Banff, Alberta, Canada Nov. 4--Sunshine Village ski resort in Canada is getting into the early ski season act with a big boost from Mother Nature. Over the weekend the Banff, Alberta resort received a little more than three feet of natural white to push up their projected opening date to Sunday Nov. 7.
"This will be our earliest opening in about fifteen years," said John Ross of Sunshine Village. "Last year we opened on Nov. 19, and it was our snowiest year in 29 years. So this year, we are cautiously optimistic."
Sunshine Village originally planned to open on Nov. 11. The early powder pound will allow them to open 30 percent of their terrain, served by four lifts: Strawberry chair, Standish chair, Wa Wa t-bar, and the gondola. They expect to follow suit by opening two high-speed quad chairs, Angel and Continental Divide, on Nov. 11, pushing the total terrain to 75 percent.
"This snowstorm kind of caught us by surprise," continued Ross. "We would be able to open with more terrain on Sunday (Nov. 7), but we are kind of understaffed this time of the season. So now we're digging out and getting the groomers up to prepare the top of the mountain."
Since Sunshine Village doesn't have any snowmaking guns, they rely on the whims of weather to bring the real stuff. They don't do too badly either, averaging 33 feet of snow annually.
Tickets for Sunshine Village's opening day will be, US $20 ($29 Canadian) for adults (ages 13 and over) and US $10 ($15 Canadian), for children (ages 12 and under). For more information call 1-87-SKI BANFF, or log onto their website at http://www.skibanff.com.