Joe Pojar, a volunteer with Hudson Bay Mountain Resort’s trail maintenance crew, poses in waist deep snow at the ski hill, which is set to open on Nov. 22. (Contributed photo)

Hudson Bay Mountain Resort opens Nov. 22

A lot of snow has already accumulated on the Smithers ski hill

The snow has been falling and the countdown for Hudson Bay Mountain Resort’s (HBMR)opening day has begun.

The hill officially opens its 2019/2020 season on Friday, Nov. 22.

There will be some new faces on the team including Janet Elizabeth Doyle who will fill the role of marketing and events specialist.

“I really love the mountain lifestyle and I think it brings out my best self,” she said. “I love my family in Ottawa but [the city] doesn’t have what the mountains have to offer so I went looking for a mountain town that was more affordable. Someone suggested Smithers.”

She has skied HBMR once.

“I went up for Schnai Day last year and I was so impressed by how many kids were in the Slush Cup,” she added. “It was such a fantastic family environment. And seeing Mike [Huffman, General Manager] and Gary [Mathiesen, HBMR President] there working it with shovels, I thought that’s my kind of team and this is my kind of community.”

She is already getting excited about the powder.

“There is so much snow up there. I’m shocked. I drove up there and we got a picture of someone standing in waist deep snow, we threw it up on Facebook and it has over 10,000 views so far. We are stoked.”

Doyle has plenty of ideas she wants to implement this season.

“I want to make fire pits with s’mores,” she said. “I’ve found there isn’t much to do on Sundays here, everything is closed, so why not come up to the mountain? There is a great view, we have fun stuff going on. We want to offer a fun place in the community. That is why I love skiiing, it is a sport but you can make friends and hang out with family as well.”

Doyle is also hoping people who don’t ski or board will enjoy the resort as well.

“I really want to create a family-friendly environment that the community feels like anytime they want to do something fun, they can come up and something fun will be going on, even if you don’t ski,” she added.

Jeremy Roth and Sasha Hildebrand, owners of several restaurants in town, will once again take care of the food and beverage end.

“I’m glad to see that the food is high quality and that is another really great team,” said Doyle. “We can get creative and we are working on special menus.”

Before the season begins, Doyle wanted to host an event to get skiers and boarders excited to hit the slopes. A movie and silent auction will take place on Friday, Nov. 15 at Smithers Brewing Co. They will be showing Umami & 7 Stages of Blank and there will be items up for auction including a snowboard and a cat skiing trip. Entry is $5 and all proceeds go toward Boarding for Brant, the non-profit organization that provides sports gear, lift passes, lessons, and sponsorships to camps for those who might not be able to afford it.

“The mountains are awesome, they are so rejuvenating and when you get up there the air is fresh. It is really important that people make time for that and we want to make space for them,” said Doyle

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