British Columbia

B.C. ski hill looking for regular funding from local government

After a season filled with unfortunate circumstances, the Mount Timothy Ski Society is looking to the Cariboo Regional District for annual funding in order to continue to operate during tough times.

Revenue down nearly 25% for Mount Timothy Ski Area after series of unfortunate events

The Mount Timothy ski area, located 48 kilometres north of 100 Mile House, is looking to local government for annual funding after a bad season on the hill. (Mount Timothy Ski Area)

Mount Timothy Ski Area had a rough start to the season: lightning struck the chairlift, creating technical problems for two months; minimal snowfall in December delayed the opening of the hill; and significant snowfall during the last few months of the season made the roads difficult to travel.

All of this meant a loss in revenue for the hill, which is run by a volunteer society.

"Every season has been difficult for us," said Mount Timothy Ski Society president Michael Kidston. "We're just finding the necessary costs of running a hill have been increasing faster."

Most years, the hill brings in about $400,000 from ticket sales. 

But this season, Kidston estimates revenues fell short of that by about $90,000, which was a result of the misfortunes the hill suffered. 

So now, the society is turning to the Cariboo Regional District for annual funding.

Kidston hopes the district will be able to provide funding in the same way it pays for the region's other recreational facilities; a swimming pool, soccer and baseball fields, hockey arenas and a curling rink.

After crunching the numbers, the society says it will need about $300,000 per year to maintain operations and save money for costly upgrades, like a new chairlift cable.

"That kind of funding would allow us to budget for that," he said.

"There's always more safety inspections, more regulations, and fair enough. It's not the kind of business where you don't want to have your business 100 per cent safety compliant."

The society has taken their proposal to local governments in the south and central Cariboo, and if it is approved, the proposal will be put to a referendum. 

With files from Daybreak Kamloops