Edmonton Ski Club receives $1.1 million from city, province for upgrades and new lifts
The club, which is the longest continuously-operating facility in Canada, has been struggling to stay open
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Wednesday was a bluebird day for the Edmonton Ski Club, as they announced $1.1 million in funding commitments from the provincial government and the city.
The club had existed under the dark clouds of financial trouble recently, and had been struggling to stay open.
“We are so grateful for the financial support that will ensure full operations of our facilities next season,” said Monty Worobec, Edmonton Ski Club’s volunteer president.
The money will be paid out over 3 years and will pay for things like new ski lifts.
The facility, located on Conner's Hill, is only partially operational this year due to the need for upgrades to lifts. Worobec said the money will allow them to be fully operational next winter.
“We will also be finally able to refurbish our T-Bar lifts and add magic carpets so new skiers can come and safely ride up and down our hill.”
This is the first time the province has committed to multi-year funding for the ski club.
“We stepped in in November when we found out that the ski club was at risk of closure,” Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt.
“This facility is too valuable to the city to let it close. So, we decided it was time as a provincial government to invest in the facility and invest in the people of Edmonton and their ability to enjoy winter.”
The province is providing a total of $600,000 over a three-year period whereas the city is funding $459,000 over a two-year period.
Worobec says the ski club also plans to add fat bike rentals and artificial curling rinks to draw more people to the facility.
Founded in 1911 by a group of Norwegian immigrants, the ski club is the oldest continuously operating ski club in Canada.
It's governed by a volunteer board that has kept the facility operating on limited hours this winter season.
The ski club’s bunny hill will be open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday until the end of the season, which Worobec says “weather permitting” will be until the end of March.