The Okanagan's Big White Ski Resort will end its season on April 5 – six days earlier than scheduled – to help limit the spread of COVID-19 and the fast-spreading P.1 variant, the resort announced March 31.
Earlier this week, provincial health officer Bonnie Henry announced that she was ordering Whistler Blackcomb ski resort to close as of March 30, for three weeks. The resort then announced that it would not reopen after the three-week period elapsed.
Henry did not order Big White to close.
Henry also mandated that in-restaurant dining would be banned starting March 30. A restaurant at the Big White resort, Charley Victoria's All Day Après, held a large party on the evening of March 29 that included hordes of young people crammed into a small space, with few wearing masks and some standing on tables, according to videos posted on social media.
Owner Justin Reid later apologized for the party on his company's Facebook account. Big White terminated Reid's restaurant's lease.
The ski resort decided last June that it would end its season on April 11.
“Since then, a lot has changed," Big White's CEO Peter Pimmer said in a statement. "In the past week, even more has changed."
Pimmer said he is grateful to have been able to keep the resort open and safe as long as he has, "but with other resorts shutting down, we have become a magnet for non-local skiers and snowboarders."