WINSPORT AIMS TO KEEP CALGARIANS ACTIVE IN WINTER
With rules prohibiting social gatherings outdoors, a day at Canada Olympic Park has become a welcome pandemic reprieve
The goal has always been the same: to give Calgarians an opportunity to enjoy being outside and move around.
There's never been a time when that's been more necessary, and there's probably never been a time when it's been easier to appreciate having Winsport in Calgary.
With rules and restrictions prohibiting social gatherings outdoors, a day spent on the hill at Canada Olympic Park has become a welcome reprieve from the monotony of the current protocols for many Calgarians this winter.
That's something Winsport hopes can continue right up until the end of the winter. They've introduced robust rules to help keep guests safe, but they need everyone to pitch in and help out, too.
“There's not a lot of options for families to get (outside) and enjoy (the winter) with the circumstances we're in, so we just kind of asked our guests to do what they can and don't be the reason we lose our season,” said Dale Oviatt, director of communications at Winsport. “That's kind of the motto, and everyone seems to be following the rules and that makes it easier for everybody.”
As you'd expect, the protocols that have been put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at Winsport are constantly changing and evolving. That's something Oviatt said before the season even started, but it means anyone planning on heading to the hill needs to take time to read over the rules and regulations online beforehand.
There are a couple major things to know.
First of all, you're not going to be able to buy a day-pass on site. Winsport is currently only allowing season pass holders and is adhering to strict capacity limits to prevent overcrowding.
There are also no in-person gatherings allowed anywhere on the COP facility. That includes outside and on sidewalks.
You should also get dressed in your vehicle, not in the Frank King Day Lodge, and leave all bags and personal items in your car, as well.
The list goes on — as we noted, these regulations are robust — but Winsport has everything clearly explained and listed on its website (winsport.ca ).
“We always advise people to check the website because things do change on a dime,” Oviatt said. “The government does make changes and we might have to react accordingly.
“When we first opened, we had all these grandiose plans of having warming areas and seating people socially distanced and having a food court open. Then the new restrictions changed those plans, so we had to change on the fly and do the best we could to try to educate our guests. I think that's been a big success for us — trying to communicate to the guests as much as we can before they come on site and are surprised by anything.”
So far, Oviatt said Winsport has been pleased with how Calgarians have been following the rules. People seem to be taking COVID-19 prevention seriously, and hopefully that means skiers and snowboarders can continue taking care of their mental and physical health by getting outside and exercising all winter.
There are options for non-skiers and snowboarders, too. That includes Winsport's massive tubing park, and you don't have to be a pass holder to use the park, either.
“That gave another opportunity for families who couldn't get a pass or aren't really skiers or snowboarders. The advantage of the tube park is it doesn't take any skills or anything like that and it's a perfect outing for the family. I think we've done the best we can to make sure we're there to help Calgarians mentally and physically. It's going to be a long winter and things are going so far, so good.”
We always advise people to check the website because things do change on a dime. The government does make changes.