Powder King seeking funds for community centre

Powder King Mountain Resort is applying for $1 million in provincial funding to build a community access centre at the base of the resort.

The ski resort, located 195 kilometres north of Prince George, applied to the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program for funding to build centre. Under the program requirements, the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George had to officially file the application on the resort's behalf, district administrator Jim Martin said.

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"It is a bit frustrating the province didn't approach us in advance about what kind of concerns we might have about being the lead applicant," Martin said. "(But) we certainly don't want to block an opportunity for local mountain resorts in accessing the funds."

A report presented to regional district board of directors on Thursday said the community access centre would be a multi-function recreation centre located at the central base of the resort.

"This project would allow all existing and the continually growing number of additional organized recreation activity users to access the increasingly needed meeting spaces," the report said. "Some of the many user groups, that would immediately benefit from this significant investment by the province, are the Prince George and Pine Pass Ski Teams, Canada Ski Patrol and it's volunteer members, future organized winter games considerations, Mackenzie and Regional snowmobile clubs, local hiking, mountain biking activities and Morata (Mackenzie Outdoor Recreation and Trail Association)."

The construction of the centre would enhance the resort's ability to offer year-round recreation on the site, the report added.

The district board voted in favour of acting as the lead applicant, with the caveats that the regional district wouldn't be required to own the facility or assume any of the liability for operating it.

Martin said the district had a similar arrangement with the 2015 Canada Winter Games organizers to seek funding for sporting venue upgrades in the district.

"Powder King understands all of these pieces, and they're willing to move forward," Martin said.

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