Thieves targeted the Mt. Timothy Recreation Resort this week, as the new owners and staff work hard to prepare for the upcoming season.
General manager Walter Bramsleven said a quad and two chainsaws were stolen sometime overnight Monday, July 29 after 5:30 p.m. and Tuesday morning at 5 a.m.
Bramsleven said it appeared the thieves tried to ram the gate to the lodge and hill but were unsuccessful. A second quad was recovered after they found it rolled in the steep ditch by the gate.
The missing quad is a camouflage-coloured 2016 Yamaha 700 Grizzly and the chainsaws were large Husky brand. Bramsleven said the matter is in the hands of police, but the owners are also offering a reward for tips that will lead to an arrest and charges. Due to the condition of the rolled quad, Bramsleven said he suspects one of the suspects would have suffered significant injuries.
“It is aggravating. We’re just trying to get the place up and running again,” he said of the latest thefts. “At the end of the day we’ll be out-of-pocket $7,000 to $8,000 if nothing is recovered. But, you know, in any community there is a bad cast of characters. These guys were not professionals by any stretch.”
Ironically, one of the chainsaws stolen this week was just recovered this past spring and returned to the lodge owners by Kamloops RCMP along with a quad which was stolen from the ski hill last year.
Thefts aside, however, work at the local ski hill is coming right along, Bramsleven said, with the owners putting approximately $400,000 into upgrades to kick off the 2019/20 season.
“It’s what we needed to do. There was a lot of TLC needed,” he said. “Our goal is to make it a real nice experience when we open.”
He said the support from the community so far has been “nothing short of fabulous,” with $27,000 in season’s passes sold already.
Probably one of the first things resort patrons will notice this year, Bramsleven said, is that the Ministry of Forests has widened and ditched the road into the resort and come ski season the road will be maintained as a ‘schedule B’ highway for maintenance and snow removal by the Ministry of Transportation and Highways.
He said poor road conditions leading up to the hill in year’s past were a big complaint by users. In an effort to be certain the road is in tip top shape during snow events, the resort also has a gravel truck and plow to use when needed.
Bramsleven said they are also moving forward to get approval to have a campsite in place at the hill for patrons to bring their trailers and toy haulers out and stay the night, but that won’t be ready until the following summer or winter.
Something else new for the area this year is that Mt. Timothy is being made a designated stopping point on the Gold Rush Trail.
This fall the ministry will be making the trail and providing signage for a 30-kilometre snowmobile trail from Spout Lake at Ten-ee-ah Lodge to the Mt. Timothy parking lot. Bramsleven said they have already signed the agreement for the trail, in which they will be responsible for grooming.
Bramsleven said the Mt. Timothy Ski Resort will be very snowmobile-friendly as well as maintaining a great ski and board hill.
On the hill side of things, Bramsleven said the chair lift has already been inspected and the chairs will be all back on the lift by the end of this week. After that, the resort staff plan to put some TLC into the T-bar which will also be operational this year.
Bramsleven said they are still working through some issues with the Magic Carpet but expect that to be up and running just in time for a new tube park for the area between the lodge and the upper bunny hill.
“The nice thing is we can have the tube park up and running before the ski hill because it requires less snow.”
The lodge itself has also seen renovations and those visiting the hill in the upcoming season can expect to see four big screen TVs in the main lodge upstairs and a restaurant menu and hours that could see people enjoying a hockey game and dinner after a day of skiing.
“It’s going to be a basic menu but it’s going to be a good menu and it won’t take you a half hour to get it,” Bramsleven said. “We won’t be rushing people out at the end of the ski day. We are welcoming people to stay for appetizers and dinner and a glass of wine.”
Menu items may include a chicken or pork dish, burgers and poutine.
“We’re moving forward. We’re working our butts off but we’re really looking forward to everything.”
In response to the recent theft, Bramsleven said the resort now has staff staying on-site overnight seven days a week to ensure there are no further incidents.
Anyone with information regarding the theft is asked to call 250-395-0211 after 5 p.m. or 250-395-4001 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.