Some of Chris Bishop’s earliest memories at Sir Sam’s ski hill were falling off the T-bar because he didn’t know how to use it. As he got older, he got to run the lift, and remembers getting the odd Friday afternoon off of school to ride snowmobiles up and down the hill to pack the snow for the coming weekend.
Bishop said the family decision to sell Sir Sam’s Ski/Ride isn’t bittersweet at all although it has stirred up memories.
“It’s time to move on. We’re all excited and happy. There is certainly sweet but there’s not bitterness about it at all,” he said.
The Bishop family announced via a news release Nov. 2 that they had sold to the Wilkinson family, long-time cottagers and ski hill afficionados who hail from Oshawa.
Chris Bishop said the Wilkinsons have been skiing at Sir Sam’s for 15 years so know the local business well and liked what they saw. He added they are younger and enthusiastic about trying new things. That will include renovations to the chalet and introducing a new food experience, Rhubarb on the Hill, in December. He added they have ideas for more off-season events.
Members of the Bishop family are staying on this winter to help with the transition and some might remain as employees.
The Wilkinsons have so far declined to comment.
Bishop said another lasting memory from their 56 years at the hill is the many lifelong friendships they have made. He thanked customers, suppliers, tradespeople and staff. Sir Sam’s Ski/Ride was founded in 1965.
“We could not have done this without your support,” the Bishop family said in the media release. “Our father and mother, Bob and Noreen, had a dream and a vision all those years ago to create a winter skiing facility that would promote Haliburton and Eagle Lake as a winter destination and that it would become an economic driver for the entire Haliburton Highlands. They accomplished this goal.”