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Tuesday February 28th, 2012  
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   Volume 82 - Issue 8 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
"There is a lot of really good skiable terrain available to us to access."
- Dave Morrison  
Pass PowderKeg Manager   
   

 

Story
Kimberley Massey photo
The Pass PowderKeg Ski Society’s plans to replace the existing T-bar lift on the hill’s main mountain with a chairlift, as part of the Master Plan which is currently being developed.
 
The Pass PowderKeg Ski Society is currently developing a Master Plan which will outline plans for the resort’s expansion and increased utilization in the coming years.
The 20-year comprehensive master plan has been in the works for the last three years and will provide a framework for development of the hill, including acquisition and installation of a chairlift, expansion of existing runs, and multi-season utilization in order to provide increased revenue sources.
Pass PowderKeg General Manager Dave Morrison said both the master and strategic plans which the society is currently working on, both in house and with assistance from other agencies, will focus on developing a sustainable and relevant community day skiing area which can also be utilized for other purposes in spring, summer and fall.
“There’s some neat opportunities that we could take advantage of,” said Morrison.
“There is a lot of really good skiable terrain available to us to access.”
Morrison said growth will be triggered by utilization by skiers and installation of a chairlift, adding that expansion of the existing terrain park will be a major cornerstone in development of the resort, as it creates interest for new skiers.
“There is a lot of opportunity there,” said Morrison.
The chairlift will be installed on the main part of the mountain, with both a mid-mountain and top-of-the-mountain unload area.
The cost of acquisition and installation of the chairlift is estimated at around $2 million, according to Morrison, who added that there is an opportunity to purchase either new or used equipment.
“However, we have to be very cautious with any used equipment,” said Morrion, noting that while the purchase price can be low, modification cost can be very high.
According to Ski Society member Henry Bruns, the chairlift which was installed on Castle Mountain’s Huckleberry run was purchased for approximately $100,000, but came with a $2 million installation cost.
 

The existing T-bar lift in the beginner ski area would be replaced with a conveyor carpet, with the existing T-bar on the upper mountain remaining in place.
Morrison said it will be a while before any development and expansion can begin, noting that as part of the master plan, the society wants to complete an existing facility and terrain assessment which will include slope and elevation analysis, among other aspects, as well as identifying any possible problems or conflicts.
“There are a lot of phases between where we are now and where we’re going,” he said.
“It’s been a really interesting process.”
Morrison said the resort’s ability to consider expansion is a direct result of the many recent successes it has experienced, namely the increase in utilization both locally and regionally over the past few years.
“We do a very good job of bringing new skiers and families into the sport,” he said.
“It has really helped redevelop the ski culture in the community.”
Bruns noted that seven years ago, the hill saw an annual average of around 3,000 skiers and that number has grown to approximately 15,000 today.
“Growth and usage of the hill has been quite dramatic,” said Bruns.
Morrison said this spike in utilization is a direct result of improvements made through adoption of new operational procedures and industry best practices, as well as ski run development, lighting and building upgrades, and acquisition of snowmaking infrastructure and a snowcat.
“We are always working to improve and expand,” said Morrison.
Moving forward, Morrison said the society and staff will focus on promoting the hill through online marketing, social media and increased highway signage.
“We need to do a better job of letting people know we’re here and making changes to draw them here,” he said.
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