The roof collapsed on the Snow Ghost Inn at Big White Ski Resort, BC last night, forcing the 15 residents to evacuate. The massive collapse happened at 3 am over the inner atrium and pool area. All persons have been accounted for reports the Vernon Morning Star.
“I’m not on the mountain, but I got a call at 3 a.m. in the morning from the president of the chamber of commerce looking for our assistance to shelter and place the evacuees,” said Michael J. Ballingall, senior vice-president of Big White Ski Resort. “So, we got them into the Village Center Mall. Obviously, if there was no COVID-19 the response probably would have been different. We probably would have put them into a hotel that was closer to the lobby.”
Thankfully ski patrol was on the mountain at the time of the collapse and were able to rush to the site and get everybody out safely. Evacuees were wrapped in warm blankets.
“Thank you so very much to Big White Ski Resort for providing shelter and blankets to those in need last night,” said a post on the Big White Mountain News Facebook group
Ballingall acknowledged the roof, built in 1979, needs to be fixed as soon as possible before further damage is caused. If the pipes freeze that would pose a massive problem for the resort.
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Big White, located 35-miles southeast of Kelowna, is the third-largest ski resort in British Columbia, after Whistler Blackcomb and Sun Peaks. The mountain summit is at 7,608 ft with a vertical drop of 2,549 ft, serviced by 16 lifts. The mountain receives 295″ of annual snowfall. It has 2,765 acres of overall skiable terrain, with 38 acres of night skiing, making it Western Canada’s largest resort night skiing area.