Ski resorts around BC are bracing for a hit when Greyhound stops service around the province.
Operators are wondering how some of the most rabid skiers and snowboarders will get out to the mountains in the Interior.
“We’re thinking the industry will take a major blow,” says Michael J Ballingall with Big White.
He says they depend on bus passengers who, in past, used to spend a week or two travelling around, checking out various mountains.
“Greyhound was the way that these young people got around on what we used to traditionally call a ‘ski safari.’ They’d be able to visit Big White, Silverstar, Sun Peaks, Kicking Horse, Fernie, Kimberley, Red Mountain.”
Ballingall adds Big White also needs Greyhound to bring up supplies. “Greyhound was a huge delivery for us of goods — skiing equipment from manufacturers, snowboard equipment.”
“Being up in the alpine, the normal courier companies don’t deliver to the mountain,” he adds.
He says when someone forgets their skis or snowboard at the airport, Big White gets the gear shipped to the Greyhound terminal where a shuttle can pick it up. That won’t be an option anymore.
Greyhound plans to stop service in B.C. except for the U.S.-operated route between Vancouver and Seattle at the end of October. That’s just ahead of ski season.
Ballingall says you can find a deal on a flight if you plan long enough in advance.
“You can get to and from Kelowna for just under $200. But $200 compared to $45? That’s a lot of beer that was going to be consumed. So, who knows what’s going to happen, now.”
He’s hoping an entrepreneur can come up with a bus service to fill the gap. But unless people are willing to hitchhike, there really isn’t any other option.