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CASTLE TO CLOSE FOR THE SEASON IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 OUTBREAK

CASTLE TO CLOSE FOR THE SEASON IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 OUTBREAK

MARCH 18 UPDATE –

A reminder that our resort is now closed for the season. We’re sorry for the inconvenience but, given the worldwide circumstances surrounding COVID-19, it has to happen. Uphill touring, whether motorized or un-motorized, is strictly prohibited.

 

MARCH 17 UPDATE –

After carefully considering our options to protect the well-being of our staff, guests, the surrounding community, and with the rapidly growing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak, Castle will be closing for the winter season as of 5 PM today.
Like many of you, we have been monitoring the evolving situation around COVID-19. We have worked tirelessly over the last several days to increase preventative measures in order to reduce the possibility of transmission of COVID-19. Following direction received today from the Canada West Ski Areas Association all ski areas in Alberta, including Castle, will be closing.
 
We feel that this decision is the right decision for all concerned at this time. A top priority at Castle is the well-being and safety of our staff, guests, and mountain community. The closure will allow our staff and guests the time they need to return home should additional travel restrictions be announced.
 
This has not been an easy decision to make as we continue to believe that enjoying the great outdoors in the mountains helps people lead healthy lives. While we understand that social distancing is of paramount importance, at this time, we also want to encourage people to get outside, stay active, and lead a healthy lifestyle while avoiding crowds. We thank you for your understanding during this time of uncertainty and stress.
 
We’ve had a terrific ski season and look forward to seeing you on the slopes next winter. Thank you again for your understanding.

MARCH 16 UPDATE – 

Effective immediately (March 17), Castle Mountain Resort will enact additional measures to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 spreading within Alberta and Canada. These include:

  • Open discouragement of international travelers from visiting
    • As per Government of Canada guidelines, all persons arriving in Canada, from international destinations, should self-isolate for 14 days – not be skiing our resort
    • Guests may be asked for ID to substantiate their claims
    • Guests presenting Powder Alliance and/or Indy Passes, of international origin, will not have their passes honoured.
  • Removal / discontinuation of all third party ticketing programs including those in Costco Wholesale locations, online at Costco.ca, online through Liftopia.com, and in-store through AMA Service Center locations.
  • Further reduction in seating density on the main level of the Castle Mountain Resort day lodge
    • Westcastle Lounge & Joe’s Cafe are now both closed
  • Cancellation of upcoming live music in the T-Bar Pub
  • Cancellation of Trivia Night in the T-Bar Pub
  • Reduction in the seating density of the T-Bar Pub
  • At this point, outdoor events such as Beats in the Base and Jib in the Park remain scheduled

The safety of guests, staff, and our community are of paramount importance to us. Any guest who is feeling ill, regardless of their origin, should stay home and self-isolate. We remain committed to providing Albertans and Canadians with a safe, outdoor recreational experience for as long as possible but we believe those days are likely dwindling down. With international borders now closing we are actively encouraging our staff to think about their next moves. For many of our staff this may mean going home which means that, in the near future, we may be forced to close.

In short, we will continue to offer an exceptional skiing / snowboarding experience for as long as is possible. Operational decisions are now being made on a day-to-day basis, each evening, with updates to be found on our Snow Report page (click for link) or through our various social media channels (Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter). Due to a high volume of emails and calls, and our limited ability to answer them all, we ask you to please check these digital sources for information before calling.

 

MARCH 13 UPDATE –

At Castle Mountain Resort we’re passionate about enjoying the great outdoors through skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, fat-biking, and all of the other activities you’ve come to enjoy in the fresh mountain air. During these challenging times, we want to encourage everyone to continue to enjoy healthy lifestyles through fresh air, exercise, and winding down in the mountains. At this time, we plan to continue running our lifts through to April 12th.

Based on recent developments with COVID-19, we have made changes to our operations that will help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading. Over the course of the weekend, we will begin to deploy actions to encourage social distancing and to slow the spread of COVID-19. These changes will be in place until further notice and are as follows:

 

CLEANING

We are increasing our cleaning staff and their hours for the duration of the season.  Disinfecting will occur frequently throughout the day in all public areas. We have posted signage to remind guests of the need for frequent handwashing for 20 seconds as well as guidance on how to avoid transmission of COVID-19. Information on proper handwashing is available at a number of points within our base area facilities.

 

EVENTS

Large indoor events with attendance anticipated to be in excess of 250 people are being canceled for this season. With warmer weather anticipated, outside programs such as Beats in the Base, BBQ’s, and the Tom Tataryn World’s Longest Slalom race are anticipated to continue. As more information becomes available in the coming days and weeks, we will announce plans for the remainder of our scheduled public events.

 

LODGE & PUB

Our main day lodge seating area has seating for just under 250 people, while Joe’s Café and the Westcastle Lounge seat 74 people each. Westcastle Lounge will remain closed for the season and the seating density of the remainder of our day lodge will be reduced. Guests who are able to utilize their vehicles for gearing up and/or eating are encouraged to do so. With temperatures rising over the coming weeks and an abundance of outdoor seating available, there will be very little inconvenience to our guests. Guests are encouraged to do their best to utilize the lodge during off peak hours (before 11 AM and after 1:30 PM) to help reduce crowding. Personal use cups will no longer be permitted for cafeteria drinks.

