Steve Paccagnan is eager to welcome skiers and snowboarders back to Panorama Mountain Resort’s slopes when the resort officially opens on Friday, December 7th.
“As we look forward to the winter season,” Panorama’s president and CEO said, “the resort is actually in really, really good shape.”
A heavy autumn snowfall, repeated dustings and machine-made snow mean the runs are covered and ready to go. There’s so much snow that Mr. Paccagnan expects all the lifts will be in operation starting on opening day.
“This time of year it’s a real coming together of the local community… coming together of those that are passionate about winter and the mountains,” he said.
The resort has invested in snow making as well as in state-of-the-art grooming machines that will work on even the steepest slopes and will preserve the snow pack in the season ahead, he said. The team has also mowed the mountain’s overgrowth of alders and grasses so less snow will be required to keep skiers and snowboarders swooshing over the slopes.
Those who want to experience The Monster but aren’t crazy about hiking their way up will have the luxury of catching a ride in the Monster X passenger snowcat. The Monster X will be available by Christmas.
Also by Christmas Mr. Paccagnan said Canada’s only food cat – a food truck that can scale the slopes – “is going to be roaming about the mountain during the winter.” For riders’ convenience, the roving truck will offer items to “sip, grip, grab and go” during their runs.
Panorama’s stationary restaurants are also offering updated menus.
The resort has also invested in an automated ski-tuning machine that can fix up 25 pairs of skies in an hour.
“Bring us your worst pair of skis and we’ll make them look brand new,” he said.
With approximately 500 employees as the resort ramps up for the season andaround 200,000 skier visits a year, Panorama offers far more than the thrill of the ride. Mr. Paccagnan said the resort is one of the larger employers in the region and is a major contributor to tourism, recreation and the local economy.
“I’ve always felt like Panorama was home,” Mr. Paccagnan said. “I’ve always had a real passion for the mountains.”
2022 World junior championships
Panorama won its bid against the rest of the world to host the FIS Alpine Junior World Ski Championships in March 2022.
“It’s the first world junior championships held in Western Canada, ever,” Mr. Paccagnan said. “It’s exciting for the resort.”
More than 200 athletes from all Alpine disciplines will arrive from around the globe to participate in the prestigious week-long competition.
“It’s a coming together of the best of the best,” he said.
As the championships will take place during an Olympic year, the exact competition dates remain to be determined.