From a happy opening day with fresh snow Friday to closing due to a fire in the lift hut atop the North Star Express Quad on Saturday, it was an odd opening weekend at the Kimberley Alpine Resort.
The resort was completely closed on Saturday and Sunday, the Easter chair and magic carpet, Tamarack chair, and Owl T bar were working and people were making the long trip to the Easter chair.
Matt Mosteller of Resorts of the Canadian Rockies made the following statement:
“It’s horrible, but we are moving forward to do everything possible to provide our community and our guests with a ski and snowboard experience. We would like to thank all of the local businesses, those who ski and ride with us, and all who sent in their care and support notes. We are proud of our team and its courage, resilience and positive progress. They are doing all they can. Please ask people to check our website and snow report for updates as we look to add winter experiences and activities during this holiday period. We’re also working on ways to improve the experience atop the Easter chair (i.e. ways to warm up if needed). We’re also looking for ways to add more experiences to the base area as well. We still have some great additional winter activities such as Fat Biking, Snowshoe Rental and Snowshoe Tours, Cross Country Ski Rental, Kids’ Ice Skating (stay tuned when opening in the base zone) to be offered as well.
“Kimberley has an unbelievably good spirit! We are grateful for all the support and joy. Our team is amazing here and they pivoted quickly to deliver a ski and ride experience. We move forward.
“The investigation is continuing by the fire department and the RCMP, and we are in talks with the elevator manufacturer to have this situation assessed. We have no response from the elevator manufacturer and given that it is the holidays it may be a bit longer until we have more definitive information and updates. So to sum up we are moving as positively as possible to provide a ski and riding experience, we are working to add additional vacation experiences both in the base area and on the mountain and we are proud of our team. and our community. “
Later Monday, KAR’s Ted Funston released this statement:
Update on the situation with the Northstar Quad Chair and our resort operations:
This is to confirm that at approximately 3 a.m. on Saturday, December 18, a fire broke out and destroyed the lift control building adjacent to the upper terminal of the North Star Express lift, the main lift in the front of the Kimberley Alpine Station. We are relieved to report that no one was injured in the blaze.
The Kimberley Fire Department and RCMP responded immediately and are actively investigating the cause of the fire. We help and support their investigation in any way we can.
As soon as the seriousness of the incident became clear, our thoughts immediately turned to all the families, children and other passionate skiers and riders we love who would lose access to the mountain via the Northstar Quad Chair until ‘so that we can fix it. again.
Our hearts go out also to all of those in Kimberley who make a living from tourism and the operation of the ski resort, including the owners of many of the town’s businesses and the wonderful staff who work there.
Thank you for all the kind words of support you provide and the offers of help that many businesses in the region have given us. We’ve seen so many examples over the past few days of why we all love Kimberley!
Please know that our main focus right now is to continue to give locals and visitors access to great skiing and horseback riding up there, and to make a visit to the resort as fun and enjoyable as possible. Here are some of the initiatives we currently have underway for the holidays:
– Offer a ski / snowboard snowmobile delivery service on Ridgeway Road for those who choose to walk all the way to the back
– Added night lights to the Owl T-bar so that the long tradition of night skiing in Kimberley can continue
– Search for an alternative location for the railway fleet, possibly in the base area
– Relaunch the Easter barbecue
– And provide the Kootenay Haus to give guests access to a cozy building without having to return to the base area – More events and activities in the base including the ice rink to create family fun
While this has been a huge blow to all of our staff, please know that we feel energetic and happy to do our best for you.
Our other main goal is of course to get the Quad chair back up and running as soon as possible. We are working hard to find all the parts we can around the world to try and replace what has been lost. We will keep you posted as soon as we have an idea of possible delays.
Thank you for all your support. Driving is really good up there due to the recent snow, there is a lot more snow in the forecast so we hope to see you on the mountain soon!
Ted Funston and the KAR team