The Regional District of Central Kootenay, in partnership with Whitewater Ski Resort, is receiving a funding grant under the B.C. Government’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP) destination development stream worth $1 Million.
The BC Government announced last week that 54 new tourism projects throughout the province is receiving funding, which is investing in implementation-ready tourism infrastructure and amenities projects that support the recovery and resilience of tourism.
The RDCK will administer the funding, while Whitewater will be responsible for delivering the project.
“Whitewater Ski Resort is one of the cornerstones of winter recreation in the Regional District of Central Kootenay and now a summer option will enhance our offerings,” said Ramona Faust, RDCK Electoral Area E Director in a prepared statement.
“For a community bursting with outdoor enthusiasts, we are fortunate to see significant development of recreational opportunities throughout the corridor, whether it be through non-profit or private organizations.”
Whitewater Ski Resort will use the funds for the development of the first phase of creating a new summer operations/tourism and hospitality business centered on mountain biking, hiking, and climbing.
The plan includes the development of a Backcountry Adventure Lodge, a recreational vehicle and tent camping area, as well as programs supporting backcountry education and accessibility.
“We really want to thank the Provincial Government and the Regional District of Central Kootenay for their support,” said Kirk Jensen, General Manager of Whitewater Ski Resort.
“This has been a year full of challenges and we are excited to receive these funds to assist in expanding our outdoor recreational offerings.”
Jensen said the campground will be accessed through the Nordic parking area and is primarily where the RV camping area will be located.
He said the tent camping and the Backcountry Adventure Lodge will be located on the adjacent forested land to the northwest off the current Nordic parking and multi-use trail trailheads.
Known for its unbelievable deep, light powder, the CERIP funding will help Whitewater expand its outdoor recreational offerings.
Whitewater Ski Resort, approximately 20 minutes south of Nelson on Highway 6 in the Selkirk Mountains, opened in the early 1970s and is known throughout the province for its unbelievable deep, light powder and its amazing food creations.
Whitewater said this grant will allow the resort to expand its services into the summer, benefiting a community and province that loves to get outside and play.
“We truly believe the changes made with these funds and the significant investment made by Whitewater will be welcome additions to the area,” Jensen said.
“The Backcountry Adventure Lodge and associated campground will not only support our community by expanding the outdoor recreational offerings, but also help boost the economy by driving tourism.”
CERIP is providing $100 million in one-time infrastructure grants for projects throughout B.C.
Other projects in the RDCK include $254,120 to the Nakusp and Area Bike Society for construction of an accessible and inclusive trail to the top of the mountain in the Mt, Abriel Recreation Area and $340,692 to the Kaslo Outdoor Recreation and Trails Society to build the 22 kilometer non-motorized biking and hiking Buchanan Climbing Trail that includes signage.
In total, along with projects near Invermere, Kimberley, Cranbrook and Revelstoke, the CERIP fund will invest $3,240,554 in the Kootenay Region.