Tag: Winter

Pittsylvania County Parks and Recreation cancels winter sports | Local News

Winter sports

Pittsylvania County Parks and Recreation has cancelled winter sports for the upcoming season over COVID-19 worries.

In pre-pandemic times, more than 750 children would normally participate in basketball and cheerleading over the winter in Pittsylvania County.

But, in these COVID-19 times, Pittsylvania County Parks and Recreation has cancelled the 2020-21 season for those sports.

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“Cancelling this year’s season was a tough decision to make, but we believe it was the right one,” Justin Price, interim director of parks and recreation, said in a news release.

Price said there was no way to keep athletes, families and fans safe, let alone prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside.  

Baseball and football season were cancelled earlier this year. Price is hopeful to bring sports back in the later part of 2021.

The Community Center gymnasium may still be resented for basketball, volleyball or events. For more information, call 434-432-7736.

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Otesaga Resort Hotel to remain open this winter

It’s the first time since historic building first opened in 1909

Photo of Eric Anderson

COOPERSTOWN — The Otesaga Resort Hotel, which has closed after the Thanksgiving holiday for the past 111 years, will remain open this winter. The hotel made the announcement Tuesday.

“Typically, the resort closes to leisure travelers after Thanksgiving weekend, then reopens in April,” according to the hotel’s press release. “But since 2020 has been anything but typical and travelers will be looking for winter getaways where they can remain healthy and safe, cozy and warm, this seems the perfect time for the legendary resort to try something completely new … and write a new page into its 111-year history.”

The hotel, at the south end of Otsego Lake, offers a golf course, swimming pool and boating on the lake in warmer months.

And in winter? The Otesaga is touting the golf course as a place to snowshoe or cross-country ski. The National Baseball Hall of Fame remains open through the winter. The Otesaga also suggests guests might want to pack some books, “and prepare to hunker down and enjoy being in a place that feels very homey but that – thank goodness! – isn’t those same four walls they’ve been staring at since March.

“In short, winter in Cooperstown is about peace and tranquility, and we can all use plenty of that right now.”

The hotel said it will offer a number of different winter packages, with rates starting at $149.


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Halifax travel agency seeking to extend Atlantic bubble to Cuban resort this winter

HALIFAX — A Halifax travel agency is offering two weeklong trips to Cuba reserved exclusively for residents of the Atlantic Canada bubble.

a group of people on a beach

© Provided by The Canadian Press

Absolute Travel Specialists says it will charter two Air Canada flights — one in February and another in March — for Atlantic Canadians who want to get some sun in the winter and stay safe from COVID-19.


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“People are really anxious about getting out,” Fred Mack, company co-owner and vice-president, said in an interview Tuesday. “It’s amazing.” He said about 75 out of 146 seats have already been sold for the first of two vacation packages.

Mack said the hotel in Cayo Coco will be reserved exclusively for Atlantic Canadians during their stay. Travellers, he added, will need to remain in the Atlantic region for 21 days before they fly.

Mack said the reason his trips are exclusive to Atlantic Canadians is to preserve the travel bubble. Since July, residents of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island have been permitted to travel within the Atlantic region while access has been restricted to everyone else.

But Mack isn’t fully recreating the bubble with the chartered flights to Cuba — anyone returning from the Caribbean will need to isolate for 14 days upon their return home. He said he’s hoping, however, that a pilot project at Calgary’s airport will help spur officials to change the rules by the time the first plane is scheduled to leave in February.

Starting in November, foreign travellers arriving at the Calgary International Airport or through Coutts land border crossing will be administered a rapid COVID-19 test before they begin their quarantine. If they test negative, they will be allowed to end their isolation after taking a second test a week later.

Mack said officials at Halifax’s airport authority told him they were “looking forward” to his company’s two flights to Cuba. “It gives them an incentive to push the federal government into trying to get possible rapid testing into Halifax, trying to open up the market,” he said.

