Drayton Valley Ski Hill struggling with funds after poor winter

By Laine Mitchell (Twitter: @Laine_Mitchell)
April 24, 2017 - 11:20am

The Drayton Valley Brazeau Ski Club has been a staple in the community since the early 1960’s, but after two consecutive seasons of being closed the club's presidents says they are in desperate need of help.

The club is hoping to receive funding from the Town of Drayton Valley after getting a grant of $5,000 from Brazeau County to make sure the hill can be open for the upcoming season.

President Randy Beckett said the hill is looking for more of a "hand up" to help them keep the power on and bills paid, saying the hill may not slide into another season otherwise.

“The hill very well could go under because of its inability to pay utility bills and taxes. We could shut if off completely, and just leave it sit there. We don’t owe anybody any money, but it could just sit there as a useless facility,” Beckett explained.

Beckett added that the newly introduced carbon tax is kicking them while they are down, tacking on an extra 20% to gas bills, money that they simply do not have.

“It’s just another blow we can’t handle. It’s an older facility, and we have looked at extra insulation to keep heat in but that costs money too.” 

The steep increase in heating bills forced the club to winterize the chalet in January, after sinking deeper into the red. He says the hill paid an extra $105 on their bill after the tax came into effect.

With a presence in the area for decades, Beckett hoped their calls for help are answered. He added that the generostiy shown by people has been amazing, but due to the downturn money given by businesses and individuals has been hard to come by. 

He notes the hill is a place where many young parents can take their kids to teach them how to ski or snowboard, with the cost much lower than other hills.

“We’re a stepping stone for the mountain hills. It’s expensive for young people to take their kids to the Rockies, a lot start and learn here. The larger ski hills have encouraged us to stay open.” 

The club is also turning to the provincial government for financial assistance, applying for an operating grant and will be praying for a good snow year for 2017/18. 

 

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