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New lift passes, more Canadian staff introduced at Jasper ski resort

For the second season, Marmot Basin is having to make changes in order to welcome skiers and snowboarders.

“Just a few, you know, adjustments in the way that we have to operate and all of those adjustments are made just to keep us all safe,” Vice-president Brian Rode told Global News.

Those changes include increased cleaning. The ski resort is also participating in the Restriction Exemption Program. That means those who want to sit in the chalet must show proof of vaccination.

However, proof of vaccination is not required to be on the mountain including the use of lifts.

Lift tickets have also changed, in that they’ve implemented what is known as the Radio-frequency Identification (RFID) program.

Customers buy a card online and then pick it up at a machine at the mountain. Cards can be reloaded with lift tickets multiple times throughout the season.

Skiers and snowboarders then tap the card before getting on a lift — reducing the need for contact with staff members.

Another thing that has changed is the number of international staff working at the resort. Travel restrictions put in place because of COVID-19 have made it difficult to bring in those workers.

“We’re starting to see a bit more come in but usually in the past we’d have a lot of Australians, New Zealanders coming to work on holiday visas and that’s what has changed this year because of COVID,” explained the resorts’s creative content producer, Beatrice Payette.

Payette is one of the Canadians who has benefited from that. She moved to Jasper from Quebec to work at the resort and says having so many Canadians to work with has brought a different feel to the mountain.

“I feel like usually we don’t take the time to visit our own country. But this year everybody has and it’s nice to be able to learn from everyone and where everyone’s from,” Payette said.

Despite the necessary changes, Rode insists the important draws of the resort remain the same.

“Thankfully, the mountains are still the same. The geography is still the same. It’s still such a beautiful place to visit.”

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