firm stand on its mandatory mask policy this year. 

Last weekend, three season pass holders who refused to follow the hill's mask policy saw their passes suspended. 

“Ninety-nine per cent of them — great. That one percent … seems like we were chasing people around the mountain all day long," said Michael J. Ballingall, senior vice president of Big White Ski Resort. 

He says staff safety is a priority during the pandemic, and at times, staff need to get close to patrons. He used an example of loading lifts, or for when somebody falls off a chair and needs help getting up. 

The mask policy is pretty cut and dry, Ballingall said. If you refuse to wear one, you can't ski at Big White. They will suspend passes if necessary, like they did over the weekend.

“You have to have a mask, there is no grey area here. You cannot load the lift if you’re not wearing a mask properly and you have to have a mask on when you’re unloading the lift as well.”

“That’s not our rules we’re just abiding by the law and some people because it’s out of town and up in the mountains they don’t think anyone’s watching — well we’re watching.”

Monday saw the resort open for day-pass visitors. Ballingall said things ran smoothly with about 1,000 skiers and boarders cooperative and thankful for all the safety measures. 

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