By Laura Keil

After several weeks of completing legal registries, opening a bank account and other due diligence, the Valemount Ski Society is ready to recruit paid members and start fundraising for a community ski hill.

The community ski hill idea crystalized this spring, when Oberto Oberti, on behalf of Glacier Resorts Ltd & L.P., agreed to loan an unused handle tow ski lift (used frequently on bunny hills) to Valemount after locals inquired about using it while Valemount Glacier Destinations (VGD) completes its investment phase (the fundraise has been delayed on the $100M+ ski project).

Local ski hill proponent Joseph Nusse drove the lift home and it’s been sitting at the Valemount Industrial Park ever since, waiting for a home.

The Ski Society was revived from a several-year dormancy, and an interim board was elected to help develop a small ski hill in the footprint of the proposed Valemount Glacier Destinations ski area. The lift will be located in

VGD’s proposed controlled recreation area just above the airport, 3km off of the public access road to the airport as per existing designs. The Society is planning an Annual General Meeting Wednesday August 12in Centennial Park at 7pm. A sound system will be used and distancing guidelines followed.

“We already have in-kind donations valued at over two-hundred dollars, as well as some promised cash donations over a thousand dollars,” said Joseph Nusse Interim President. “Our goal is $20,000. This will allow us to install the handle-tow lift we have already secured with proper engineering and permitting as well as cover the basic landscaping needed.”

If the plan comes together for this winter, he says the plan is for a small ski area in the VGD footprint – an 11km drive and 200m walk from town. Amenities on site will be porta-potties and a large yurt for a licenced on-slope food vendor.

Nusse says donors can get a receipt for donations over $100 with a promise of full refund or dollar-for-dollar conversion into day or season passes at a later date. A GoFundMe page has also been set up to give people the option of paying electronically in sums under $100.

“Basically, we need $20,000 by October to have this running at some point in the 2020/21 winter season. If things go really well and we exceed our fundraising targets, we can discuss additional modest options like purchasing a tube park lift,” Nusse says.

“If anybody wants to donate larger sums, they are encouraged to approach the interim directors of the Ski Society directly. The society Facebook page is updated promptly whenever a development is ready for the public”