Phoenix Mountain Ski Hill gets approval to extend acreage

New Resort Master Plan for Phoenix Ski Hill approval means good news for the Phoenix Mountain Alpine Ski Society.

The approval of a new Resort Master Plan for the Phoenix Ski Hill has ensured future benefits and possible additions for the Phoenix Mountain Alpine Ski Society (PMASS).

The BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations announced earlier this week they have approved the plan, which will replace an existing licence of occupation agreement for PMASS with a 30-year operating agreement.

Don Colclough president of the Phoenix Mountain Alpine Ski Society, noted they have been given approval to expand their recreation area from 67 hectares to around 210 hectares.

“Basically, the community forests from Midway and Greenwood is applying for acreage in the area,” he explained, adding BC Timber Sales and the Ministry of Forests also has lot of areas up there. “We thought it would be prudent of us to keep this property available for the ski hill because nobody really wants to ski around a clear cut mountain.”

The new master plan establishes the Crown land surrounding the hill will remain for recreational purposes, and BC Timber Sales or the West Boundary Community Forest cannot log in that area.

The approval provides a protected buffer zone where recreational activities are now protected for cross-country skiers, snow-shoers, hikers and mountain bikers, Colclough added.

Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson stated in a press release, “Ski hills provide great family outdoor recreation opportunities in communities throughout British Columbia. This new master plan will help ensure Phoenix Mountain continues to provide jobs and valuable recreation opportunities in the Kootenay Boundary region.”

John Slater, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen, also stated in the release, “The Phoenix Mountain ski area has been an important contributor to the local economy since 1968. With this new master plan and operating agreement the Phoenix Mountain Alpine Ski Society can better plan for the future.”

Within the plan, it has a current overview of the hill and possible expansion plans. This includes the potential of increasing the beginner and advanced ski terrain, an expanded base area and possible summer activities.

Colclough noted he has already tested the slopes of Phoenix last Sunday during a staff-training day.

“The weather is much more agreeable this year,” he said. “We’re looking forward to a great Christmas season and a good year up there.”

Phoenix Mountain is slated to open Friday, Dec. 21.

Phoenix Mountain has 19 ski runs and approximately 10,000 visitors annually.

For more information about hours, rates and calendar of events, visit skiphoenix.com.