News Release - December 14, 2007
TEMPORARY CLOSURE OF BLACKSTRAP SKI HILL
The ski hill at Blackstrap Provincial Park will not be opening for the 2007-2008 winter season because operating the ski hill would have required significant subsidization by the provincial government.
"Although the Blackstrap ski hill will not be open for the 2007/08 season, we will continue to work on developing long-term options that will provide visitors with access to high-quality outdoor recreational activities without financial support from the province," Saskatchewan Parks Service Executive Director Syd Barber said.
Last winter, following many years of private sector operation, Blackstrap Provincial Park ski hill was operated under contract. This approach resulted in a cost of more than $900,000 to the provincial government. The ski hill was open for less than two months.
Two calls for proposals were issued in early October 2007. One was for a contractor to operate and maintain the downhill skiing and snowboarding area for the 2007-2008 season.
The other was seeking a long-term private operator to develop the ski hill and area. The Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport is encouraging expanded year-round tourism development to complement the ski hill.
"As our request for proposals for the long-term operation of the ski hill does not close until January 31, 2008, it would be premature to speculate on what the long-term arrangements might be," Barber said. "However, we will be exploring private-sector operation of facilities as has been done with many other facilities in Provincial Parks."
Blackstrap Provincial Park remains open for winter usage and, as in the past, cross country ski trails will continue to be groomed.
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