 

PAYMENTS / LIFT TICKET PURCHASES

We ask guests to use their credit/debit cards (contactless or “tap” preferred) versus cash. Guest Services remains open, for season pass and direct-to-lift WOW Card printing. Outdoor ticket windows will be open for any other on-site purchases. Guests can reduce the amount of contact with our staff, and save money, by pre-purchasing tickets prior to their visit at www.skicastle.ca/tickets.

 

LIFTS

We will ask guests to get on the lifts with their families or groups only and we will be removing singles lines. We ask for patience as we implement this practice.

 

LOOKING AHEAD

The health and wellbeing of our guests, employees, and the community where we live, work, and play is of utmost importance. We continue to monitor Alberta Health and Canada West Ski Areas Association updates and we will continue to follow their recommendations. This means that there could be additional precautions taken that could impact our operations.

We encourage everyone in our mountain community to be vigilant of your own health and conscientious of others. If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, please keep others safe and avoid public areas. If you are an individual at-risk of contracting the virus, please carefully consider whether you visit Castle for the rest of the season. For more information, we recommend reading the advice issued by the Government of Alberta, the Government of Canada, and the World Health Organization. This would include the recommendation for people traveling from out of country (including the U.S.) to self-isolate for two weeks upon arrival in Canada.

Thank you for your support in helping Castle limit the spread of this virus. By taking these steps we hope to reduce its impacts on our community, while also enabling everyone to stay active and enjoy the mountains. Please stay tuned for updates.

On a positive note, BC Provincial Medical Health Officer Dr. Henry was recently quoted encouraging the general public to get outside – “In particular, we have a lot of things that we can do outdoors which are very safe things to do. This virus does not transmit when people are outdoors so go outside and play with your family. Go up to our ski hills…” – Dr. Bonnie Henry (CBC News Online – March 13)

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17 Comments
  1. Ken March 13 at 3:29PM - Reply

    I plan on attending Sunday. How about recommending that people don’t use the daylodge as much too? You know that the cases spike Extremely high if youre not too careful. If people are careful our country will do a better job than what is happening south of the border!! Have some outdoor barbeque pits or something. Sorry to be that guy! Lol

    • Nick Thornton March 13 at 3:35PM - Reply

      Hi Ken,

      Thanks for your comment. We understand where you are coming from and will strive to ensure the day lodge isn’t as busy as normal. Hopefully most of our guests will be out all day enjoying the powder!

  2. Kevin Sims March 14 at 10:44PM - Reply

    If I am there alone, does this mean I’m riding a chair alone? How will this work?

    • Cole Fawcett March 15 at 6:22AM - Reply

      We encourage you to ride the chair by yourself, yes. We are merely removing singles lines to help discourage people from grouping up. Let’s call a spade a spade; if you’re here mid-week, you’re likely riding the lift alone as it is!

  3. Jodi March 14 at 11:37PM - Reply

    Yes more outdoor food /beverage options would rock! And maybe outhouses so ppl don’t have to go into crowded bathrooms?.

    • Cole Fawcett March 15 at 6:24AM - Reply

      Thanks for the idea Jodi. Unfortunately outhouses are not in our immediately plans, mostly because we cannot provide guests with proper soap and running water through outhouses at this time of year (temps still below freezing overnight). We have stepped up our cleaning of our washrooms and main day lodge area and encourage you to lather up and wash for 20 – 30 seconds.

  4. David March 15 at 3:42AM - Reply

    Thanks for keep on keeping on Castle, see ya next Friday.

  5. Just a nurse March 15 at 1:30PM - Reply

    I would be weary to spread false information about the inability to contract the virus if you are outdoors. I understand that this is what your local news is reporting but it is not a credible source for health information. This, like similar viruses spreads via droplets. It does no matter if you are inside or outside, if someone with this virus sneezes or coughs in close proximity to you then you are likely to inhale some of that viral load and have the potential to get sick.

    • Nick Thornton March 16 at 9:13AM - Reply

      Hi and thank you for your comment. We have taken on board the information you have passed on and will be monitoring the situation even more closely now. Thank you again!

  6. Cort March 15 at 5:05PM - Reply

    Curious about rentals, helmet’s and ski goggles. Are these still available to rent to the general public? Any hygiene safety precautions to take if looking to rent?

    • Nick Thornton March 16 at 9:12AM - Reply

      Hi Cort, yes there are added measure in place with rentals particularly helmets which are being disinfected on the regular. Our partner rental store Alpenland currently do not rent out goggles. Thanks

  7. Evan March 15 at 5:54PM - Reply

    Is castle still open for business and powder chasing tomorrow Monday March 16? Looking forward to shredding and not meeting any new friends.

    • Nick Thornton March 16 at 9:10AM - Reply

      Evan, we are still open but on a day-to-day basis. So please check in with the snow report every morning for the latest updates. Thanks!

  8. Jo March 16 at 6:02PM - Reply

    Please think about limiting use to season pass and WOW card holders to limit the amount of people visiting at once and prevent hordes of people due to other mountains closing.

    • Cole Fawcett March 17 at 6:05AM - Reply

      Hi Jo,

      Thanks for your message. We’re actively considering this limitation. We appreciate you reaching out to us with your ideas on how to remain in operation responsibly.

  9. Logan March 17 at 7:29PM - Reply

    I have a few lift passes for this season that I was looking forward to using. Will their expiration date be postponed so they are valid to use next season as well?

    • Cole Fawcett March 17 at 7:55PM - Reply

      Hi Logan,

      Thanks for connecting with us. Please email us at info@skicastle.ca with your request and with images of the tickets you’re seeking to return.

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