Halifax airport spokesperson Tiffany Chase said Tuesday in a statement that Mack’s idea for Atlantic Canadian travellers is “creative.” She said the airport authority hasn’t heard from the federal or provincial government’s about a rapid COVID-19 testing project, but she said it was open to it. 

A spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada said in an email that if Atlantic Canadians choose to ignore the country’s travel advisories — which warn against non-essential travel outside the country — they may have limited access to consular services. 

Prince Edward Island’s chief public health officer, Dr. Heather Morrison, told a news conference Tuesday that the planned trips to Cuba are “not realistic.”

“Islanders who leave here for outside the country, for outside the bubble, will have to isolate for 14 days when they return,” she said.

The cost of the all-inclusive package ranges from about $1,500 per person to about $1,700 per person.

This report by

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Pittsylvania Co. Parks and Recreation cancel winter youth sports amid COVID-19

a group of people walking on a wooden floor

© Provided by WSET Lynchburg

PITTSYLVANIA Co., Va. (WSET) — Pittsylvania County Parks and Recreation announced their decision to cancel the 2020-2021 basketball and cheerleading seasons Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Under normal circumstances, well over 750 youth would participate in these two sporting seasons, which run from December to March.

“Cancelling this year’s season was a tough decision to make, but we believe it was the right one,” said Interim Director of Parks and Recreation Justin Price. “There simply is no way to keep all the athletes, families, and fans safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in an indoor environment.”

In an effort to reduce the community transmission of COVID-19 in our community, both the baseball and football seasons were already canceled earlier in the year.

“While we regret having to cancel these sports and every 2020 sports season to protect our youth, we look forward to safely bringing back our sports later in 2021,” Price said.

The Community Center gymnasium can still be rented out for basketball, volleyball, or events and time slots and space are limited. 

Those who are interested can call the Community Center at 434-432-7736.

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Businesses, cities look to give Canadians outdoor recreation options during pandemic winter

At Fresh Air Experience in Ottawa, a sporting goods store that specializes in bikes in the summer and cross-country skis in winter, the demand for ski equipment doesn’t traditionally take off until the first flakes of snow have fallen.

But business is already booming, months ahead of schedule.

After record bike sales during the first part of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fresh Air owner Jon Digney is seeing the same phenomenon with cross-country skis. He’s booking appointments for in-store shopping up to three weeks in advance.

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“Traditionally, when we transition from bikes to skis, we have a lull during October and November. The Christmas season kicks it off early December,” Digney said.

“This year, it’s already full speed ahead. We didn’t have any transition. We went straight from bikes to skis in a day.”

If there’s a silver lining eight months into the global pandemic, it’s that Canadians have embraced the outdoors.

But winter will present new challenges. While we know the importance of fresh air and movement for physical and mental health, the cold and shorter darker days will push people indoors.

Gabor Csonka, president of Calgary’s Foothills Nordic club, isn’t surprised that cross-country ski equipment is flying off the shelves. The sport’s benefits, he said, are numerous.

“You’re outdoors usually in a beautiful environment with trees and hills. Humans need to connect with nature,” he said. “And you don’t need to be in close contact with anyone, but you can still go for ski and have a conversation with someone.

“It’s just a fantastic feeling to go and ski quietly, with decent space, through the woods.”

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After seeing parks crowded with summer hikers, Csonka hopes there’s the infrastructure to handle a potential influx.

“Do we have enough parking spaces, toilets, and trails that are groomed or maintained?” he said. “That’s a challenge.”

Across the country, federal and municipal governments are still hammering out winter plans.

The City of Toronto’s ActiveTO program of road closures was extended into October because of its popularity. Now, Toronto will switch gears to promote its toboggan hills, snowshoeing trails, and the city’s 50-plus outdoor ice rinks.

“Embrace fall, embrace winter,” said Howie Dayton, Toronto’s director of community recreation. “There’s so many great things to explore outdoors in Toronto, so it’s a chance to really connect with nature this fall and winter and try some outdoor sport and outdoor activities that you’ve never done before.”

