Edmonton Ski Club may not reopen this winter without $800,000 from city


Content of the article

The Edmonton Ski Club may not reopen this winter unless the city offers $800,000 over three years to keep it running.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

The nonprofit is asking the city to pay for temporary modular buildings for restrooms and a heating station, and to cover the cost of demolishing the old clubhouse, which is owned by the city. The club’s former home was partially condemned in 2017 and then closed completely this spring. He hopes the city will also contribute $3.5 million during the council’s 2023-2026 budget discussions for a new permanent building.

Council is due to discuss the two requests at the planning committee on Tuesday.

First, the club needs to cover the costs of temporary buildings to keep things going this winter, chief executive Zoe Sloan said.

« We wouldn’t have toilets, we wouldn’t have a place for people to come in and get warm, which basically makes operations unsafe, » she said. Friday. « It wouldn’t be sustainable without being able to provide comfortable spaces. »

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

Whether or not the board chooses to pay for the temporary structures or the club’s new building — the federal government is contributing $6.6 million for the new green-powered building — the city would still be responsible for about $150,000 in fees. demolition, not to mention the costs remove all ski lifts if operations cease, according to a staff report.

The club reopened in 2019 after a two-season hiatus amid a dispute with City over the terms of its lease. He received a $1.1 million grant in 2018.

Accessible winter recreation

Sloan said the Gallagher Park club provides needed recreational space that is affordable, potentially less intimidating for novice skiers and snowboarders, and accessible even to transit users. Some programs are subsidized, inexpensive, or free — the kids ski program, for example, includes a 1.5-hour lesson, equipment rental, and a ski pass for $20.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

“Winter recreation, when we live in a cold, dark and dreary city for eight months of the year, is extremely important,” she said. “Being able to provide programs in the winter that are accessible to all Edmontonians, it helps revitalize our community, it helps strengthen families, it helps improve mental health, physical health, and those are all benefits that you can’t really put a (price) on. »

These demands come ahead of tough budget talks this fall, as the city already expects deep service cuts or steep tax increases.

Sandy Fleming, chairman of the club’s board, said the new building would be available for year-round recreation programs, including events like Folk Fest. He said the ski club itself has a sustainable program that continues.

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

“We recognize this is a request for taxpayer dollars, but we want to give it back to the community by providing an amazing place for people to come and just supporting all these other charitable groups,” a- he said on Friday.

“We are going to have to prove that we are making good use of these funds. We believe the city will get more for its money by investing in a non-profit organization like ours. »

There were approximately 20,000 visits for skiing and snowboarding last season, and approximately 50,000 visits space-wide over the past year, including year-round events, at the exclusion from Folk Fest, depending on the club.



    Advertisement 1


    Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.


    Back to top button