Big White Ski Resort will open for season Friday, 60 years to day after resort's debut

Big White ready for skiers

After multiple delays, Big White Ski Resort is finally opening on Friday.

"I have some exciting news to share with you. Mother Nature was very kind to us over the last 24 hours and with over 20 cm of Okanagan powder we have enough base to now get a few lifts open and a selection of green and blue runs," says resort senior vice-president Michael J. Ballingall.

The resort was initially scheduled to open on Nov. 23, but that date has been pushed back several times already due to a lack of snow.

More details will be posted on Big White's website throughout the day today.

Ballingall says it is important for skiers to stay on the runs that are open.

Here's what you need to know:

  • The Ridge rocket, the Plaza chair, the Bullet Express and Lara’s gondola will open at 8:45 a.m. Friday, Dec. 8.
  • Ski school, rental shop, retail shops, Ridge Day Lodge, Happy Valley Day Lodge, The Woods restaurant, Clocktower Coffee Company and a variety of other on mountain restaurants and services will all be open to serve you.
  • All lift tickets will be 50% off until further notice.
  • Big White Ski Resort will be extending the season by one week, with the last day of operation now Sunday, April 14. Special promotions and activities will be announced at a later date.

"Please remind all skiers and snowboarders to stay on open runs only. Anyone ducking rope lines will have their pass immediately suspended. It is early season with marginal conditions. Please ski and ride with extreme caution," Ballingall says.

Dec. 8 marks the exact day Big White opened to skiers 60 years ago.

"The first day that the mountain ever opened was December 8, 1963," Ballingall said.

Despite the synchronicity, Ballingall said everyone is happy that the ski season won't be delayed any further.

"The cool thing is talking with the owner, let's just put another week on to the end. We're in the fun business, right? And we know that the climate is changing, and if we don't get it early, well, let's do it at the end. Because we always know we got tons of snow at the end. We just don't have people's interest," Ballingall said.

The resort will look at ways to plan promotions with barbecues and bands. "That's kind of my goal, is to figure that out in the next couple of weeks. But people can know now they can start making plans."

Ballingall expects those who cancelled their ski plans this weekend will be phoning to rebook. "Tickets right now are 50 per cent off, so it's really not even expensive."

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