It's the start of a new year and we can only hope it will be better than 2020. Certainly if the snow conditions are an indication it is off to a good start. We have been getting pretty steady dumps of snow and the skiing is pretty sweet. Friend Patrick who is in our bubble, and I have been trying to get out most days for a run and T1 or T2 are usually our destination and we have not been dissapointed. I have been surprised by how busy it has continued to be even after Christmas and New Years. I have no idea of where the skiers are coming from as our area does not have a big population base. Despite the directive from BC Health to ski at your local hill, and avoid non essential travel there seems to be a lot of people coming from outside our area. Our greatest fear right now besides contracting covid, is to have all the ski resorts shut down and that certainly is a possibility if the numbers keep going up. Kicking Horse Resort has done a pretty good job though of making sure it is as safe as possible in the lift lines and making sure people are masked up. Golden has had a bit of an outbreak of covid in the past couple weeks which is disturbing considering the limited health facilities we have here. We went from 0 local cases to 14 within a week and are still waiting for new data for this past week. BC Health has extended the restrictions until early in February. There seems to be a lot of people deciding they do not need to follow the directives. For Vagabond Lodge, we have basically had the whole season cancelled. We are hoping later in February if restrictions are lifted a bit, we can get back into business. But the key will be for the numbers to drop dramatically. But right now we are basically telling everyone to stay home and be part of the solution.
We are certainly luckily living where we live so we can take advantage of our backyard.
If you are looking strictly at snow conditions, it has been a great start to the winter season here at Kicking Horse Resort. We have had a number of big snowfalls already and maybe one of the biggest one-night dump since we opened Vagabond Lodge 17 years ago with about 40cms of snow last week. We have been lucky in our area with not many cases of covid but that can change quickly especially with a lot of non locals coming skiing. I am actually surprised by the number of day skiers who are travelling here. I suspect a number of them are realizing that Sunshine Village has closed their ticket sales and the same at Lake Louise and they just drive another 45 minutes and they are here. Kicking Horse in the last couple days appears to be scaling back on their numbers they are allowing on the hill. Initially they were not selling any lift tickets at the resort, and then they were . With all the fresh powder there were some pretty long lineups for a few days. Now I see they are publishing the fact they are sold out, at least until January 1. Interesting. It is a good thing in my mind. Once it becomes too busy, some people have a tendency to become impatient and not following some of the rules such as always wearing a mask and wearing it properly while not skiing. I went up yesterday for a run, and waited about 30 minutes in the lift line. Everyone in the lift line was doing a good job with the masks and social distancing. Once you are the top of the mountain, this resort is great for spreading out. We hiked up to the top of T2 yesterday and there was only 1 other person on the run down. Along with friend Patrick we have had some good runs already with all the fresh snow. Right now BC Health is still asking everyone to stay local and avoid non essential travel.
It is a trying time to say the least for the tourism industry around the world. Hopefully 2021 will be a lot better. Be safe, stay healthy, wear a mask. Enjoy the video from December 18th. Amazing day.
Another season has started at Kicking Horse and it was the best opening day conditions I can remember and we have been here for 17 years. Some of the opening dates though have been earlier. They have had over 300cms at the top of the mountain and surprisingly good coverage at the bottom. One more good dump and it will be good all the way. Usually you have to pick you way around rocks near the bottom but not this year. I went up with friend Patrick on opening day and was surprised by the great coverage. We skied a couple of runs off the stairway to heaven chairlift and had some nice powder despite the fact we didn't start skiing until about 1. Kicking Horse did a good job I thought with the lift access. It took about 30 minutes to get on the lift and there are a number of protocols in place depending on if you are skiing alone or with other people. Check out their website for more detail. BC Health mandates everyone in public space need to wear a mask. From what I could see everyone was. Some maybe not wearing it as well as they should be but they did have masks on. Overall a good job. Food service will be a challenge. In the evenings at the resort there really are only two places open for food, Winston Pub and Peaks Grill. I suspect most people will do take-out which will be tough on the eating spots, since the profit is in liquor. BC health has asked for only essential travel until at least January 9th. Obviously that will mean a pretty quiet and lean Christmas for the tourism industry throughout the province. Vagabond Lodge is deemed an essential service so we are allowed to be open with restrictions in place. It is very confusing for the hotel industry in general. On one hand everyone is asked to stay home, but we are allowed to be open. For whom? Our area has been very fortunate with very few cases of Covid. The latest numbers by BC Health shows only 4 cases of residents in the past month in Golden. With some newcomers into our area with the ski resort opening, it will be interesting to see if that number stays low. As long as people follow the guidelines of wearing a mask and social distancing we hope cases will remain low.
