THUNDER BAY — For the first time since Christmas, downhill skiers in the Thunder Bay area may be able to enjoy their sport again starting early next week.
The government has included ski hills among the amenities that can reopen with conditions on Feb. 16 – depending on COVID-19 trends at the time – as the province gradually returns to the colour-coded COVID-19 system.
Ontario was the only province to close ski hills during the second wave of the pandemic.
The decision met pushback from operators who said they had invested heavily in COVID safety protocols, and didn't understand why skating rinks could stay open.
Under the reopening protocol, it's expected that anyone using a downhill ski lift, including a surface lift, will be required to wear a mask or face covering.
At the Mount Baldy ski area, spokesperson Jason Kardas said Monday he had been told that the provincial ski hill operators association expects the government will give the green light to reopen on the 16th.
However, Kardas was waiting for more details, and said he would comment further on Tuesday.