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Nitehawk prepares to launch its winter season, despite setbacks

Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park operations are going to look noticeably different than normal this winter, following both a landslide in the spring, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Johnathan Clarkson, Nitehawk General Manager, says despite setbacks, the park is still thinking up ways to stay up and running for the community to enjoy.

“Nitehawk obviously will be downsized, but we still have three out of four lifts operational… so what we’re doing is and what we’re planning for is we’ll have the top of “Showoff,” we’re actually going to be connecting that to “Willowway,” [by] creating a cat-track through the trees,” says Clarkson.

“[We’re] trying to expand our square footage and acreage the best we can with the terrain that we have.”

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He adds the park received approval from Alberta Environment Parks to widen “Willowway” by 10 metres for skiable terrain. There will also be changes to the terrain park throughout the season to “keep things fresh and interesting.”

“In the tube zone, we’re [also] going to be having a new thing called ‘Cosmic Tubing,’ so that’s going to be with blacklights, laser lights and music, open in the evenings.”

Nitehawk is also switching to online ticket bookings, with season passes are not likely to be available. Instead, a multiday punch pass is a likely alternative, also to be used in online booking. The rental process will be altered based on how many people may be allowed in the building.

Clarkson adds the park now more than ever needs the support of the community to stay on its feet and able to continue welcoming people to the facility.

“We want to come back full force next season with an additional lift if we have to,” he says.

“[We’re] certainly staying positive, we’re looking at new programming ideas, looking at just adapting the operation, and obviously COVID has really made us think outside the box I think as it has for many other businesses and organizations in the community.”

Nitehawk is also going through many different fundraising efforts over the year as they work to recover and remediate from a landslide in May. Their annual Comedy Night Fundraiser is coming up on September 26th in Evergreen Park at the Grande Sunset Drive-in Theatre, and the team is working with the Community Foundation to put something together. More details will be released as they become available.

The Annual Ski Swap typically held in the first week of November is still under discussion as to see whether it will still occur.

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