Nov 12, 2020

Brimacombe's Opening Plan: 2020-21 Winter Season

We’re in this together!

Opening day at Brimacombe is quickly approaching, and it's safe to say that the 2020-21 season will look a little different than any that has come before it. Our slopes will still be covered in snow, our lifts will still turn and we will still welcome thousands of bright, smiling faces, but how we will do it will change slightly to protect the health and safety of our staff, passholders and guests.

Here are just some of the measures that will be taken to protect health and safety: 

  • Plan Ahead, Reduce Touch Points and Delays – From booking visits in advance to encouraging visitors to come prepared with all the items they need, Brimacombe has modified or enhanced a number of processes to reduce congestion, allow for spacing and protect your wellbeing. Please see Reservation System below for more details.
  • Health Screenings – All guests, including program participants, will be required to complete a health screening before they arrive for their visit. Employees will be required to complete health screenings prior to each scheduled shift. 
  • Face Masks – Guests and employees will be required to wear face masks or face coverings at all times, both indoors and outdoors, while at Brimacombe. Masks are required to meet the guidelines set by the Durham Region Health Department.
  • Physical Distancing – Guests and employees will be required to keep a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between members of other households, at all times, both indoors and outdoors when protective measures are not in place.
  • Go Cashless –For any purchase on site, including retail and food services, Debit, Credit and/or Brimacombe Gift Card will be the preferred methods of payment. Guests carrying cash are encouraged to convert their bills/change to a Brimacombe gift card.
  • Your Car is Your Base Lodge – All guests are encouraged to get dressed at home or in the parking lot at their vehicle. All bags and lunches brought from home must be stored in your vehicle. Please see Indoor Spaces below for more details.


Chalet capacities will be significantly reduced to meet public health guidelines, and public space will be limited to washrooms, warming zones and take-out food purchase, as well as, when possible, limited reserved indoor seating for those purchasing food. 

Where possible, one-way entry and exit points will be designated to control traffic and reduce crowding.

At this time, lower level access to the chalets will be controlled and limited to washrooms and warming zones. Lockers and cubbies will not be available for use at this time and no bags will be allowed to stay in the chalets. All personal items must be stored in your vehicle. No table seating will be available in the lower levels and our space will have limited seating for warming purposes only.

Seating arrangements in warming zones and reserved table spaces, if available, will be spread out to allow for physical distancing with protective barriers where necessary.

Upper level access to the chalets, if available, will be for the purpose of purchasing food only, with limited or no table seating available. Additional outdoor seating has been created and additional outdoor food options may be available.

At this time, no bagged lunches will be allowed in the chalets. Purchased food may only be consumed indoors in designated spaces, when available. Advance reservations for a table may be required at time of booking.


At this time, Brimacombe will be requiring all visitors to wear a mask while in lift lines and riding the lifts. Lift attendants and operators will be required to wear masks at all times, in order to support visitors in loading on and off the chairlift safely.

Mazes will be set up to accommodate physical distancing in lift lines. As well, the length of skis and snowboards provides a great natural cue.

Guests will be encouraged to self-group and load chairlifts with their party. Lift attendants may assist in creating groups of masked riders for the short ride duration with the first two riders spaced on opposite ends of the chair; however, lift attendants will not require guests to ride a chairlift with people they do not know, if it results in a group of more than two riders that cannot be spaced at opposite ends of the chair.

Lift loading procedures will continue to be guided by Government and Public Health recommendations. We commit to keeping our website updated with operational changes.

Reservation System

To assist in controlling congestion and allowing appropriate spacing, all members, season passholders and ticket purchasers will be required to make a reservation. Members and season passholders will have protected blocks of tickets every day we are open that will open for reservations up to 10 days in advance. Other guests can reserve their visit up to 5 days in advance. The great news is this will allow us to set aside a spot for you in advance, ensuring you are not turned away at the gate because we are full. Those in a scheduled Snow School program will have a spot automatically reserved for them for the duration of their lesson only. Snow School participants that wish to ski or snowboard before or after their lesson, must make a reservation.

Currently, there will not be a limit to how many reservations a member or guest can make in the advanced booking period, but out of consideration for others, you are encouraged to make reservations only when you intend to visit. If you are unable to attend a reserved time slot, you will be directed to follow the cancellation instructions provided at booking. Taking the proper steps to release your time slot will release that spot so that it may be offered to another eager skier/snowboarder.

If we find that we are experiencing a high rate of no shows/cancellations and that it is making it hard for other members and guests to reliably secure a spot and/or affecting the sustainability of Brimacombe’s operations it may be necessary to impose cancellation fees and/or consequences for repeat occurrences. Brimacombe reserves the right to update the reservation system and cancellation policy throughout the season, so that we can offer a positive experience for as many guests as possible.

At this time, we do not expect walk-up lift tickets to be available for purchase at Brimacombe. It is possible to make an online reservation on the day of your visit, but we cannot guarantee the availability of tickets and rentals. Those wishing to hit the slopes are strongly encouraged to plan ahead by purchasing their lift tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.

