For about 1,500 people, last weekend’s Canada Day celebrations included a pretty unique twist — skiing or snowboarding at Mount Washington Alpine Resort.
For the first time in resort history, Mount Washington opened for skiing and boarding last Friday, Saturday and Sunday — coinciding with the opening of the resort’s summer operations with the Mile High Chairlift Rides.
“We had more than 500 people per day,” said resort spokesperson Brent Curtain. “Considering the weather, which was inconsistent — we had a little bit of sunshine, a little bit of overcast, a little bit of rain … the hardcore skiers and boarders, they were loving it.”
Skiers and boarders shared the Eagle Express chairlift with people in sneakers and jeans who were riding the scenic Mile High Chairlift to the summit.
“It was definitely a unique situation,” said Curtain. “I think one of the most interesting things I heard from people, a positive for us, was people who are usually winter customers seeing the lodge in the summer. It was interesting to hear comments from people about how different the place is from winter to summer.”
Curtain also found it interesting to see how many people were taking pictures and posting them on Facebook to brag to friends and family in other parts of the country about skiing or boarding during the Canada Day weekend.
“It just goes to show you how special the Comox Valley is,” he said. “We’re in a unique area, and a lot of people were taking advantage of it last weekend.”
After a record-setting winter season, Mount Washington is turning its attention to summer.
The Mile High Chairlift Rides run daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the Bike Park is still on track to open July 15.
“I can confidently say the winter season is officially closed, and our focus is on the Bike Park,” laughed Curtain. “We will have some trails open (July 15). We don’t know how many this early on, but our crews are in there digging away.”
Mount Washington’s festival season kicks off this Friday with the new Suds and Scotch Festival. The festival, which replaces Beerfest, runs from 6-9 p.m. at the Raven Lodge.
Visit www.mountwashington.ca for information about resort events and activities.