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Boler Mountain postponing season opening in response to Ontario lockdown

Little kid skiing .
Little kid skiing . AP Photo/Lisa Rathke

London skiers are going to have to wait to hit the slopes this year. Boler Mountain has announced that due to the provincewide shutdown, opening day will be delayed.

The mountain was initially supposed to open for skiers on Dec. 23. However, because it will have to close on Dec. 26, the team said it would “not be appropriate” to proceed as scheduled.

“We would like to recognize the hard work and effort our team has put in to be ready for this date. However, with the medical experts ordering ski hills closed, we want to do our part now in trying to return to a healthy Ontario,” a statement put out by the community centre read.

Read more: Coronavirus — London, Ont., businesses respond to COVID-19 lockdown

As part of the four-week provincewide shutdown, ski hills will not be allowed to operate.

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“We are anticipating that some reasonable conversations can be made and the people of Ontario will help to turn things around so we will be viewed like healthy outdoor actives l that are permitted now,” said Marty Thody, a manager at Boler Mountain.

Under the COVID-19 response framework in the grey zone, ski hills were included in the list of activities allowed to continue with some restrictions so Thody said it’s disappointing to now see it excluded during the lockdown.

Boler Mountain was initially planning to employ 400 people. Because of the lockdown, however, Thody said they have had to furlough the majority of their staff are now down to just 20 employees.

Read more: Coronavirus: vaccinations begin Wednesday in London, underway in Windsor

Thody said they ran the numbers and knew that there was no way they would be losing money this year but said they felt it was important to still open to give Londoners a safe outdoor activity.

“Whether it’s a 20-day season or a 70-day season, we will get our doors open and make sure we get our community out enjoying a healthy lifestyle.”

He said a number of health precautions will be taken when they do open like limiting the number of people allowed at one time and also cleaning supplies and masks for their employees.

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Those with season passes or prepaid lessons are being asked to be patient, and the company said refund guarantees will be extended.

Boler Mountain is just one of many local businesses having to shut down as part of the lockdown for at least four weeks.

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