SASKATOON - The Saskatchewan government says it’s interested in a British Columbia man’s proposal to reopen a ski resort called Mount Blackstrap.
Torey Spink wants the province to lease the land and if they do, he will invest between $5 million and $8 million in the project.
Spink says the government has made it very clear there are no provincial funds available for Blackstrap, just south of Saskatoon.
He says he isn't looking for investors and will pay for the entire thing himself, he just wants the support of the Saskatchewan people.
The province pulled the plug on Mount Blackstrap in October 2009 after no one took over the facility that had been closed for more than two years.
A month later, in September 2009, the ski lodge burned down and all the leftover ski equipment, including a triple chairlift, was sold.
The government has been in informal talks with Spink and is anticipating his formal proposal, which he says he is submitting Monday, said Cindy MacDonald, executive director, operations with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.
“It’s something we would definitely consider. We have advertised that opportunity in the past,” she said.
Spink said he has been part of the ski industry for most his life, including teaching skiing full-time worldwide before coming back to Canada and going to school in Saskatchewan.
He worked at several more hills before getting into ski coaching. In the infancy of snowboarding, he became a sales representative for a snowboard manufacturer and now owns his own company in Whistler, B.C.
“It’s basically starting from scratch. The one exception now compared to ’71 or ’72 when the mountain was built is that at least there is a mountain right now,” Spink said.
He said he plans to build a quad chairlift that would service more than 1,300 people per hour.
Spink said building a new lodge on Lake Blackstrap is his first priority.