REAL OR not, one of the largest challenges facing the local non-profit group My Mountain Co-op’s efforts to purchase the Shames Mountain ski facility is the perception that downhill skiing and boarding is the preserve of if not the well-heeled, then certainly the better-heeled.
This may explain the push-back from Terrace city council when considering the co-op’s request for money. It may explain council’s continual call for the co-op to broaden its support in the community.
Tellingly, it may explain city councillor Lynne Christiansen’s comment that this is a situation of a single-interest group asking for tax money, which comes from everyone.
It may also help explain the Kitimat-Stikine regional district’s decision to provide the co-op with $100,000 but only for operations and only then to finance skiing by underprivileged children. Translated, that could easily be taken that skiing is only for those who are financially better off and that if they want to ski, they should come up with the purchase money on their own.
The co-op itself has tended to emphasize this through one of its bedrock positions that Shames attracts a professional class (translation: well-paid) to Terrace and that conversely, should the mountain close, these same people will pack up and head elsewhere.
Any ongoing success by the co-op will depend upon it finding a way to overcome this challenge.