Many born and raised in Prince George strapped on their first pair of skis at the Hart Highlands Winter Club.
“It’s one of the key focal points for our recreation community,” says Mayor Lyn Hall. “I have got a real personal attachment to it. My daughter learned to snowboard up there probably a decade ago, and they run great programs.”
“It’s very important to the community, but it is also very important to my business,” says the Owner of Winterland Ski & Board and Cycle World, John Greentree. “That area provides what we call a ‘breeder area’. It gets beginner skiers started in skiing.”
The club stopped receiving government gaming grants two years ago. “They changed all the rules and regulations that we have to be a sport to be eligible. We are not a sport, we are just a facility,” says the Operations Manager, Gene Doucette.”We are trying to get the grant, but we are not holding our breath.”
The club relies on volunteer work, revenue generated from day passes and memberships, as well as donations to keep its doors open.
It will need a little extra help with a big capital project. “A big garage because our groomer just fits in the garage we have now,” says Doucette. “We are trying to get help from different businesses. It has been slow going, but we are always looking for some help.”
The club welcomes community donations. Mayor Hall says there are other ways to support the hill as well. “I say to people of the entire community if you can support the ski club, by all means support it. It’s a short drive, it gives the opportunity for people to enjoy that type of recreation, great lessons they provide; both skiing and snow boarding, so I just urge everyone to take advantage of it.”