Precautionary measures around issues like skate rentals at the popular Nathan Phillips Square rink are still being ironed out.

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Quebec continues to be Canada’s COVID hot spot. And with the situation evolving, Montreal has prepared various scenarios to enable residents to enjoy outdoor activities safely, the city said in a statement.

“For the time being, and provided that all conditions remain unchanged, only individual outdoor activities will be promoted,” the statement said, listing hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, and skating.

A busy summer gave Blue Mountain Resort staff

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Answers to your questions about how climate change affects winter recreation in Maine

Maine has long been a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts who in winter have gone downhill skiing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. But as climate change makes sub-freezing temperatures and sufficient snowpack less consistent, and as tourists seek out new kinds of experiences, traditional winter outdoor recreation businesses in Maine are having to adjust.

Some ski resorts have suffered through slow winters due to a relative lack of snow, while opportunities to go ice fishing are shrinking as lakes consistently freeze later and thaw earlier in the year.

To share information about the effect of warming temperatures on Maine’s economy, communities and ecosystems, the Bangor Daily News hosted an online event on Oct. 15, bringing together four experts to share their work on the topic. The webinar was the third of four BDN Climate Conversations, which will help shape our coverage of climate issues.

The conversations bring together scientists from the University of Maine and other research institutions as well as local subject matter experts.

During last week’s event, people who tuned in wanted to know more about the impact of warmer temperatures on winter recreational activities in Maine. Here are some of their biggest questions.

Michael San Filippo

Is it possible that climate change may, paradoxically, cause colder temperatures on average in Maine during the winter in the future? Rising temperatures are weakening the jet stream, allowing frigid arctic air to reach further south.

While climate change has made weather conditions more volatile, the overall trend shows that the planet is getting warmer, including in Maine.

There have been some examples in recent winters of places in Maine getting single-digit or sub-zero temperatures one day and above-freezing temperatures the next, but it is unlikely that there will be any significant cooling as long as the volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues to rise. Still, there could be some variability from one decade to the next, with some on average being cooler than others, due to natural factors such as volcanic eruptions.

Kenneth Capron

Couldn’t it be argued that this trend is actually good for Maine for the tourism and agriculture industries? Are earlier ice-outs better or worse for the fish in our lakes and rivers?

It depends on what kind of tourism business you run, which is why many businesses that historically have catered to snowmobilers or downhill skiers have diversified the types of activities they offer. Many ski resorts have built or connected to area mountain bike trails to attract customers in warm months, for example. Cross-country skiing requires less snowpack than snowmobiling, and fat bikes or fat tire bikes can be ridden either in snow or on bare or muddy ground.

In places that tend to draw hikers or enthusiasts of other traditional summer outdoor activities, the milder weather — especially during fall foliage season — has boosted business in the state’s tourism industry over the past few decades. Relatively warm and dry weather in the months of September and October has been credited by officials

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You Could Spend Winter In A Mallorcan Boutique Hotel From $950 A Month

As temperatures drop and COVID-19 infection rates surge across Europe, digital nomads and just about anyone else with the freedom to work remotely are starting to think about where to spend the coming months. As the Spanish government prepares to announce a plan for air corridors to the Balearic and Canary Islands, many Europeans are considering the possibility of flying south to Spain for winter.

Mhouse launches offer for digital nomads

Located in the Mallorcan capital of Palma de Mallorca, popular boutique hotel Mhouse has launched an innovative, new long-stay offer, specifically targeting digital nomads and people seeking an extended stay on the idyllic Mediterranean island.

“The pandemic has accelerated our desire to achieve, adapt and develop our minds and, despite the circumstances, it also drives us to get the best out of life,” says Christian Coll, founder of Mhouse, adding: “We want to offer you a place to stay and work, where you can enjoy mid-to-long-term stays that help minimize our environmental footprint through responsible travel.”

