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Coronavirus: Dagmar Ski Resort impacted by COVID-19 lockdown

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WATCH: Despite ideal conditions, ski hills, like so many other things, have been forced to close. But Dagmar Ski Resort is trying to keep the slopes ready in hopes of salvaging the season. Aaron Streck reports – Jan 21, 2021

Despite ideal conditions, ski hills, like so many other things, have been forced to close.

But Dagmar Ski Resort is trying to keep the slopes ready in hopes of salvaging the season.

Typically, the slopes would be buzzing with activity.

“Our busiest times are Christmas and March Break,” said Galle.

“Last year we closed just before March Break, this year we closed Boxing Day.”

Read more: Lockdown putting pressure on Durham business owners

Galle says the hill usually averages about 65,000 visits a season and that recent weather conditions are going to waste.

“The conditions are incredible. We haven’t had a January thaw; we normally have rain,” said Galle.

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Galle says Dagmar opened later than usual to make sure they were following safety protocols, only to close six days later.

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“It’s not like a deep fryer at a restaurant; we can’t just shut it off. There’s a full infrastructure behind the system and if there’s any chance of reopening, we have to keep it up,” said Galle.

Galle says over a million dollars was invested into getting this season going, but instead, they were forced to lay off 250 people and call off 100 more that didn’t even start working yet.

He adds the lockdown will be felt for some time.

“We’re deferring passes to next year which will definitely affect the bottom line for next year because that income is now going to be non-existent, it came from this year,” said Galle.

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“If the ski hills weren’t closed right now we would have a family membership and we’d be on the slopes as well,” said Dave Barton, mayor of Uxbridge.

Barton says Dagmar helps bring tourists to the area and its closure has had a trickle-down affect.

“This is money that’s not flowing into our economy and it also means that people aren’t stopping for gas, and getting takeout on their way home,” said Barton.

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As for Galle, he says the resort has been flooded with calls and he’ll continue to groom away until the province tells him not to.

Dagmar Ski Resort was able to open for a handful of days this season, but like so many other hills in the province, they’re hoping to have skiers back on the slopes next month.

Click to play video 'Lockdown putting pressure on Durham business owners' Lockdown putting pressure on Durham business owners
Lockdown putting pressure on Durham business owners – Jan 18, 2021