Manitoba's record-breaking snow maze is in limbo while it waits for provincial approval to open, despite growing in size to accommodate physical distancing.
Clint Masse, owner of A Maze in Corn / A Maze in Snow, was hoping to open his doors to the public this weekend but feels the attraction's uniqueness may have caused the approval to fall through the cracks.
"We're the one and only snow maze in Manitoba, maybe there's two in Canada, and maybe there's two in North America, so of course there's not a classification for us," said Masse.
To be compliant with public health orders, Masse said he has made some adjustments. Entry will be capped at 250 people, the pathways have been enlarged to eight feet wide to accommodate social distancing and masks will be mandatory. The Pumpkin Barn, the attraction's warm-up hut, will also be closed.
This year's maze builds on an already large platform, crowned the world's largest in 2019.
"Ninety-one per cent larger," said Masse. "Manitoba already owns the title as the world's largest snow maze, so just imagine that, and we went 91 per cent bigger."
One-third of the increase is due to the larger pathway sizes, the rest, Masse said, is simply a way to celebrate winter with Manitobans during the pandemic.
Despite Sunday's frigid temperatures, Masse believes the attraction would have pulled a big crowd had he been allowed to open. He's hopeful public health officials come and visit so they could see first-hand how safe the attraction could be.
"The only thing we have inside is the washroom venue. We're asking everyone to warm up in their cars if they're not quite done. Relatively speaking, as an outside activity, we're safe as you can get right now in Manitoba," said Masse.