Manitoba is in the midst of a bitter cold snap, so the end of winter might not seem like it’s coming any time soon, but the owner of a popular Manitoba attraction — finally given the green light by the province to open up — says he wants to make the most of the remaining season.
“We’d usually be open a month already, and now we’re opening kind of at the end of winter — even though it’s super cold right now, we only have a shelf-life of so many weekends, and we’re losing them fast,” Clint Masse of A Maze in Corn told 680 CJOB.
Masse said the St. Adolphe-area maze will be open to the public on Saturday, with limited capacity and enhanced safety protocols in place.
“Mask-wearing is mandatory, and we have limits on the snow maze, so we’re going to start counting people in and out of the maze… just give people lots of space,” said Masse.
“Because we’re so much larger than we’ve ever been, and the pathways are eight feet versus the six feet that we used to be, we just want to keep people safe and keep people apart.”
That’s right — the world record-setting snow maze is bigger this year. A lot bigger. Masse said he estimates the labyrinth — all 240 by 240 feet of it — to be 91 per cent bigger than it was last year, using between 750 and 800 semi trailers of snow to create a maze wider than a CFL football field.
But don’t worry — if you get lost in the maze, especially during the cold snap, there are ways to escape.
“Every 10 minutes of walking, you’re just going to stumble upon what we call an ‘easy exit,'” said Masse.
“It’s not the main exit, but you can get out. This year, we have a few lookout points. We have a bale pyramid that’s hidden in the maze, and it takes the pressure off as soon as you can climb up and see over the top.”
The maze will also feature a series of snow huts integrated within the pathways.
Recent months have been a frustrating time for Masse, whose business was forced to delay its opening due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said he’s been watching the regular news briefings with Manitoba’s chief public health officer Dr. Brent Roussin, and was ecstatic when he heard Roussin specifically mention the maze as an example of something that is allowed to open this weekend.
The province has loosened some pandemic restrictions as Manitoba’s case numbers continue to drop.
“Our numbers today are again trending in the right direction … this is all the result of the work of Manitobans,” Roussin said Monday.
“We can see that the restrictions that we have in place are quite tough … but they are working.”