The inaugural Barrels & Berms FIS SBX World Cup kicked off at Big White Ski Resort Jan. 24. (Photo: barrelsandberms.ca)

Big White taking COVID-19 precautions but no shut down yet in sight for Kelowna slopes

Some Big White events have been cancelled and changes are being made to mitigate risk

Big White Ski Resort is taking steps to mitigate risks from COVID-19, but as of Friday there are no plans to alter any operations.

Senior vice president Michael Ballingall said they’ve been in contact with Interior Health and that though they are taking precautions, there are no plans to shut down.

“Every 24 hours things change,” Ballingall said.

“People have cancelled for sure. Cancelled hockey teams and guests from Australia and Europe but the local bookings are still coming in. The interesting thing in this is social space and we’re really trying to mitigate some of that experience of crowds.”

The Big White website lists off all the actions the resort is doing to limit the spred of germs include staggering line-ups at ticket and rental counters, using tape to create personal areas, removing tables from restaurants and cafeterias to create more space, no longer accepting reusable cups and more.

READ MORE: B.C. recommends no travel outside Canada in coronavirus pandemic

READ MORE: UBC classes continue, events with more than 250 people cancelled due to COVID-19

On March 12, the B.C. government strongly suggested that gatherings of 250 or more people should be cancelled or delayed. While Big White has more than 250 guests on slopes and in restaurants, Ballingall said that resorts may be managed differently.

“We’ve asked them what that means and what’s the ruling on that,” Ballingall said., noting that skiers don’t ski side by side and that there are acres of space on the mountains.

Ballingall also said that they’ve heard from IH that they’re not as concerned for what’s going on outside as what is going on inside closed rooms.

Weekly indoor events organized by Big White staff have been cancelled in favor for outdoor activities.

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