December 1, 2016 9:22 pm

Okanagan ski hill opens after closure

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Ski hill openings are pretty normal at this time of year but Thursday’s opening at one Okanagan mountain is especially significant. After two and half seasons of being closed. Mt. Baldy near Oliver is finally opened.

“I’m speechless, big grin that’s all I can say,” skier Charles Wood said. “I am very happy to be here.”

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Other than a short and partial opening in 2015, the south Okanagan skil hill has been closed since 2013. The resort was owned by an American group but it had been struggling financially for some time. It went into receivership several years ago after the owners declared bankruptcy.

“It’s incredible,” Baldy Mountain Resort’s Managing Director Joey O’Brien said. “150 days ago we took this thing out of bankruptcy.”

O’Brien is part of a Calgary group that purchased the resort. He says the group has already spent a million dollars giving the resort a facelift.

“We have cleaned up a huge amount,” O’Brien said. “We spent gobs of money on all the lifts and the buildings. You would not believe how bad that building [day lodge] looked when we arrived, it belonged in a horror movie.”

The new owners are now breathing new life into the resort hoping to secure its future.

“We are spending the first two years stabilizing this business at a much higher user level than it ever had before.” Said O’Brien.

Part of the plan to attract more business includes keeping the resort open on weekdays unlike the past and offering deals like the one for seniors, who only pay $19 dollars for an entire season.

The ski hill celebrates its grand opening on Friday, Dec. 2 with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony and all kinds of activities.

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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