Central Alberta skiers and snowboarders only have a couple more days to hit the slopes at Canyon Ski Resort.
The resort, just east of Red Deer, will officially wrap up its season and close the hill Sunday at 5 p.m.
Robyn Martel, resort co-owner, said it was a successful season despite weather not always being co-operative.
“Central Alberta continues to support us immensely and we always have a great turnout for skiers, snowboarders and snow tubing.
“There was some extreme highs and extreme lows, but with our world class snow-making equipment and our top-notch grooming, it is less of a factor for us,” Martel said.
The total number of guests hasn’t been calculated yet, but Christmas numbers were down due to the extreme cold – temperatures dropped as low as -40 C on some days in late-December.
‘That’s normally our busy time,” she said. “But since the Family Day long weekend weather was more favourable. We definitely saw a lot more people than normal from that point on.”
The resort opened multiple new courses this season, which will be used for 2019 Canada Winter Games events.
“Cutting in four news runs … was definitely a perk to the hill and something everyone has enjoyed,” said Martel.
After successful Canada Winter Games test events, Canyon is ready for the games next year, Martel said.
“We’re really excited to move into the next season,” she said. “We’ve had feedback … from people from all over Canada who have raved about the hill, the courses and the test events they were a part of.”
Wedding season begins May long weekend, but there will be some work at the resort before then, said Martel.
“We always have a lot of work in the summer. Some people think in the off-season you wouldn’t do too much at a ski resort, but at Canyon the off-season is extremely busy,” she said.
A few small tweaks will be done on the new courses to make sure they’re completely ready for the games, Martel said.
An elevator will be installed in the lodge as well. The elevator will greatly benefit the Canada Association of Disabled Skiers, which has “a very strong program in Central Alberta,” said Martel.
“It’s exciting for us, as well as for the people involved with the Canada Winter Games,” she said.
The hill will close after the seventh annual Slush Cup Sunday, where participants ski or snowboard down a run into an icy pool of water.
“It brings the epic season to a close,” said Martel. “We dig a big 30-foot pool, fill it with slushy water and people attempt to skim across it in their best costumes in hopes of winning a season pass for next year.”
The Slush Cup goers from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The entry fee is $20, plus a lift ticket.
More information can be found at www.facebook.com/skicanyon.