Enjoy the video from opening day. Be safe and stay healthy and wear a mask. #wearamask
We are not sure what will unfold in the next few days regarding covid-19 restrictions in BC and Alberta. Increasing numbers of covid have already put a hold on reservations for the upcoming season. We looked pretty good for parts of the upcoming winter but in the past few weeks cancellations have been coming in daily and I really can't fault the guests. Especially those coming by airplane. I would not want to fly right now. We still have a few coming from either Alberta or elsewhere in BC but they are all driving. But at the same time the BC Government has asked all their residents to stay at home for the next week at least and I suspect that will be extended. But having said that, health comes first but the tourism industry is getting devastated throughout the world. Kicking Horse Resort will be opening on December 10 and our first guests right now are scheduled for December 15th. Ski passes are available on-line only for those who do not have a season pass. You can get them off the Kicking Horse website as they will be limited and there will not be any sold at the resort itself. We do have a covid protocol at Vagabond Lodge and will be limiting the number of people to 50% of our usual occupancy. Instead of up to 20 people at a time, we will be only taking a maximum of 10 or 12 depending on if they are from the same bubble. One thing we have decided to do it provide lunch to our guests along with our usual breakfast. It will be quite basic with some hot soup and a hunk of my sourdough bread and will be available for couple hours in the afternoon. Food service and restrooms will be the biggest issue I think on the resort itself with the various health regulations in place. Especially on a busier day. Whether we will have a busier day is still questionable. We will get through this. Wear a mask and follow all the health protocol. Until we see you back, video is from some fun from last winter at Kicking Horse.
It has not been a great month in BC and overall in Canada for covid-19. The numbers keep going up and up. In my mind, the BC government has been a too "wishy washy" in regards to restrictions to try and keep the numbers down in my estimation at least. They have been appealing for months for everyone to wear a mask but it hasn't helped. Finally the other day they made mask wearing mandatory throughout the province when you are in a public place. And now they have asked everyone to stay at home for the next couple weeks. This is not mandatory. Just a suggestion. Whether that will made an impact, we won't know for a couple weeks unfortunately. We have been very lucky here in Golden and area with very few cases of Covid. Unfortunately BC health specify the numbers in smaller centres only once a month. At the end of October, Golden had 5 cases total since January. We know there have been a few more. Someone I know here in Golden who owns a great restaurant just posted on facebook, he has covid as a result of being exposed through playing hockey. It is a group I used to play hockey with a few years ago. He has had to close down his restaurant for awhile and obviously he and his family are in quarantine. I wish him a safe and speedy recovery. Vagabond Lodge and Kicking Horse Resort are scheduled to open on December 11, after the "stay at home" suggestion has been lifted. Hopefully we can get back to having a great winter. I know I want to do this again. #staysafe #stayathome #wearamask
November is a month that is not at the top of my list. Normally it would be a time for a quick getaway to recharge and get ready for ski season. It is month when we get fog, rain, snow but little sunshine and of course the days are getting shorter. But we are not going to get away this year. We have been very fortunate in our area. There have been very few cases of covid and we hope that will not change. But we are not that far from Alberta where the case loads have been sky rocketing in recent weeks. And our coastal area of BC has also seen a huge growth in covid cases. Kicking Horse Resort as well as Vagabond Lodge are looking for an opening date for the winter season of December 11. We have had some nice dumps of snow already and if things continue I would predict an early opening. How the season will unfold is anyone's guess. The resort has unveiled its covid plans and a couple of things stand out. Masks are to be worn all the time at the resort except when you are actually skiing. I think that is great. The other point to make note of, is regarding lift ticket purchasing. You can only buy them on-line and will be limited. If you are planning to come skiing here this winter make sure you get your pass before you come otherwise you may not get to ski. Click here to get more details. If you have a season pass, there is no issue. You can go skiing anytime. But I suspect during the Christmas rush and in February on weekends there may be an issue at time. Just a heads up. At Vagabond we will be limiting the number of guests we can accommodate to about 50%. Instead of being able to accommodate 20 people , we are going to limit the numbers to about 10. One thing that will not change will be our ambience and the fun we can have. We have some great winter specials especially if you book direct where we don't have to pay commission to the likes of booking.com or expedia. Give us a call at 250 344 2622 or email us at email@example.com
Enjoy the video with some of the hi lights of last season.
