Shames Mountain opening next Friday

The day ski enthusiasts have been waiting for is coming up next Friday as Shames Mountain will officially open for the 2011/2012 season.

The day ski enthusiasts have been waiting for is coming up next Friday as Shames Mountain will officially open for the 2011/2012 season, though this year it will be under the ownership of My Mountain Co-op.

To mark the day, which has been a long time coming for the skiier owned cooperative, people can ski for free on December 16 with a donation to the food bank or a donation of winter clothing for the Salvation Army.

In the meantime, the co-op and the former owners continue to negotiate the final terms of the sale ahead of the December 15 closing date. Still outstanding is a condition that the co-op take on the debt the ski corporation owes the province for using Shames Mountain. That works out to two per cent of chair lift revenues and the amount now owed by Shames is approximately $150,000 according to ski corporation president Gerry Martin. My Mountain director Curtis Billey says the co-op has agreed to take on the debt but has also asked that the amount owed be forgiven entirely or be reduced.

The Shames Mountain Ski Corporation must also deal with more than $420,000 it owes the provincial government for an outstanding tourism development loan. Martin says negotiations with the province to forgive the amount owing continue.

And while the co-op plans to operate the facility using $130,000 in tax money from the City of Terrace, the District of Kitimat, and the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine, the price of the sale has yet to be released.

At the Co-op AGM, the board of directors was introduced, including founding directors Curtis Billey, Jon Hopper, Jamie Hahn and Shaun Stevenson who were joined by Shawn Dimitrov, John Krissinger, Tara Wilson and Meredith Skimson.