Big Ben Ski Resort in Cornwall is lively

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Cornwall Ski Resort is currently catching up to its short 2020-21 season.

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Despite mild temperatures, Big Ben is open to the public, and now welcomes skiers and snowboarders. Last season, various closures related to the pandemic saw the hill austere and unused for long periods of time. Fortunately, this has yet to be the case during its 2021-22 operations.

“It’s one of the best seasons I’ve personally seen, in terms of numbers,” said Brett Lauzon, Big Ben’s COO. “There’s not much people can do right now, so they come out of their homes and come spend time here with the family. “

Private lessons, which can accommodate up to three people, fill up quickly. The courses cover basic skills, for beginner skiers and snowboarders, up to intermediate skills, for more advanced athletes. Group lessons do not take place due to social distancing rules.

“We keep it to a minimum, but we can help the kids (advanced level) learn to jump. It’s about (learning) how to do everything safely, so when they go to a bigger hill, there’s nothing that they haven’t seen; they are ready to do anything, because of Big Ben, ”said Lauzon.

There are a few exciting new additions to the hill this season, complementing the snow cannons capable of blowing snow in warmer climates, which were added last year.

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  3. Theo Manson uses the pulley to climb to the top of Big Ben Ski Hill followed by Sophie Morrizzi, Max Morrizzii and Campbell Manson.  The municipality-funded ski resort opened for its first day of operation on Thursday, January 3, 2019 in Cornwall, Ontario.  Alan S. Hale / Cornwall Standard-Freeholder / Postmedia Network

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The Menard family are enjoying the time after skiing at the new outdoor foyer at Big Ben <a class=Ski Resort on Wednesday, December 29, 2021 in Cornwall, Ontario. Shawna O’Neill / Cornwall Standard-Freeholder / Postmedia Network” class=”embedded-image__image lazyload” src=”https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/nexus/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/co.1230-co-bigben-2.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288″ srcset=”https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/nexus/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/co.1230-co-bigben-2.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288, https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/nexus/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/co.1230-co-bigben-2.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=576 2x” height=”750″ loading=”lazy” width=”1000″/>
The Menard family are enjoying the time after skiing at the new outdoor foyer at Big Ben Ski Resort on Wednesday, December 29, 2021 in Cornwall, Ontario. Shawna O’Neill / Cornwall Standard-Freeholder / Postmedia Network Photo by Shawna O’Neill /Shawna O’Neill / Standard-Freeholder

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A 55-by-85-foot ice rink is in place and is flooded near the base of the hill. A new sitting area, with Adirondack chairs and a fireplace, has been added on site for a place to rest and warm up. A storage container for the fireplace and chairs can also be admired as it is decorated with a mural created by @behold_by_naomi on Instagram. A new “black diamond” track has also been created.

“We cut the left side of Big Ben, now the kids can go even higher and enjoy it. They’ve always done it (in a sneaky way) for years, but now they’re really allowed to do it, ”Lauzon said with a chuckle.

Lauzon, who oversees the hill with the help of his family and volunteers, hopes to host a snowboard competition at Big Ben on February 19, while awaiting guidelines related to the pandemic.

He expressed his gratitude to the city’s parks and recreation department, as well as to Paris Holdings, for their help. Lauzon also noted that various panels have been added to commemorate Gary Woods, who previously held his post, for all of his dedication and accomplishments.

It was a busy day at the Big Ben Ski Resort with clear skies on Wednesday December 29, 2021 in Cornwall, Ontario.  Shawna O'Neill / Cornwall Standard-Freeholder / Postmedia Network
It was a busy day at the Big Ben Ski Resort with clear skies on Wednesday December 29, 2021 in Cornwall, Ontario. Shawna O’Neill / Cornwall Standard-Freeholder / Postmedia Network Photo by Shawna O’Neill /Shawna O’Neill / Standard-Freeholder

“There are generations of families here and it’s so cool to see,” he said, encouraging locals to come and try skiing.

Rentals are not offered at the hill, however various local retailers do sell the necessary equipment.

To learn more about the schedules, visit the Big Ben Facebook page.

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