The Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club (RNSC) is planning some major renovations to the Mount MacPherson Nordic Centre in the hopes of hosting national, regional and North America championship level competitions.
Representatives of the RNSC unveiled last Thursday night at an open house hosted at the Revelstoke Community Centre proposals to expand their parking lot to increase its capacity by 50 per cent, enlarge their stadium area in front of the lodge, add short technical race trails, and construct a gentle climb trail for recreational users.
It’s exciting for RNSC head coach Matt Smider, who’s already been out on the trails, surveying and preparing them to be competition ready.
“The idea is to host higher end events and bring the trails up to a specific standard required for things like NORAM, Western Canadian Champions, or national championships,” said Smider on Thursday night.
“Some of our trails are not wide enough in sections, they don’t have pitches that are steep enough. The terrain is currently not technical enough to be skied as part of a major competition.”
The expansion work, which is expected to be completed by next winter, will add an additional three kilometres to the club’s trail network.
Smider said the underlying goal is to help people live a healthy and active life, and encourage members of the club to compete at higher levels.
He said the kids in the program are really excited to have more technically challenging trails built.
“The kids I’ve talked to are really excited that we will have trails that are steep enough, that are competitive, and that they get to train on those kind of trails regularly,” said Smider.
“Some of the kids have also expressed excitement about hosting more events here as well.”
Among the projects other goals are to increase the clubs capacity, reduce congestion on the trails and in the parking lot, and allow easier access to higher elevation trails.
Club president Gary Graf said the project is part of the club’s five year strategic plan, which it presented to the public on Thursday night.
He said the plan reflects the interests of club members.
“I think our members will be really pleased with what we’re doing this summer. The look of the area will be a little different next fall when we start dusting off our skis,” Graf said.
The bulk of the new trails will be at higher elevations.
The projects received letters of support from School District 19, the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District, Tourism Revelstoke, and the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, and funding from the Columbia Basin Trust.
The RNSC hosted the B.C. midget championships in March.
Smider said 2013 was the first time they hosted a major competition.
The club will hold its annual general meeting May 8.