Shames Mountain will keep the bunny hill free of charge for learners after a high turnout last season. (Black Press File Photo)

Shames Mountain keeps bunny hill free

Co-op wants to make the sport more accessible for beginners

There’s snow place like Shames.

As skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts eagerly await the first snowfall to strap on their gear, those new to the sport have a reason to get excited too.

After receiving positive feedback and an increase in first-time riders this past season, Shames Mountain will continue with their decision to keep the bunny hill free of charge for learners.

“We want to make the sport more accessible, we always want to grow our skier base, and the only way that will happen is by making it easier for people to try skiing and snowboarding,” says Christian Theberge, general manager at Shames Mountain.

Shames previously charged $14 to use the 400-ft bunny hill, but they found that many users were parents with young children who felt pressured to get the most of their pay.

The co-op wanted those guests to have a more positive experience and leave on a high note.

“Sometimes those children would only last one or two runs before it was hot chocolate time,” says Theberge. “By not feeling like they have to stay because they bought a lift ticket, makes it much easier to come back.”

READ MORE: Shames Mountain named one of the world’s Top 10 ski resorts

With the free bunny hill last season, Therberge says the numbers tripled for beginners. There were 480 entries, compared to the year before with 150.

And the bunny hill is not just for families, it’s for anyone that doesn’t feel ready to go down the big slopes yet.

“When somebody jumps up to the chair before they’re quite ready, it can be a bad experience,” says Theberge. “Hopefully it gives people more of a chance to hone their skills before they head up to the mountain.”

Currently, the only other ski hill in B.C. that has free beginner entry is Mount Baldy in the Okanagan.

The co-op is also aiming to make the first beginner lesson free of charge and have even considered initiating a Prince Rupert Port Authority day where all lessons would be free.

“Suddenly when the first lesson is free and your bunny hill experience is free, then all you’re looking at is your equipment rental — it makes trying the sport a lot more available.”

READ MORE: VIDEO: A day on Shames Mountain

New this year, Shames Mountain is extending their youth pricing to anyone 21 and under, instead of 18 and under in the past. Theberge says a lot of young adults tend to drop out of the sport as they start their career, are still in school, or have other new expenses at that age. By treating them young, he says they hope to help boost low digits.

To level up with other modern ski hills, the co-op will be holding fundraisers this year to introduce a “magic carpet” conveyor lift for beginners. The project may take up to three years to install.

Although Shames is forecasting a milder winter, Theberge says he expects it to be another great season come December.

“The view is one of the most scenic ski areas in the world, the terrain and the snow is one of the best snow paths you’ll see anywhere.”


 


natalia@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

LNG Canada sponsors fast-tracked driver’s license training in Terrace, Kitimat

The $80,000 contribution is part of the company’s commitment to hire locally

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read