The Aug. 31, 2011 editorial “It’s uphill” suggesting skiing is an economically elitist sport lacks credibility.
The editor should re-write it, substituting “hockey” and “Hidber arena” for “skiing” and “Shames ski area”, and consider the same argument could be used for that sport. Hockey could also be portrayed as an example of a single interest group receiving tax dollars from everyone.
However, portraying that use of tax dollars as somehow wrong makes no sense in the case of Shames or the Sportsplex. For hockey, we’re talking about millions of dollars, but is there a Standard editorial critical of that?
An operating regional ski area such as Shames may be one of many factors professionals consider about moving to the northwest, but so is the presence of other recreational offerings.
Many sports are unfortunately out of reach of lower income families, and for that reason, I applaud the regional district for acknowledging the value of Shames ski area and the importance of providing access to children who might otherwise not have the opportunity to participate in what will hopefully become a life-long sport. The same “return on investment” is seen in ski school programs organized through the public school system.
The city had no problem investing millions into hockey facilities, and though I don’t play hockey myself, I have no issue knowing that some of my tax dollars go towards hockey facilities. I do ski and I have the same opinion about the use of my tax dollars had the city chosen to provide financial support to the My Mountain Co-op.
Non-profit and/or cooperative ski areas are operating successfully in places like 100 Mile House (Mt Timothy), Port McNeill (Mt Cain), Grand Forks (Phoenix), Bozeman Montana (Bridger Bowl) and others. Those communities place a high value on access to skiing and see a return on their efforts in many different ways, not all financial. Kudos to local citizens and politicians here who see the value of a successful future for the Shames ski area.
Suggesting lack of local government support for Shames is justifiable because it’s an elitist sport is ridiculous for anyone capable of seeing the “big picture” of the cost of all sports. It is disappointing to see The Terrace Standard promoting the negativist’s argument that skiing is somehow less economically accessible than many other sports that are acknowledged as being valuable aspects of local quality of life.