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Ski Ben Eoin targets Friday opening

Pieces of snow making equipment at Ski Ben Eoin are shown in action. The ski facility could open for the new season as early as Friday if weather co-operates.
Pieces of snow making equipment at Ski Ben Eoin are shown in action. The ski facility could open for the new season as early as Friday if weather co-operates. - Submitted

Hill will be open by Boxing Day at the latest

BEN EOIN, N.S. — The 50th anniversary season at Ski Ben Eoin could begin as early as Friday, if the weather co-operates.

Currently, officials at the popular outdoor recreation facility are monitoring forecasted rain showers on their way to Cape Breton, which could push the start of the new season to Boxing Day.

“We have some weather coming in right now, so we are not sure if we are going to take the chance of pushing everything out,” said Rob Carmichael, general manager at Ski Ben Eoin.

“We might just hold off and wait out the rain system and get a much better product while shooting for Tuesday on Boxing Day.”

Snow making has been relentless at the ski facility as crews shoot for an opening date that’s actually before the first day of winter.

All the while, they have been watching a few small weather systems that could impact the area and wash away some of their hard work.

“We don’t want to lose what we have made so far. We have plenty of snow up on the mountain,” said Carmichael. “We are getting pretty close to pushing the button, but at this time of year you don’t want to take such a big risk and lose our Christmas vacation.”

The Christmas break is one of the more popular times of the year at Ski Ben Eoin when people return home to visit friends and family and look for some fun on the ski hill.

As such, a decision on the actual first day of the season will be made by Thursday when the true impact, if any, of those weather systems is known.

When the hill does open — Friday or Tuesday — skiers will be able to enjoy Ski Ben Eoin’s main run. Other runs will be ready in the days that follow.

Once the hill opens, anniversary celebrations can begin that lead to the actual birthday of the hill on Jan. 20 and beyond.

Other aspects of the anniversary season are set to include new activities and the return of some of the more popular ones from the 50-year history of Ski Ben Eoin.

New events will include a large snowboarding event in partnership with the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, while adult socials will be among the events brought back for the anniversary year.

“We are trying to make a number of changes,” said Carmichael.

“We are moving to a lot of more family oriented events, trying to get more families to come out and enjoy the property.”

There’s also facility upgrades for the anniversary year such as new LED lights for the Red Tail run, which, Carmichael said, should help people to better enjoy skiing at night.

“It’s almost like daylight up there,” he said. “It’s a big improvement to the run.”

Visit skibeneoin.com for opening dates, hill updates and events.

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