Skiers and boarders turned away at Castle Mountain Resort as new daily ticket cap instated

Skiers ride a lift at Castle Mountain Ski Resort in 2019. File Photo / Global News

Albertans will want to think twice before heading to the slopes without buying a ticket in advance.

Castle Mountain Resort, southwest of Lethbridge, has recently started putting a daily cap on their ticket sales in response to COVID-19 safety measures.

Cole Fawcett, sales and marketing manager at Castle Mountain Resort, says this decision was made proactively to ensure their ski hill can remain as safe as possible as the pandemic evolves, and works alongside their other measures.

Since putting the online system into place, people have already been turned away when trying to buy tickets upon arrival.

Read more: COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nakiska Ski Area west of Calgary

“That happened this morning,” Fawcett said on Monday. “It has happened now on three separate days at our resort.”

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The cap won’t impact season pass holders, those with pre-purchased loyalty cards and/or open-dated tickets. As well, kids five-and-under or seniors 75-and-over can enjoy the hill for free and don’t need to pre-register.

Fawcett adds the maximum amount of tickets sold changes on a daily basis, depending on a variety of factors, including weather and the expected number of pass-holder attendance. There is, however, a maximum capacity of 15 per cent in the indoor day-use area at any time.

“Our guests should be thinking about treating their vehicle as their day lodge,” he said. “If you want to take some pressure off our indoor spaces, we would be really grateful for that.”

Read more: Castle Mountain Resort preparing to open early December with COVID-19 precautions

Although there has been some push back surrounding the procedures at the resort, Fawcett says the addition of the daily cap will help keep the quality of the experience up to par.

“Part of the reason why we want to cap the number of people here is to minimize the inconvenience and the possibility of complaints amongst our guests,” he said. “We want to keep offering a high-quality family-friendly experience at the resort without sacrificing too many things.”

At this point in the season, Fawcett suggests looking to plan your ticket purchases at least 72-hours in advance.

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“We’re in a comfortable position where we’re selling out of tickets generally 24 to 48 hours in advance, so that should (have) people thinking about that three to five day window,” he said.

Tickets will become available approximately two weeks in advance, with the resort avoiding releasing slots too far in the future should any new COVID-19 restrictions come into play.

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