After an arsonist destroyed the main chairlift hut at Kimberley Alpine Resort on the night of opening day, the future of the season and what it would look like was uncertain at best.
The loss of the main thoroughfare leading to the ski resort, coupled with the ever-evolving pandemic, has resulted in a year that has been more challenging for resort staff and guests than anyone could have imagined, but with the season over, statements from KAR management are focused on community gratitude and resilience.
“We would like to thank all of our season pass holders and everyone who came to the resort for their support this winter. It has certainly been a tough winter, but we have been inspired to work hard and achieve more by the resilience and positivity of the skiers and boarders, as well as the business community, in Kimberley,” said the regional manager of KAR, Ted Funston.
“We love how the hard times in Kimberley don’t seem to tear us apart, but rather how they just seem to make us better and bring us together. That’s a big part of why we’re proud to be part of the community.
At the end-of-season festivities on Sunday, April 10, Funston told the crowd of attendees that the elevator repair was on schedule and going smoothly.
“All critical parts have been ordered and Leitner-Poma has very generously prioritized our rebuild in their production schedule,” Funston said. “We are looking forward to rebuilding in the spring and summer to be ready in the fall for the next ski season. We look forward to being back in full swing next winter and seeing everyone here again.
Funston had many companies to thank for helping KAR through the season and getting people to enjoy themselves on the mountain. From New Dawn Developments for loaning gear, Bridge Interiors for supplying tents, Kimberley Rotary for loaning their barbecue trailer, and Dreadnaught Racing for using their security fencing.
Then there are the Revelstoke Mountain, Castle Mountain and Kicking Horse Mountain resorts that have loaned snowcat shuttles, providing an additional solution for getting people up the hill.
“We would also like to thank all of our staff who have worked harder than ever this winter and had to be flexible and patient as our operations changed regularly,” added Funston. “We couldn’t have done it without them! We are really looking forward to celebrating the season with them at our first staff party in two years next week.
The resort pulled out all the stops to close out the season strong, with three consecutive weekends filled with entertainment, starting with the Shred Kelly Concert, followed by North Star Days and finally the last weekend of the year with the triumphant return of spring. Splash and dummy descent.
Saturday’s Spring Splash was a huge success, with dozens of competitors braving the steep, fast jump and cold plunge in front of cheering crowds.
Saturday also featured music from The Hip Replacements, an early Tragically Hip tribute band coming from Kelowna to perform. Gary the cat, the social media sensation who made several appearances at the resort over the winter, was also in attendance, giving adoring fans the chance to snap a photo with the illustrious feline.
Sunday was the last day of the season and it definitely ended with a bang, as a few dozen ingeniously designed mannequins navigated their way down a ramp to their demise, only to be looted by a horde of excited children.
This year, some really special models were presented, such as the Sully Van Mine-Ski, the result of 20 years of development, celebrating the history of the Sullivan mine, or the “President Zalenskyy Kremlin Krasher” which has climbed higher in skiing than any other model. and was greeted with thunderous applause.
Kimberley’s leather apron revival provided the soundtrack to the evening after all the models arrived at their final resting place, capping off a great weekend and a ski season that won’t soon be forgotten at Kimberley Alpine Resort .
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