Town of Peace River renews lease with ski club

Susan Thompson
South Peace News

Misery Mountain ski hill has an updated multi-year lease with the Town of Peace River.

Town council approved the terms of the lease at their regular meeting Aug. 24.

The updated lease for the Peace River Ski Club is an operating and maintenance lease, not a land lease, making it a unique arrangement for the Town.

Director of Community Services Tanya Bell explains the lease now includes summer activities at the ski hill, such as mountain biking and hiking.

It also includes an updated map.

“It was not clear in the past what the lease was telling the ski club they could utilize,” Bell says.

“We were actually placing a lot of liability on the ski club.”

The previous agreement passed on the entire Crown lease to the club, Bell says.

“It’s not really fair to a non-profit organization to expect them to cover all of the trails and other components that people were utilizing in the Crown lease that was not related to their ski hill activities.”

The new lease takes that liability off the club and places it solely with the town.

The lease also includes clarification on who is paying for what bills, including equipment and water.

Councillor Colin Needham raised the issue of a frozen pump that cost $1 million to fix.

Bell says all repairs and preventative maintenance are the responsibility of the ski club.

Bell says the Town has also removed maintenance like grass cutting from all town leases and made it the responsibility of the leaseholders.

However, she says it’s not the time to add extra costs to any local user groups.

“This year – unfortunately – is going to be a very unique year for all of our user groups,” Bell says.

“Everybody is not 100 per cent certain what their new normal is going to look like for the upcoming seasons.”

For instance, the ski hill will not be able to host their annual fundraising event.

“So that’s a significant revenue loss,” Bell says.

“This might not be the year we want to start looking at increasing their operational costs.

On the flip side I’m not sure they’re looking at increasing their own operational costs either.

They’re going to have enough complications that I don’t think they’re going to be adding a very high ticket item like a mountain biking major event.”

The ski club has several new board members, and is working on rebranding to attract people during the summer as well as winter.

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