Clearwater Ski Hill is in full swing operation and the community is thrilled! The first three weeks saw skiers hit the slopes with great enthusiasm and in record numbers. Free Day at the hill on Feb. 5 as part of the Winter Festival was hugely popular and Friday nights are buzzing with kids and adults of all ages.
“It’s been so good seeing the lodge filled with families and community members” says Clearwater Ski Club president Dennis Greffard. “The hill has always been important to families and when it opens, winter takes on a whole new level of fun.”
And it’s true. Clearwater is certainly fortunate to have such a gem. As one of the last volunteer ski hills in all of Canada, it’s not always easy to manage, especially in no-snow years. Meeting operating costs of over $26,000 per year whether the hill opens or not is a heavy responsibility but one that is somewhat alleviated when the snow does fly.
“We’ve been really lucky with our community. People have been very supportive in buying their memberships. I think what we are seeing is the realization that this hill is valued by the community and having a membership is one way to help keep the hill running” says Dan Muddiman, vice president. “Members can take advantage of a two day pass for just $20/day for adults and even less for youth.”
And in exchange for community support, the Club is offering member incentives. Every first and third Friday is Five Buck Friday with the next one being Feb. 18 – the hill will be open for normal hours of 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. to everyone – but members ski for just $5.
But don’t think that the club is just about skiing. At the recent Health and Wellness Expo executive member Christine Wright was busy promoting the newest activity – disc golf as well as the Chocolate Festival coming up on Feb. 19. (Doors open at 6 p.m. and the raffle of chocolate delights start at 8 p.m. Tickets are just $10 per person).
Clearwater Ski Hill revolves around the community. It started as a community hill and the executive is determined to keep it that way.
“I grew up at the ski hill, in fact, my dad was the vice-president in 1967,” says Greffard. “I’m involved now because I want my kids to have the same good experience that I had, but it only works because of a dedicated community and a really dedicated group of volunteers that work behind the scenes.”
The volunteer force is evident everywhere, from the kitchen to cleaning to grooming and maintenance. Greffard continues, “People have got good memories of the ski hill. In fact, just last week, the club needed a new electrical panel that was going to set us back close to a thousand dollars when a former resident, Trevor Streek of Summit Electric came forward and donated one to us. He grew up on the hill too and even though he doesn’t live here anymore, he still wants to support us. He’s just one of many people who help us go the distance.”
For information on the ski hill go to www.clearwaterskilhill.com or call 250-674 3848. The club is also interested in hearing from the community and offers a number of volunteer incentives.