Chicopee Ski Hill opens to season ticket holders, opening to public Saturday
KITCHENER -- While season ticket holders at Chicopee Ski Hill in Kitchener were able to hit the slopes for the first time this winter, the general public won't have to wait much longer to join them.
Skiers were heading down the hills Friday morning and tell CTV News it was a perfect day to get out due to the sun and snow.
New safety measures have been put in place such as mandatory masks, distancing, and physical barriers to separate out lines.
On Saturday, the general public will be able to join the season ticket holders on the slopes, which will be a welcoming sight for Chicopee CEO Bill Creighton.
"This organization's been here for 86 years, the pandemic's not going to get rid of us," he said. "It will be a challenge, it'll take us a couple of years to recover, but we're going to be here."
Creighton adds that they'll be down $2.5 million in revenue for the year, but is confident those eager to enjoy winter activities will help bring some money in.
"This organization's been here for 86 years, a pandemic's not going to get rid of us," Creighton said. "It will be a challenge, it'll take us a couple of years to recover, but we're going to be here."
He says the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy program has helped cover at least 52 per cent of his staff wages, which has helped him bring back 90 per cent of the staff who were laid off.
Carolyn da Silva was one of 600 staff members who was laid off during the provincial lockdown.
"There was a bit of anxiety, not knowing if we had a season," she said. "I have three kids and they were all getting stir crazy as well."
Chicopee first cancelled field trips last February, which were followed by closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.