Let Nitehawk set you up for your life’s adventure
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By BARB MARTOWSKI for #SkiNorthAB
Grande Prairie, AB – Closing in on 60 years of serving the communities which surround it, Nitehawk Year-Round Adventure Park was happy to say that with the hard work of its snow making crews, the resort was able to have a soft opening on Nov. 17.
“Thanks to a few more days of colder weather, we’re in good shape to open longer starting Thursday, Nov. 22,” says assistant general manager, Johnathan Clarkson. “We will be open for night skiing and snowboarding this Thursday and Friday, from 5:30 to 9:30pm and on Saturday and Sunday, we’ll be open from Noon to 5pm. By mid-December, we hope to have all snowmaking complete (weather dependent) on all runs and be fully open.”
Nitehawk is known for being a family-friendly, community-owned non-profit that provides outdoor recreational opportunities for everyone, but it’s also aiming to expand its reputation to include being environmentally responsible as well.
“We’re really popular for our night skiing, so we began switching out all our lights for LED lights,” said Clarkson. “By next Fall, our entire hill will only have LEDs.”
Another thing Clarkson is pleased with is the new 2,000 sq.ft. lower chalet by the hill’s tube zone.
Nitehawk's Aquatera Tube Zone is a popular feature of this adventure park.
“It’s really helped to improve the guest experience in the Aquatera Tube Zone and given a venue for birthday parties and corporate tube sone Events. Up in our main chalet, we’ve also expanded the hours of the Snowmakers Family Lounge to seven days a week, whether the hill is open or not. We’ll be open for dinner service daily from 5 to 9pm and lunch on weekdays from 11:30am to 1:30pm,” said Clarkson, adding that the lounge menu is being revamped as well.
Nitehawk also has a full line-up of events taking place this season, from CSIA and CASI Ski and Snowboard Instructor Certification Courses, lesson programs for all ages, Holiday Camps, ski and snowboard Demo Days and family-fun events like its Fresh Air Family New Year’s Eve on Dec. 31st and the First Tracks Fun Run, Jan. 1st.
Nitehawk is a great place to hang out with friends and family, and learn a new activity.
Ensuring everyone has a chance to try out skiing or riding – to see if it’s their adventure for life activity – is key for Nitehawk, so this year, the hill is once again partnering with Servus Credit Union for Servus Free Ski Fridays. These Free Fridays are the first Friday of each month, starting Dec. 7 and anyone who is interested can rent equipment for just $15 and get their lift ticket for free.
If You Go
Nitehawk is only a 10-minute drive from Grande Prairie in northwestern Alberta and a million kilometers away from the stresses of life – make sure to visit the resort’s website to learn more and to check out its reciprocal season pass program.
Grande Prairie offers some great attractions that shouldn’t be missed, including the Philip J Currie Dinosaur Museum. The museum itself, is loosely designed to resembles a dig site and is part of 10-acre complex located 19 km west of Grande Prairie in Wembley on Hwy 43.
While the museum’s permanent collections come from the Pipestone Creek Bone Bed, just 15 minutes away, it also includes a theatre that features National Geographic films and showcases exhibits from other museums. Currently, the featured exhibit is Our Feathered Friends from the Canadian Museum of Nature, which will be on display until the end of January. Another attraction that delights young and old alike is the opportunity to see what it’s like to be a dig volunteer. Visitors can take part in a drop-in session and learn how to clean and prepare fossils for either exhibits or study.
If you want to get in a good work out while you’re there, hit the Eastlink Centre on Knowledge Way. The facility includes fitness rooms, oval track, squash and racquetball courts, pools, sauna and steam room, plus some pretty funky options like a FlowRider (surfing) and a lazy river for tubing. You can also drop in to anyone of 30+ classes. It’s a pretty amazing place.
From comedy to concerts, plays and film, the Grande Prairie Live Theatre has you covered. It’s one of Canada’s largest non-profit community theatre companies and produces seven shows a season. In keeping with the season, a good old fashion farce is scheduled for Nov. 29 to Dec. 15. Titled, No sex please, it’s Christmas will have you crying with tears of laughter.
Another not-to-be-missed attraction is the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie. Located in the Montrose Cultural Centre, it's home to over 800 pieces. This not-for-profit is one of the largest Free Admission galleries in Western Canada and its reputation is second to none. How good is its Category A designation? Nov. 22 saw the unveiling of a very special exhibit from Japan – the Itchiku Kubota, What do the mountain spirits ponder.
Celebrating the life and work of Itchiku Kubota, the exhibit first showed in Toronto and New York before coming to Grande Prairie, the last stop before it heads back to Japan. That’s right – only three stops in all of North American and the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie is one of them. Given the title of the exhibit, we think it’s the perfect cultural balance for a day on the slopes and definitely, a must see. The exhibit runs until Feb. 20, 2019.