A group wanting to keep the Shames Mountain ski operation open estimates $2 million will be needed to buy the facility and then operate it and pay for improvements.
And Friends of Shames says an owner/operator co-operative initially being called My Mountain Co-op is the best vehicle to sell memberships to make a purchase offer.
Work done by the group is aimed at having a purchase offer made by the end of April.
“In order to begin season pass sales for the 2011-2012 ski season, the sale needs to happen at that time,” said group member Jon Hopper last week.
“This will allow the founding directors of the community service co-operative time to put the business plan into effect, hire the key staff for the mountain, organize the [co-operative’s] AGM, etc.,” he added.
The Friends of Shames group was formed 18 months ago over worries the mountain might be sold to an outside company or be closed down.
Its revenues have not met expenses for years now and its Shames Mountain Ski Corporation company directors have said they are getting tired of making up the difference.
Hopper said any profits would be spent on improvements or membership discounts.
“Within the existing timeline [Friends of Shames] will spearhead the membership campaign to raise funds for the co-op. The co-op will make an offer for purchase in April with the intent of operating the hill in the upcoming season and beyond,” said Hopper.
Last week the Friends group asked the City of Terrace for the free use of office space in the Kwinitsa building on the eastern end of the Grand Trunk Pathway for six months and for help in securing public transportation to Shames Mountain.
The city is examining both proposals.
To date the Friends group is all-volunteer and it did receive a $30,000 federal grant to investigate setting up a co-op.