Thrills on the hill with the help of the Prince Rupert Port Authority Community Investment Fund – Kitimat Northern Sentinel
Shames Mountain wraps up a successful 2021-2022 ski and snowboarding season thanks to more than $240,000 in investments made by the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PPRA) Community Investment Fund, announced the organization on April 11.
Two critical infrastructure projects have had a significant impact on the operations of the ski resort managed by My Mountain Coop (MMC), PPRA said in a press release. On- and off-piste capability has been expanded with improved safety and operations that have developed new opportunities for all ages and abilities to participate in winter activities.
The most significant improvement to enhance the visitor experience was the installation of a new industry standard conveyor belt known as the “Green Carpet”. This allowed beginner skiers, snowboarders, and people with disabilities, and their equipment, to be protected from the elements while using the ski lift. The new lift replaced an old tow rope which proved difficult to use or for the disabled.
The treadmill allowed for the construction of two new slide lanes alongside the beginners’ slope, which provided the “thrill of the hill” without participants having to commit to skiing or snowboarding.
“We used to have a high failure rate among new skiers and boarders, but the ski lift has transformed the experience for young children, helped reduce the average age of skiers and introduced a whole new demographic to Shames. Mountain,” Christian Theberge, chief executive of MMC, said.
The total cost of the project was $695,000, with the PRPA Community Investment Fund (CIF) contributing $80,000.
“We are grateful to the Community Investment Fund for allowing us to lower the barrier for newbies to attract more people to our facility and keep them coming back,” said Theberge.
Another contribution of $160,000 from the CIF was invested in the expansion of the parking lot, facilitating access to the facilities. Improvements included improvements to the access road, expansion of the existing parking area, and construction of new land and structures to house snow removal and other equipment.
“The developments have allowed for a greater number of visitors and provided the necessary infrastructure to support operations both on and off the hill,” PRPA said.
“These investments have expanded access to recreational activities at Shames Mountain and opened up new opportunities, especially for youth and families,” said Shaun Stevenson, president and CEO of PRPA.
“As one of Northwestern British Columbia’s most important winter outdoor recreational assets, we are excited to continue to support its growth through our Community Investment Fund, so that more people in our area can enjoy skiing and snowboarding,” said Stevenson.
Past investments on multiple projects by CIF in partnership with MMC have included two contributions of $50,000 each for grooming equipment, as well as a $10,000 payout for winning the Project of the Decade competition. contributed by PRPA to the parking expansion project.
KJ Millar | Multimedia writer and journalist
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Port of Prince RupertSkiing and Snowboarding