I enjoyed reminiscing about the good ole days in my former life. I was involved in the media for 30 years prior to making a career change and moving to Kicking Horse Resort and owning and operating Vagabond Lodge with wife Lori.
Bryn Griffiths and Robin Brownlee asked me to join them on their podcast called the Outsiders the other day. I knew both when I was working with TSN in Edmonton. Bryn brought up one story I had forgotten about which isn't unusual. It was after the Oilers beat the Boston Bruins for the Stanley Cup in 1990 in Boston. . We were waiting for the bus at a downtown hotel to take the team and the media(me included ) to catch the team plane back to Edmonton. It was relatively early in the morning. There was an unexpected passenger who arrived to take the bus and the plane to Edmonton. You have to listen to find out more.
Kicking Horse Resort unveiled its Covid-19 protocol for this coming ski season and there will be some challenges. They will not be selling any lift tickets at the resort. You will only be able to purchase them on-line and they will be limited. If you are planning to come skiing or snowboarding here this winter you need to get your lift tickets organized before you book a room otherwise you may get here and not be able to ski. We are still waiting at Vagabond Lodge to find out what our guests need to do. I am hoping we will have access to lift tickets for our guests as I suspect a lot will wait until the last second since our major market now is Alberta and BC. They will look at the weather forecast before making a booking. Since food services will be limited as well as toilets and warming areas, Vagabond will be offering lunch to our guests and since we are just across the road from the gondola, it is easy to whip back for a quick bite to eat, warm up and back on the hill. There is a policy of mask wearing throughout the resort. The only time you do not need to wear a mask is when you are skiing. Good to hear. You can click here for more details on what to expect.
It really is a winter wonderland already at the resort with about 50cms of snow in the past week. One of my favourite things to do this time of the year is to go for a walk in the woods. Usually I put some snowshoes on and do some exploring. It is so serene and a great way to escape. We have some awesome trails out our backdoor at Vagabond Lodge.
You can book your stay at Vagabond by giving us a call 250 344 2622 or email firstname.lastname@example.org We have some great winter specials.
The seasons change quickly here. One day we are kayaking on the river in 20 C temperature and the next we are having a snow storm. And that has basically been the case here in the past week. It has been snowing off and on for the past few days and it definitely looks and feels like winter.
We are staying close to home and did manage to go on a road trip into the wine growing area of the province for a few days and did some wine swilling, kayaking and bike riding. It was our first getaway in a year. We took all the precautions and always wore a mask when we went out in public. It was great to getaway.
Now we are in the winter prepping mode but not sure what the winter will bring. Kicking Horse Resort is scheduled to open on December 11th and we do have some reservations but not many. Usually most of our guests are from overseas and the US. That will not happen this winter. Whether there are enough Canadians to make an impact on the tourism business in this area is difficult to predict.
One thing we do know, we will be keeping our occupancy to 5 rooms maximum which is 10 people to make sure everyone is spread out and we feel safe and so do our guests. It is a good manageable number for us to work with. The resort hasn't really unveiled their winter protocol except to say "no masks, no service." But how they will handle food service on a busy day and washrooms and keeping skiers warm is unknown at this time. It will be a challenge. The one thing they could do is have someone at the bottom of our road in Golden allowing a certain number of people up to avoid congestion and not early. That way there will not be a big lineup on a powder day. When the lifts open, then they can come up the hill. Just an idea.
We have our 10% Early Bird Discount available until October 31st plus we also have some extended stay savings available through the winter. If you stay 4 or more nights you get 10% off, and if you pay for 6 nights you can stay 7. Give us a call at 250 344 2622 or email email@example.com to get more details. Be safe, and stay healthy. The video is from this week.
Ken along with his wife Lori are the owners and operators of Vagabond Lodge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.