Advertisement

Holiday Mountain Resort set to reopen after drought-forced closure

New owners of Holiday Mountain Resort in southern Manitoba say they're aiming to reopen the slopes later this month. Previous owners had said drought conditions in the area this summer would mean the hill wouldn't open this season. Submitted/Renée Warkentin

It’s a holiday miracle for Manitoba skiers and snowboarders.

After extreme drought conditions forced Holiday Mountain Resort to announce a pre-emptive closure for this winter season earlier this year, a team of new owners now say they’ll be able to open the slopes after all.

Read more: Manitoba ski resort latest victim of extreme drought, cancelling winter season

Read next: Before and after satellite photos reveal devastation of Turkey earthquake

General manager Abe Sawatzky told Global News that crews are working hard to get the hill ready and hope to reopen Dec. 26.

“It’s an iconic place in Manitoba, a hidden gem, if you will, in the valley that doesn’t really feel like you’re here in Manitoba when you drive down there – it’s so beautiful,” Sawatzky said Sunday.

Click to play video: 'Manitoba ski resort cancelling winter season due to drought'
Manitoba ski resort cancelling winter season due to drought

“Winters can be long as it is and the kids need stuff to do. And we felt it was very important that we try and provide that opportunity for kids and for families of all ages.”

Story continues below advertisement

The resort — located near the community of La Riviere, southwest of Winnipeg — had said in August it wouldn’t be able to open this winter, citing “unprecedented drought conditions” that had dried up water supplies needed to make snow.

Read more: Coronavirus: How COVID-19 is impacting Manitoba ski slopes this winter

Read next: 2 kids killed, man charged with murder after bus crashes into Montreal-area daycare

Holiday Mountain was forced to close last winter too due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Sawatzky said the new owners, who took over operations earlier this month, had originally aimed to reopen next winter, but they expedited those plans after learning another popular nearby ski and snowboarding destination would not be opening this season.

“We just felt that it was extremely important that we put all the work in that we can to get it open this year,” he said.

Holiday Mountain Resort is located near the community of La Riviere, southwest of Winnipeg. Submitted/Renée Warkentin

Sawatzky said crews are currently focusing on getting the chairlift ready and snowmaking, a process he says has not been helped by warmer temperatures.

Story continues below advertisement

“That’s prohibiting us a little bit, but next week it’s supposed to cool up a bit and we’ll really focus hard on that again,” he said, adding that there are also small renovations, redecorating and painting happening at buildings around the resort.

Read more: Less snow, not as cold: Climatologist on Winnipeg’s upcoming winter

Read next: Prince Harry, Meghan to be deposed in Samantha Markle’s defamation lawsuit, judge says

“We’re pushing really hard, so we’ll see what we can do. We have a great team, a large team of people working there, and so we’re making great progress.

“We’re doing everything we can to open as soon as possible.”

— With files from Rosanna Hempel

Click to play video: 'New winter festival in the Exchange District'
New winter festival in the Exchange District

Sponsored content