The Mount Timothy Ski Society had their annual general meeting (AGM) on Nov. 5 to share with its members some updates on what is happening with the hill. The mountain will still be closed this year but there have been some developments.
“The really big news is we do have several people looking at the mountain,” said Michael Kidston, the society’s president.
The board of directors, who put the hill up for sale on June 8, have been talking to two groups as of late.
An Asian group has offered to give the society a substantial deposit in good faith and the hill has also been in discussions with a locally-based consortium of businessmen. Kidston didn’t name the two groups involved as they don’t wish to be made public just yet.
According to the society’s president, the local-based group have a “slightly different vision” for the hill and will most likely develop it further with plans to expand it. However, the principal of the local group told Kidston that he would like to keep the hill as a community asset.
“That’s the type of ownership we would like to see,” said Kidston. “We’ve been meeting them and working forward on that front until something definite happens. It’s still something in the works but our best hope and we’re hoping that we will have an announcement in a month or two on that front.”
On the other hand, the group from Asia would look to make it an educational location for athletes to train scholastically and athletically. The group offered them a deposit but Kidston said it was very much on their terms, so the society made a counter-offer.
The original offer was the deposit could be returned to the Asian group at any time before the end of March, which Kidston said would tie up the society from being able to do anything else and also give the offerees a back door out without any penalty if they changed their mind.
“So we countered and said we would consider the deposit but [it would] not be returnable unless we backed out,” said Kidston.
He conceded the facilities on Mount Timothy would work for that, but the society would like to see the new ownership be more responsive to community needs and that is not their preferred choice.
They have not heard back from the prospective buyers as of yet but the door is not closed yet.
However, the society would like to turn over the property. Kidston said there are upcoming bills that the society needs to pay and it would be made easier if a new group assumes those bills as part of running the hill. The insurance bill he said, is the most obvious one. It expires on Dec. 4 and will need to be renewed.
The Ministry of Transportation is also in the process of taking over the road, which means they will handle maintenance and plowing during the winter. Kidston said this was a big plus.
Roughly 40 people came to the meeting, better than the usual amount according to Kidston.
Two unexpected guests also came to the AGM.
“A couple of big players showed up to see what was happening at our meeting, really just to lend support. They didn’t have any message just ‘we got to keep skiing going and got to keep ski hills open,” said Kidston.
Former Olympic-winning alpine skier and Canada’s Female Athlete of the 20th Century Nancy Greene Raine and Chris Nicholson, the CEO of Canada West Ski Area Association (CWSAA) were the two attendees.