Nova Scotia

Cape Breton Ski Club board expects a challenge at AGM

The Cape Breton Ski Club board of directors is preparing to defend itself at its annual general meeting on Thursday after a failed attempt to stop the sale of The Lakes at Ben Eoin golf course next door.

Directors preparing for upset members seeking change after failed court case

The board of directors for the Cape Breton Ski Club in Ben Eoin, N.S., is expecting a possible membership revolt at its AGM this week. (Holly Conners/CBC)

The Cape Breton Ski Club board of directors is preparing to defend itself at its annual general meeting on Thursday night.

The ski club failed in court earlier this year to try to stop the sale of The Lakes at Ben Eoin golf course next door. The court awarded costs to the golf course and its new owners.

John R. MacDonald, a member of the ski club's board, said some members are worried about the club's finances. He said some have indicated they plan to change the board of directors at the meeting.

"I would think if the membership were properly informed, that they certainly wouldn't support that kind of action," said MacDonald.

The issue began last year when Ben Eoin Development, a group of businessmen, offered to buy the financially troubled golf course.

The ski hill had hoped to make its own offer and went to court seeking an injunction on the sale.

John R. MacDonald, a member of the ski hill's board, says the directors will inform the membership about the court case and the club's financial position. (Wendy Martin/CBC)

Last month, the judge dismissed the lawsuit, calling it "frivolous and vexatious," and awarded costs to the golf course and its new owners.

Finances 'quite good'

John Ling, vice-president of the ski hill, said losing the court case will not harm the club's finances.

"Actually the state of finances is quite good," he said.

"We did have a very successful year in the operations. The weather co-operated a little better than it has been."

Ling said the final bills for the failed lawsuit haven't arrived.

The costs are expected to be dealt with in Nova Scotia Supreme Court next month.

The Cape Breton Ski Club and The Lakes at Ben Eoin golf course have shared property, a clubhouse and food services for years. (Tom Ayers/CBC)

The ski club is more than 50 years old and has between 1,200 and 1,500 members, said MacDonald.

The golf course used to share a clubhouse and food services with the ski hill, but the new owners of the golf course are investing in a hotel operation nearby.

MacDonald said that will pose problems for the ski hill, which had relied on some revenue and sharing of staff with the golf course.

He said the ski hill has faced difficulties in the past and remained in operation.

MacDonald said the club's board will have to consider options to increase revenues without the golf course.

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About the Author

Tom Ayers

Reporter/Editor

Tom Ayers has been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years. He has spent the last 16 years covering Cape Breton and Nova Scotia stories. You can reach him at tom.ayers@cbc.ca.

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