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Sudbury skiers will be able to hit the slopes at Adanac, Lively on Feb. 17

Shortened season means about five weeks of skiing, city says
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Adanac Ski Hill. (File)

 The provincial stay-at-home order is slated to be lifted for Greater Sudbury on Feb. 16, and those craving some outdoor activity will have at least one new outdoor option at their disposal.

On Feb. 12, the city posted to its website that Adanac and Lively ski hills would be open as of Feb. 17 for a shortened season. Adanac will open at noon that day, while Lively will open at 6 p.m.

The outlook for ski hills wasn’t good at council’s Jan. 26 meeting, when director of social services Tyler Campbell informed council that the city’s ski hills at Lively and Adanac had stopped making snow, and that ski hill staff had been redeployed elsewhere.

At the Feb. 9 council meeting, however, Ian Wood, the city’s director of Strategic Initiatives, Communications and Citizen Services, told councillors the hills would be permitted to open once Ontario returned to the regional pandemic framework on Feb. 16.

“Obviously with COVID-19 safety precautions in effect, but they will be permitted to operate in all of the coloured zones, so we know we’ll be able to operate ski hills as of next Tuesday and staff are preparing to implement that with as little delay as possible,” Wood said.

Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc raised a question about ski hill season pass holders, and if they were able to opt out of their passes given the abbreviated season.

“With the season pass holders, if they don’t want to go skiing are we refunding their money back to them, how are we dealing with that?” asked Leduc.

Jeff Pafford, the city’s director of leisure services, said the city has honoured requests for refunds from ski hill season pass holders throughout the course of the pandemic and will continue to do so.

“As soon as we’ve got our opening plans in place we’ll be communicating with our season pass holders and providing them with those options,” said Pafford.

Ward 6 Coun. Rene Lapierre inquired about the length of the ski season, given that in most years, Sudbury’s ski hills shut down by mid-March.

“Our ski hills usually close around the March Break, which is March 17, (except for this year; the break is delayed til April 12 due to the pandemic) … which gives us a season of maybe three weeks,” said Lapierre.

“Has staff assessed if there’s any actual financial value or just calling it a season because we’re so late and figuring out how we can transfer the passes to next year?” Lapierre asked.

Pafford said that staff is projecting a season end date of March 21 this year, allowing for an operating season of roughly five weeks.

“We have done a bit of a revenue and cost analysis for operating that five-week period and shared that with the executive leadership team,” said Pafford.

“I’ll just remind members of council that our municipal ski hills don’t operate at a surplus, they operate at a deficit and those were projections that we included as part of our 2021 operating budget as well.”

The city provided the following information on its website about the 2021 ski season:

  • Both Adanac and Lively Ski Hills will reopen to the public on Wednesday, February 17. Operations have been adapted in response to COVID-19.
  • Patrons must book their tickets before arriving at the hill, as day tickets will not be available onsite. Those with memberships or punch cards are also required to book ahead. Booking can be done online at www.greatersudbury.ca/leisure.
  • Anyone who experiences technical difficulties when booking can call the ski hill directly at 705-688-3969 for Adanac or 705-692-5030 for Lively. Phone-in customers should anticipate longer wait times for assistance due to high call volumes.
  • All patrons and staff must wear masks in all indoor spaces and face coverings while waiting in lift lines and when on the ski lifts.
  • All patrons and staff must maintain appropriate physical distancing as indicated on onsite signage.
  • The chalet will be available for washroom use only. There will be no food or beverages permitted in the chalet. Occupancy limits will be posted at the entrance of the chalet. If the chalet is at maximum capacity, you must not enter at that time.
  • At this time, only members of the same household are permitted to ride the chair lift together. Lift attendants will not allow or ask patrons to ride a chairlift with individuals they do not know.

For hill conditions at Adanac, click here, or for Lively, click here.