Valley Ski Hill forecasts slippery slope financially

The Valley Ski Club ski hill located just south of the town of Alliance is in crisis.

Dear Editor:

The Valley Ski Club ski hill located just south of the town of Alliance is in crisis.

The No. 1 problem is that the hill has been slipping away for the last 20 years or so and it is critical now. The side of the hill is collapsed to the point of no return if not fixed within the next three to five years and it’s affecting the lift line. The lift line is the heart of the hill, and without it, we cannot function.

It’s also affecting the underground waterlines that run up the hill to make snow. For more than 15 years, the hill has relied on volunteers and local community members; to donate or for very little cost, help fix the hill with heavy equipment by pushing parts of the dirt back up into place. This is needed again this year to even start the season.

It takes at least 120 hours in a Hi-Ho and a Cat to complete this mission and volunteers and equipment are desperately needed ASAP. The hill is scheduled to have a more permanent fix completed next year and preparations are already being made to try to accomplish this daunting task.

What is needed is to line up equipment (Hi-Hos, Cats and possibly packing equipment), operators, a project co-ordinator, dirt , lime stone (two-foot stones shipped from Rocky Mountain House or Nordegg via truck or train), and money in place to pay all expenses. The hill is overseen by a volunteer-operated board of directors and there aren’t a lot of funds. The hill provides a service to the surrounding communities and schools, but with staff wages, daily operating costs and growing cost to fix the hill, it gets tougher and tougher every day to keep it running.

The second problem we are facing this year is no staff. We haven’t had even a quarter of the applications as per usual and there are positions available in every area of operation. We need snowmakers, lift attendants, rental-shop attendants and office staff.

We also will be purchasing the rental shop this year, as it was privately owned until now and needs to be purchased by the hill. If you or someone you know can help us out in any way, please contact the hill via email: valleyskihill@xplornet.com ; phone: 780-385-4126, Velma; Facebook: Valley Ski Hill

Sincerely,

Michelle Hebert,

Director of the board of the Valley Ski Club and Valley Freestyle Club

 

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