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Vista Ridge preparing to open for the season

PHOTO. Trail Map of Vista Ridge.

Vista Ridge, located just outside of Fort McMurray and known as the best non-mountain recreation in Alberta is getting ready for the 2018/19 season.

As part of their preparations, they have decided not to operate the Syncrude Bison Chairlift this year and as a result will not be opening the Tamarack, Aurora or Bison ski trails.

The Vista Ridge Board of Directors stated in a press release that due to low ridership because of difficult weather conditions and recovery costs associated with the 2016 wildfire it would be fiscally irresponsible for them to operate the chairlift, which only operated for 25 days last year.

“This big saving will be not making snow on those runs and having to groom them,” said General Manager Kevin Grogan.

This season they will focus on maintaining the quality of the remaining areas of the park including the Riblet chairlift and seven other ski trails and tube park.

“We have great skiing and snowboarding runs, awesome parks and a friendly area for beginners.  Add to that an incredible natural setting, beautiful lodge, plenty of rental equipment, great food and friendly staff,” said Grogan.  “Unfortunately, due to unfavorable economic conditions, we have had to make some compromises to ensure we can continue to provide our guests with memorable experiences.”

After this season, Vista Ridge will re-evaluate its financial position in hopes of opening the second chairlift and three ski runs for the 2019/20 season.

The facility is also opening a new golf course in the summer of 2019.