When you arrive at Brimacombe you will check-in at one of our new Guest Services Kiosks, located in Parking Lot 1, 2 & 4, depending on your reserved entry point. There will be no access to Parking Lot 3.

Please do not come to Brimacombe if you or anyone in your household is ill or are feeling unwell.

Members and Season Passholders

Plan in advance and help us reduce wait times. If you have not done so already, please be sure to send us a photo and sign your waiver online. If you did not choose to have your passes mailed, you can request this after the fact through Guest Services for an additional $4.00+hst.

Reservation System: All members and season passholders will be required to book online in advance. Members will have protected blocks of tickets every day we are open. Members and Season Passholder will be given advance access to tickets with bookings able to be made 10 days in advance. Bookings will be opened to the general public 5 days in advance.

At this time, Members and Season Passholders will be booking their arrival time and will be able to stay to close (all within the conditions of your pass).  If we find that it is becoming difficult to meet demand throughout the season, it may be necessary to limit the number of times that a member can make a reservation per week and/or the scheduled duration of the visit, so that everyone has reasonable access to the hill.

For more information on refunds due to COVID-19 closures, please see point #9, A-C in Passholder Terms & Conditions:


*UPDATE: All multi-week lesson programs for the 2020-21 season have currently been cancelled.

In order to improve physical distancing, we have both reduced the number of overall lesson spots at each time as well as created additional meeting areas. Signage will be available to direct participants to their meeting area based on their group number. Additional details will also be included in an email sent to participants prior to the first day of lessons.

A health screening will need to be completed by each participant prior to each lesson. The results of this screening will determine if the participant is able to attend. All staff will also complete a health screening prior to each shift. Participants and staff will not be permitted to attend if they are feeling ill. We ask for your understanding as instructor availability might be less consistent as a result of this protocol.

Masks will need to be worn for the duration of the lesson.

To prevent crowding, only one parent/guardian will be able to escort their child(ren) to and from their meeting point. During lessons, parents and other family members will not be able to stay to watch their children in lessons. Instead, we recommend waiting in your vehicle, doing some shopping in town or reserving your own time for skiing and snowboarding.

Each participant will be provided with an 8-Week Participant card, which must be worn to gain entry to the property and use the lifts for the duration of the lesson. No reservation is required for each participant’s specific lesson duration. Participants looking to ski or snowboard before or after their scheduled lesson time, will need to make a reservation.

For more information on refunds due to COVID-19 closures resulting in lesson cancellations, please see point #14, A & B in 6-Week and 8-Week Lesson Programs Terms & Conditions:

Equipment Rentals

While our rental building remains in the same location, our entry, equipment pick-up, exit and equipment drop-off points will look a little different than previous seasons to allow for adequate physical distancing.

Equipment rentals will be offered by reservation only, due to reduced capacity in the rental shop. It is recommended that you make your equipment reservation in advance. If you require equipment rentals, please be sure to select this option when reserving your visit, including lesson participants. Capacity at our rental location will be reduced in accordance with Government and Public Health regulations. As such, rentals may not be available at your desired timeslot, please review this at your time of booking and make sure you reserve your rentals in advance.

Masks will be required at all times while in our rental building, as well as in line outside. Our Rental Staff will be required to wear face masks at all times and during portions of the process that require close interactions, additional PPE may be in place.

Enhanced sanitization for rental equipment will be in place.

Food Services

At this time, take-out food services will continue to operate in the upper levels of both chalets, with weekend-only service at the West Chalet and 6-day service at the East Chalet.

To reduce wait times and improve flow, our menus have been updated this season – but don’t worry, our famous poutine will still be available!

One-way entry and exit points will be designated in each chalet to control traffic and reduce crowding and, where necessary, line placements and ordering procedures will be adjusted to protect the health and safety of our staff, passholders and guests with protective barriers in place.

Additional outdoor seating has been created and additional outdoor food options may be available. At this time, no bagged lunches will be allowed in the chalets.

In our upper level, we may have limited indoor seating for advanced booking at set time periods and may only be booked by those purchasing food in our chalet. Tables will need to be vacated at the end of each booking to allow our team members to perform sanitization procedures before the next scheduled booking.

We realize this will be a unique season for everyone and we appreciate your support during this time.

As a not-for-profit organization, every dollar spent at Brimacombe is invested back into the facility and helps directly support our continued operation.  We have made significant investments this season to ensure our ability to operate safely for our members, season passholders, guests and employees.

We are truly in this together. Just as we train our employees to be patient and understanding of our guests, we ask for you to show our employees the same courtesy. This season will be a stressful time for everyone as we all adjust to our new normal, and while this season may look a little different than what we are used to, we are optimistic that this will still be a great season.

We are committed to keeping our guests and members informed on any operational changes now and throughout the season, so please keep a close eye on our website, social media and sign up for our Eblast to stay in the know!