Dec 1, 2008 | Marmot, Winter 2008

Mountain Sports Centre on the Wish List for 2010

In addition to funding athletes, the Vancouver Island Mountain Sports Society (VIMSS) is overseeing a significant infrastructure project based at Mount Washington Alpine Resort.

Phase 1 was completed in 2007- including upgrades to Nordic trails (and a trailhead for Strathcona Provincial Park) and the Biathlon Range, an improved lighting system, a staging area for competition and preliminary site surveys for Phase 2, a building, to be situated across from Raven Lodge. The building will cost approximately $2.1 million.

VIMSS and the Resort hope to realize Phase 2 in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Many international teams have already committed to coming to the Resort for training purposes before the Olympics, and such a facility would be a boon.

“For competitive athletes, the Mountain Sports Centre will be a central hub where they can store and maintain equipment, and access a modern gym and sport science lab,” Resort Marketing Director Karen Bonell said.

The building will also include offices for coaches and staff, group accommodations and a multipurpose media room to review training runs and host journalists during events.

The VIMSS received a matching grant in the spring of 2008 of $555,000 from the North Island Economic Trust to put towards their Mount Sports Centre. VIMSS will have to raise the rest of the funds itself.

The Society has already received a land grant from Mount Washington worth approximately $250,000, as well as a donation of $15,000 from Rick Gibson.

The economic spinoffs as a result of the Mountain Sports Centre will be great, says VIMSS Chair Rick Morson. Estimates for the first year during construction are at $7 million, with an ongoing impact of about $150,000 per year to the three levels of government. The project will also create 25-30 jobs, Morson said.

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