The slopes and lifts of Mount Timothy, which will require the use of face masks this year. (Photo submitted)

Mount Timothy ski hill set to open season on Dec. 18

Preparations are just about done and a COVID-19 safety plan is in place.

Mount Timothy is on track to tentatively open on Dec. 18 for its 2020/2021 season, as long as Mother Nature continues to cooperate and no further lockdown measures are put in place.

The resort’s new assistant general manager Launna Bell said preparations are just about done and a COVID-19 safety plan is in place. Masks will be mandatory in the lounge and on the lift, Bell said, adding they’re asking people to be courteous and follow the guidelines.

“We just want everyone to come out and enjoy the season, we want people to enjoy the winter and get out of their homes,” Bell said.

READ MORE: New owners resurrect Mt. Timothy ski hill

Bell, who has 10 years of experience working in local resorts and was Mount Timothy’s kitchen manager last year, said she was approached by Mount Timothy’s owners about joining them, which she readily accepted. She views her new role as a great opportunity. Having lived in Lac La Hache for 22 years to be closer to her parents, Bell said she loves everything about the Cariboo, which has so much to offer from snowmobiling to skiing, camping to fishing all “available right as your doorstep.”

“We have a great team here so far and we’ve done some hiring for the upcoming season and I think we’re going to have an amazing group of employees this year,” Bell said. “I love a challenge, every day there’s always a little something that comes up and I love working with the public.”

The greatest challenge in being in management so far has been dealing with COVID-19 and the restrictions it’s brought, Bell said, as it includes a whole new element to running a ski resort in B.C. this year. There are unique challenges that require creativity and hard work to overcome, Bell said.

As far as new improvements to the hill goes, Bell said they have one new cabin open and ready to be booked by visitors, with more to come in the future. There are two new lift operator shacks on the hill as well, while they plan to have their new day lodge open at the foot of the hill.

This new day lodge will be part of their new COVID-19 safeguards, as guest services, ticket sales, ski patrol and the warm-up room will all be housed within it. Meanwhile, at the top of Mount Timothy, Bell said their upper lodge will be designated for the restaurant with a 70-person seating capacity. While they’ve halved seating and rearranged it to give diners six feet of distance, Bell said they’re still encouraging people to bring their own lunch and eat in their cars if possible.

“Because of limited capacity, having the two buildings available we’re just able to accommodate more people to come inside and take advantage of getting warm,” Bell said.

Ideally, if they’re not season pass holders, Bell said they aim to have people come in, purchase their tickets and get right on the lifts and hit the slopes. Meanwhile, inside they will have barriers in place, will be installing plexiglass within the next week and will have floor markers to help keep social distancing.

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