Mhouse’s new WORK & STAY offer covers stays of up to six months, with a monthly charge that includes accommodation in one of the hotel’s impeccably designed rooms—which range from a standard double to the spectacular penthouse suite—as well as access to coworking spaces, shared kitchen facilities, the hotel’s dreamy rooftop and plunge pool, and leafy outdoor patio. The cost also covers all bills, in addition to mineral water, coffee, bathroom amenities, and Smart TV with Netflix and HBO, not to mention the full range of 24/7 concierge services provided by a modern boutique hotel. Additionally, long-term guests will be able to enjoy Mhouse’s weekly program of social events, workshops, and fitness classes.

“We are living in extraordinary times that require extraordinary measures,” continues Christian Coll. “At Mhouse, we believe in experiences that connect you to people, not just places. Our vision is rooted in creating a community that echoes the rhythm of the city and the local way of life, with the objective of leaving the world a little better than we found it.”

Mallorca offers unrivaled quality of life

In 2017, Palma de Mallorca was voted the “best city in the world to live” by British newspaper The Financial Times, and it is easy to see why. With its laid-back Mediterranean approach, beautiful architecture, endless sandy beaches, fantastic gastronomy, and more than 300 days of sunshine a year, few places in the world can rival Mallorca when it comes to

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Best winter adventures in the UK: readers’ travel tips

a rocky beach next to the water: Photograph: Alamy

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Alamy

Winning tip: White sands and surf, Iona

water next to the rock: Bay leave … the beach of Port Ban on the west coast of Iona.

© Photograph: Alamy
Bay leave … the beach of Port Ban on the west coast of Iona.

Head to Scotland’s beautiful twin islands of Mull and Iona in winter and you will have beaches and caves to yourselves. Take a warm tent, a decent wetsuit and warm clothes for exploring the cliff paths, pristine white sand beaches and sparkling turquoise waters. Port Ban beach is sheltered and if the sun comes out you are in heaven – you could be in the Caribbean here if the temperature were 20 degrees higher. The surf is good at Ardanalish beach if you are into that – or just walk and enjoy fresh air and open views to the wild Atlantic.


Cold water boost, Cornwall

a man standing on top of a sandy beach next to the ocean: Woman in sea, Falmouth, Cornwall, England

© Provided by The Guardian
Woman in sea, Falmouth, Cornwall, England

I swim year-round in Cornwall, and in all sorts of places: tidal pools, rivers, quarries and beaches. I take short dips without a wetsuit, but use one for long-distance swims – along with two swimming caps and thermal undergarments! Find tips on wildswimmingcornwall.co.uk. It was set up to promote the mental health and community benefits of wild swimming in the UK and encourage people to get closer to nature, and also raises money for Mind UK, using the #selfcareswims hashtag.

Lydia Paleschi

King of the hill, Cheltenham

a close up of a hillside: A view of Cheltenham Spa from the Cotswolds.

© Provided by The Guardian
A view of Cheltenham Spa from the Cotswolds.

My favourite wintry walk is up Timbercombe Hill in Charlton Kings in Cheltenham. You get beautiful views of the town, houses, cars and people scattered below like an upturned toy box, upright sparse trees and raggedy bushes marking the way up the hill. Standing at the top you feel like the king of the world. A hotty choc in hand is my sweet reward.


English skiing, Lake District

My top tip for a UK winter trip has to be the Lake District Ski Club next to Helvellyn. Boasting a 360-metre button-tow and up to nine ungroomed runs (depending on conditions), this is an amazing place to ski, snowboard or just visit! Access is a little challenging as it’s an hour’s walk from the mines at Glenridding, but this hidden gem is well worth putting in the effort for. The Club members are lovely, welcoming folk, and there’s even a heated ski lodge to have a rest and a brew in. The snow conditions are obviously very variable, but on a good day this is a unique experience for intermediate-to-advanced skiers and snowboarders.


