Skiers and snowboarders could be seen flying down the hill at WinSport in Calgary on Friday as the inner-city ski hill opened for the 2019-2020 season.
“It’s relieving to be back in my happy place,” Noah Smuszko said.
Calgary has experienced some inconsistent weather the past few weeks which meant snowmakers were active and crews were working round the clock to get the runs ready.
“No major issues — the snow’s a little bit softer during the day and maybe will freeze up a little bit at night but we’re grooming every single night so we’re fluffing it up so it’s ready for the next morning,” lead snowmaker Ian Newcombe said.
This season was supposed to be a big one for WinSport and the city, before plans for the X Games to come to town were quashed following the provincial budget.
Officials with WinSport, while disappointed, are not letting the offseason news get them down.
WinSport got $1.5 million to help with funding for the X Games which the facility says won’t be going to waste.
“It’s used toward facilities here, regardless of the X Games, we’re still able to use it,” spokesperson Dale Oviatt said. “So we have used that part towards the slopestyle course that you’ll see upcoming in the World Cup in February.”
That World Cup is one of a handful of events officials hope will bring people to the hill despite the X Games cancellation.
Season passes had a slight increase ahead of the start of the season, WinSport said, with senior and adult passes seeing a five per cent hike, while youth passes went up 10 per cent.