The 1

Whitewater gets splash of renos

Whitewater Ski Resort is a flurry of construction activity getting ready for the 2014/15 season.

Whitewater Ski Resort is a flurry of construction activity as 28 summer staff plus additional contractors expand it’s services for the 2014/15 season.

From the Fresh Tracks cafe, to first aid, and backcountry education, Whitewater will have more to offer it’s guests this season.

The Fresh Tracks Cafe kitchen famous for the some of the best food found at any ski resort is being reorganized for a smoother ordering sequence.

The changes are to improve the speed of food delivery due in part to the increase in skier and boarder visits over the past four years. Rebeckah Hornung,  sales and marketing director for Whitewater explained that the resort saw a 20 per cent increase in visitors in 2010 when they opened the new Glory Ridge chair and the numbers have continued to increase slightly ever since. Part of the changes will see a revamped food preparation area in the kitchen and a smoother ordering system.  They are also expanding the grab and go items available at the Freshies Coffee Bar (opposite the cafe) which serves the locally roasted Oso Negro coffee and baked goods.

Construction is underway on the lodge base to expand the first aid space and provide custodian storage. Pushing out the lodge base will increase the space by 1,110 square feet and will see the number of first aid beds double from two to four.

The parking area is being increased up to an additional 100 parking spots.

A new twist to ticket sales is the beginner area only day tickets to promote a more affordable option for people learning how to board or ski. This includes 100 per cent of the green (beginner) terrain accessed by the Silver King lift and Hummer handle tow.

For the more experienced skiers, the snow safety program will offer the new Discover Whitewater Backcountry program which serves as an educational clinic which explores beyond the resort boundaries. Whether it be new locals to the area, the team will explain what experience and tools are needed to explore the backcountry properly and the routes that are available.

“It’s also for people visiting who aren’t familiar with our snow pack, routes and terrain. (The program) can be tailored to the specific group,” said Hornung.

Offered on Friday and Saturdays and upon request, Hornung recommends booking ahead as it is dependent on the snow safety teams’ availability. The 35 member snow safety team does the ski and avalanche patrol at the resort.

The Kootenay Riders will continue to run their snowboard team with some new coaching staff and added coaching days.

For those of you who are not ready to put away your bikes even when the snow pack is deep, the Nordic Centre is adding five kilometre’s of its 15 km trails  for multi use, including fat tire bikes and pets. Snow bike rentals will be available with two 2015 Specialized Fat Boys at the Nordic Centre.

The entire ski area is receiving regular summer grooming and stump removal to allow for an earlier opening day. The Summit side will see the widening of Bonanza, plus work to skiers left of The Blast.

Opening day for the 2014/15 season is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 5, running until April 6. Snow dependant, ski and board hounds could get lucky with a sneak peek the weekend before.

Watch out for their third annual sidewalk sale at the end of September. If you don’t have your season’s pass yet, the early bird sale rate ends on September 30.

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