'It's literally millions of dollars in revenue,' Ontario extends ski hill closure
MINESING, ONT. -- After the province announced the lockdown would be extended for another 28 days, ski resorts were left with more questions than answers.
Horseshoe Resort's general manager Jonathan Reid said resorts across the province had received little communication from the government. And now the fear is that they will miss the season entirely.
"If we don't get opened after this current lockdown, the next steps will be looking at if we write off the season or not," said Reid.
He added that if resorts can open the week before Family Day, it would help salvage the rest of the season, even though so much has been lost already.
"It's literally millions of dollars in revenue," said Reid. "These are the weeks and months that make up the entire years. We're at 600 plus employees laid off. It continues to gauge a lot deeper."
Reid said more frustration comes from Ontario being the only province losing out on the season, whereas other provinces have proven to open alpine skiing safely.
On Wednesday, the premier said his messaging his very simple, but many skiers were confused about the announcement, unclear on what they can and can't do.
According to guidelines released for enhancing public health and workplace safety measures during the province-wide shutdown, outdoor activities permitted to open include BMX parks, skate parks, cross country skiing, tobogganing, skate trails and ice rinks.
Sports fields for soccer and football are also allowed to open.
Alpine skiing remains the only outdoor activity closed.
Snow Valley's John Ball said they would continue to offer what they can.
"The government says exercise is important, and snowshoeing is one of the permitted activities, and that's what we have here," he said.
Horseshoe Resort is also continuing to offer cross country skiing, fat biking and snowshoeing. However, they are currently working with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit to address the issue of a lack of equipment and permitting rentals.
While ski resorts are disappointed the new restrictions pushed back the opening date, they hope to open next month.