Hudson Bay Mountain is set to open Dec. 3. After two years of dealing with pandemic restrictions, an unreliable chair lift and staff shortages, general manager Lex Rei-Jones says this season is already shaping up to be a good one.
“We’re doing pretty good with staffing [levels], last year was pretty brutal. We had managers that were working frontline positions,” she said.
“This year is looking a lot better. International is back and we’ve got people coming from Germany, the UK, Japan. So that’s really great to see. We’re going back to our regular operating calendar.
“So last year, we had to take days away, we weren’t able to go seven days a week and it’s looking like we will not have to do that this year.”
She added one of the most exciting things that happened over the summer was the upgrades done to the chairlift.
“The chairlift was 43 years old,” she said. “So really started showing its age, we were just continuously having issues with it. It wasn’t being super reliable, which, you know, understandably, our guests and our passengers were getting really frustrated with.”
The resort partnered with the Smithers Mountain Bike Association for a grant that allowed them to purchase a new communications line, new service brakes, a new control panel, and they built a new lift hut.
They also purchased roll-on style bike carriers.
Aside from the grant, they also purchased and installed a new backup motor emergency power unit, and some ropes and safety systems for the lift.
“We’ve done a pretty major overhaul to the lift,” Rei-Jones said. She added the maintenance team put in a lot of work over the summer to allow guests to have a more reliable trip to the top.
There will also be kids camps and lessons and the ski club has some races already scheduled.
Thrilling Thursdays, community weekends, mountain mentorship programs and pass-holder appreciation nights are also making a return.