Book a snowy staycation in the Penticton area this winter

Book a snowy staycation

"Four seasons of fun" is a collaboration between Castanet and Travel Penticton showcasing what Penticton has to offer all year round. Watch for it every Monday morning.

Many Pentictonites already know this tip: when the winter cloud cover rolls in over the city, getting above it to sunny and bright blue skies is often only a half-hour drive up a mountain.

Snow may not yet be on the valley floor, but glance up towards Apex Mountain to the west or look up above the village of Naramata to the east, and glittery white terrain will begin to beckon you towards skiing, snowshoeing, skating, and more.

On track for a Dec. 11 opening, Apex Mountain Resort is in full on prep mode according to general manager James Shalman.

“We’re off to a great start. The snow we have right now is really good for packing and we’ve had fantastic days for snow making,” says James, noting that the lifts will be back at full capacity this season, having been reduced last year to accommodate health orders.

Teams from around the world have already descended upon Apex for moguls training, and several of the mountain’s hospitality businesses are gearing up for service. The Edge Bistro is now open, and the famed Gunbarrel Saloon opens Dec. 3. Seasons pass holders can take advantage of half-price food during the restaurant’s opening weekend.

The skating loop and ice rink at Apex are aiming for Dec. 15 to open.

Over at Chute Lake Lodge, plans are underway for its new ice rink; in theory you’ll be able to skate above Penticton on both side of the valley.

General manager Patrick Braspenning says the sauna is being refreshed, a bathhouse is also in the works, and Chute Lake is beginning to look “like a winter wonderland.”

Given its close proximity to local beverage producers, the Lodge is beginning to offer culinary packages. Enjoy a multi-course dinner paired with a winery, cidery, or distillery. Make it a staycation with accommodation packages and outdoor adventures explore nature right outside your door.

Nickel Plate Nordic Centre may not have a spot for skates, but they’ve been grooming daily since the end of October and have officially opened for the season.

“Winter has arrived here! We’ve got beautiful blue skies and a wicked ski school ready to go,” says general manager Tricia Wilson, adding that there is no need for “rock skis” on the trails, a testament to the quality of the trails.

Nickel Plate has “rocketed into the 21st century,” she laughs. Everything, including the Recreation Masters program (now offered Wednesdays and Sundays), equipment rentals, and passes can be booked and purchased online as they’ve gone cashless.

Instructors are all certified by the Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors, so if you need a tune up for your technique or are a first-timer, they’re ready for you.

After your mountain adventure, if you need a bit of recovery, consider a staycation back on the valley floor, gazing at Okanagan Lake.

The Penticton Lakeside Resort will pamper you with its Health and Wellness package, and you’ll then be ready to go back out into nature this winter for the Resort’s Snowshoe Adventure or Winter Getaway package.

Learn more at www.visitpenticton.com and on social @visitpenticton

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