It’s been a moving target due to weather conditions, but Apex Mountain Resort west of Penticton officially opened for the 2017/18 ski season on Wednesday.
Three lifts and 10 runs are in operation.
“We’re opening for our first day of the season with our triple chair, magic carpet and T-bar,” said James Shalman, General Manager of Apex Mountain Resort.
It’s the first ski season under new ownership.
Ownership changed hands in May and the new group of investors said they’re making upgrades to the mountain village and the slopes.
“We think that we can be the leading boutique resort in the province,” said Michael Duggan, the new managing partner at Apex Mountain Resort.
Duggan is a ski and hospitality industry veteran with more than 30 years’ experience in the business.
He hinted at big plans for the resort’s future.
“We’re working with a new master development agreement with the Crown, trying to position and focus on what the village could be here in the very long term,” Duggan said on Wednesday.
He wouldn’t reveal the resort’s purchase price but said it’s in the multi-millions.
In the short-term, Duggan said skiers and boarders can expect new retail shops and restaurants to open in the mountain village.
The resort has also made improvements to the mountain by cutting a few new runs and improving snowmaking capabilities.
The mountain opened four days later than originally planned due to the weather, but Shalman said conditions are improving with a 72 centimetre snow base.
“70 centimetres at this time of year is actually great,” he said. “We’re very excited with our current snow base.”
Apex has already been open for early season training for freestyle and alpine athletes.
Shalman said the Canadian Olympic Freestyle Team will be using Apex as their exclusive training venue prior to the 2018 Olympics.
On Wednesday skiers and snowboarders were enthusiastic about the first runs of the year.
“My feet are sore, but other than that, it’s just so wonderful to be out,” said Anne Kellner.
I’m having a great time, it’s wonderful to be back on it,” added her husband Theo Kellner.
Apex Mountain Resort will be open for skiing and boarding from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm seven days a week starting Wednesday, Dec. 6 until April 2, 2018.