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

Co-opShames MountainskiingSnowsnowboarding

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Water Quality Advisory’ lifted for Prince Rupert

Some Prince Rupert residents are still under a ‘Boil Water Notice’

Liberals and Greens yet to announce North Coast candidates

North Coast candidates have until two weeks before the election to name contenders

Cullen confirmed as B.C. NDP candidate for Stikine despite party’s equity policy

Former Tahltan Central Government President Annita McPhee said the process made her feel “abused”

Planned upgrades didn’t go as planned

CityWest said a fibre-line break caused outages to all customers

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Horgan blasts B.C. Greens for refusing youth overdose detention

Lack of support key to B.C. election call, NDP leader says

Most Read