After receiving news early this summer that the City Council of Whitehorse rejected a request for $400,000 to continue to operate Mount Sima, a community ski hill, a group called Friends of Mount Sima rallied and raised more than $200,000 through fundraising efforts and season pass sales and announced that the area will open its doors this season.
Tthe ski area’s financial difficulties were so bad that the previous board of directors all resigned and the hill was closed in July. The current board says it is now in a better position than any previous season with over half the operating budget in place before the season begins.
The group waged a summer-long campaign to sign up members and raise money.
Rod Taylor, spokesperson for the group “Friends of Sima,” said close to 700 season passes have been sold and about $100,000 raised in cash and corporate sponsorships.
“The reality of all of this is that Sima is what it is: it remains an under-funded and under-resourced legacy of the Canada Winter Games,” he said.
“The ongoing costs related to the expansion of the hill for the Games is one of the major reasons that has landed us ultimately where we are. The reality is there’s still going to need to be some public support of the hill, and it really is that simple.”
Taylor said the group is trying to raise as much money as possible from private sources before it goes to government for financial help. He said the group will meet with Whitehorse City Council in the next few days to talk about the money.
Taylor said the issue will have to be resolved this month if the ski hill is to reopen this winter. Mount Sima closed indefinitely this summer when its board could not raise enough money to keep operating.