The final legacy venue project of the 2019 Canada Winter Games has now officially been completed and opened.
Canyon Ski Resort, nestled among the hills just northeast of the city, says it can now boast a venue that is one of the finest in Canada, and one that is “world class” which will attract national events or better once the Games have come and gone.
“It was a really good vibe when we opened Thursday for night skiing, and with being the first resort in western Canada,” said David Martel, resort co-owner, during a press conference at the venue on Thursday.
“For us as a resort to be able to put not only Red Deer on the map, but Canyon, which is Alberta’s largest non-mountain ski resort, it makes people realize what Red Deer has in their own backyard.”
At Canyon, there is a new moguls run, while others have been widened, the resort now has increased snow-making ability, and there is a new elevator inside the lodge in a bid to make the venue more accessible, particularly for para-athletes.
The renovations cost approximately $1.6 million.
“One of the things that is proven is the excitement that gets generated among youth watching some of the heroes that’ll be coming here to participate,” said Games Board Chair Lyn Radford, who predicted that excitement will result in greater uptake of ski and snowboard-related sports after the games.
“In 2014, when we got the Games for Red Deer, our economy was still strong, and in 2015 it fell. We needed to have something to give us a little bit of hope and the Games did that,” Radford continued, commenting on the decision by Calgarians to reject the 2026 Olympics in a plebiscite earlier this week.
“With all the construction that has happened, (for example) at Canyon, the Gary W. Harris Centre, the interchange, and at the airport, we allowed the construction industry to continue thriving in our community. It was good we had these Games and it would’ve been nice to see Calgary see that possibility. That is why today I’m thanking The City of Red Deer for having that vision and that foresight back in 2014.”
Among the events that will take place at Canyon Ski Resort are ski and snowboard cross, moguls, aerials, ski and snowboard slopestyle, and parallel giant slalom.
The venue will be open to the public for use during the Games, and the resort is even offering a special Games deal on Friday nights through the 2019/20 season where rentals are 10 per cent off.
The 2019 Canada Winter Games begin in just 92 days from now, on Feb. 15.
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