Woodland wonderland, North Yorkshire

Gallery: The world’s most amazing underwater hotel rooms (Love Exploring)

a man riding skis down a snow covered slope: woman and dog in snow, Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire

© Provided by The Guardian
woman and dog in snow, Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire

For a wonderful winter adventure for all the family, go exploring in the North Yorkshire’s beautiful Dalby Forest. From active stuff like mountain biking, Segway riding and ziplining to gentle strolling, there is something there for everyone.

Andrea Smith


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Want The Most Luxurious Winter Vacation? Buy Out An Entire Heli-Ski Lodge For A Week

This winter marks North America’s first full cold season in the midst of COVID-19. Where the onset of the pandemic abruptly closed many heliski lodges last March, those same lodges have been working for months to put new health and safety protocols, according to the most updated requirements from medical experts, in place to welcome guests back this winter.

One of the emerging trends in the industry is an option to buy out the entire heliski experience for you and your chosen bubble of people. Where you would normally be sharing a helicopter and the lodge with other groups, and might even be skiing with people outside your party, some operations are now emphasizing full lodge buyouts to give their guests the most comfort and assurance possible. These are some of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for the most luxurious ski vacations on offer.           

Mica Heli-Skiing

Mica Heli-Skiing is widely known as the most luxe heliski operation in the industry, offering small-group skiing in a spectacular alpine environment that spans over 500 square miles of mountains. The modern-crafted lodge, perched above Kinbasket Lake, hosts only 20 guests max, boasts two rooftop hot tubs looking out over the lake and its surrounding peaks, a ritzy bar, fireplace lounge, and rotating art on the walls from its artist-in-residence program. The dining room’s row of floor-to-ceiling windows showcases alpine sunsets best enjoyed over Mica’s signature innovative gourmet meals made with seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients.

Custom lodge experiences are nothing new for the seasoned guides and savvy staff at Mica, who’ve already created such experiences as bringing in a five-piece orchestra that composed and performed a piece for a guest during their stay, building backflips from snow outside the lodge for one keen group to hit after après, and flying a grand piano onto a glacier. Mica has also been offering full lodge buyouts for guests since its inception, making it practiced in the industry.

“We have several guests that book out our lodge exclusively and we work closely with them to create customized experiences that are all about them,” said Nicole Frico, CEO of Mica Heliskiing. “If they want to ski hard and fast then that’s what we do, if they want to have lunch on a glacier we work with them to make it happen. For us it is all about making sure they have the time of their lives with the people they care about most.”

Great Canadian Heli-Skiing

As a family-owned and -operated lodge since 1988, Great Canadian Heli-Skiing prides itself on being the innovator of small-group heliskiing. All of its packages in any given winter are skied in small groups of four guests or less and include unlimited vertical (no extra vertical charges). Its timber-frame lodge offers rare drive-in access, situated as it is on Rogers Pass on the doorstep of Glacier National Park (which frequently sets records for the snowiest place in the country), and also

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United Airlines (UAL) to Add 8 New Routes for Winter Travel

As leisure-travel demand continues to improve, United Airlines Holdings, Inc. UAL plans to introduce eight new routes and increase services to 19 destinations (in Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America) for the winter travel period.

As part of its expansion initiative, United Airlines aims to begin new non-stop services connecting Denver with Belize City, Belize and San Jose, Costa Rica from December. From Dec 19, United Airlines is going to launch new Saturday service between Los Angeles and San Jose, Costa Rica which expands to daily service on Jan 5, 2021. Moreover, the airline is also set to begin services connecting Los Angeles with San Pedro Sula, Honduras and Liberia, Costa Rica on Dec 17 and Jan 8, respectively. The flights will operate thrice a week.

Apart from launching these services, the carrier also plans to increase frequency for few routes. The airline plans to increase flights connecting Los Angeles with Guatemala City (10 times per week), Liberia, Costa Rica (three times) and San Salvador, El Salvador (11 times).  Some of the other routes where the carrier will expand services for winter travel are between Washington Dulles and Cancun; San Francisco and Cancun.

Through this move, United Airlines aims to generate revenues and boost flying opportunities. It is expected to boost the top line in the near term amid severe coronavirus-induced crisis.

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