With the last few weeks of fair weather approaching, “Powder” Matt Mosteller, Senior Vice President – Resort Experience with the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies (RCR), feels grateful for an awesome season of golf at Trickle Creek and is optimistically anticipating the coming winter months at Kimberley Alpine Resort, as RCR recently outlined some of their protocols for the ski season.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented numerous challenges and forced people to adapt the way they live their lives. In terms of recreation, sports like golf have proved to be something that many people, both long-time golfers and total beginners have been drawn to.
Mosteller said he thinks that Kimberley is a very well-positioned, well suited community to be in during the pandemic.
“We have this great welcoming community, wonderful experiences downtown, a variety of dining and shopping, an incredible offering of recreational opportunities out every direction from our community,” Mosteller said. “And that’s played out super well from what we’ve seen this summer and the amount of people on the trails, the amount of people biking, the amount of people golfing.”
READ MORE: RCR’s Matt Mosteller — A job in perspective
In addition to having to navigate operating amidst the unprecedented circumstances created by the pandemic, golf courses around the region also had to deal with less than ideal weather in the early stages of the playable season.
“It wasn’t like mother nature exactly dealt a great hand,” he said. “It was a cold swing and I want to make sure to give credit to our team at Trickle Creek Golf Resort, they worked extremely hard and diligently to create an amazing play experience for golfers.”
He said he feels very fortunate and grateful to everyone in the community and those who came from abroad who came and played at Trickle Creek, and for everyone who shared their stories of great experiences there with their friends and family.
“We were super pleased with the summer and I want to thank all the locals and everybody who came golfing with us, and credit again to our team who worked so tirelessly to provide a great golfing experience.”
As one season winds down and another draws near, Mosteller said, “everyone’s asking the question, ‘Winter?’”
“Well I can’t forecast winter, I can safely say that,” he said, “but what we can say is that we deal with mother nature daily in winter and that creates a great resilience, a team of really dedicated professionals who know how to adapt, and adaption is really what COVID-19 and the season of COVID-19 ahead is all about.”
In order to prepare themselves for the winter ahead, Mosteller said RCR has been working in close collaboration with Canada West Ski Areas Association (CWSAA), the provincial health authorities and Interior health on a regional and local level to develop the best protocols possible to keep staff and guests safe amid the continued uncertainty of the pandemic.
“We will be, and we have been, under one of the safest operating plans so that guests can be assured that the safety protocols will be put in place,” he said. “And some of those things as we all know and are all experiencing now regularly ourselves as examples are social distancing, the regular cleaning protocols and for everybody’s safety, we’re going to require face coverings in resort.”
He said that masks will be required starting with the arrival, through the parking lots, base area and base facilities, and in lineups.
“Part of this is just a responsibility for our guests in advance of arrival of winter,” Mosteller said. “We’re going to make sure that they can travel better prepared, knowing what a Kimberley experience will be like and also knowing the role they play in being a respectful traveller as well.”
Coming equipped with a personal supply of hand sanitizer and mask are two examples of being a respectful traveller, Mosteller said.
While he can’t predict the weather, looking ahead, the early forecasts indicate a snowy winter. Plus he’s seen and heard of classic omens such as wasps building their nests higher up off the ground, and his backyard squirrel gathering nuts to a level he’s never seen before.
“I don’t want to jinx it, but the forecasts, the La Nina forecast, bodes very well for Kimberley, bodes very well for snowfall for this region,” Mosteller said. “We’re super optimistic about the skiing and riding season.”
Much like golf provided a way for people to enjoy nature and get some exercise in a relatively safe manner throughout the COVID spring and summer, Mosteller highlighted the benefits that sports like skiing and snowboarding present.
“It’s important for our community, not just for each and every one of us to get outside this winter, but it’s important for everybody,” he said.
“Winter provides what will be so much needed for everyone and that’s that physical exercise, so it’s really beneficial for their health but even more important, possibly for many is that fresh air on the face and the visual stimulation from natural landscapes so it’s good on their mental health as well, so really positive for physical and mental wellbeing.
“So the uncrowded slopes of Kimberley await.”
In the meantime, golf season is still going strong, and Mosteller praised the work of the team at Trickle Creek over this challenging past few months.
“It’s got one of the best patios in town and credit to our food and beverage team who’s done an incredible job,” he said. “I’m really proud of the COVID safety protocols that our team put in place this summer. A lot of that learning will carry over to our winter operations so that we offer the safest skiing and recreational experience possible for all of our guests and our team this winter.”
READ MORE: Opening day 2019 at Kimberley Alpine Resort
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