Fernie is expected to become a hub for cross-country skiing in B.C. This comes as the Fernie Nordic Society opens the Elk Valley Nordic Centre today near Mount Fernie Provincial Park.
The $500,000 project includes the planning, design and construction of eight kilometres of trails for summer and winter use, a 60 foot pedestrian bridge and a new warming hut. Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) funding of $100,000 went toward the project. Since 2009, Fernie has received $2,454,207 in RMI funds.
The Fernie Nordic Society achieved its goal of developing a facility and trail system that can handle regional and provincial level races along with other year round recreational activities. The all season trails are expected to be open this summer for beginner level mountain and family oriented biking before switching to skiing trails in the winter. They were created by an experienced trail designer, Reidar Zapf-Gilje who was involved in the planning for the 2010 Olympic Legacy Trails at Callaghan Valley, the location of the Nordic events at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Olympic cross-country skier Beckie Scott and the mayor of Fernie Mary Giuliano were on hand for the official opening of the new Elk Valley Nordic Centre.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour -
“The development of the Elk Valley Nordic Centre and trails is key in attracting even more visitors to enjoy cross-country skiing and other recreational activities in Fernie. I’m pleased to see Resort Municipality Initiative funding going toward the project. I look forward to seeing the local economy benefit from this amazing year round outdoor recreational site.”
Bill Bennett, MLA for Kootenay East -
“The Elk Valley Nordic Centre will be a centrepiece for outdoor recreation in the East Kootenay region for years to come. Our government is proud to be a part of this year-round facility.”
Naomi Yamamoto, Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business -
“The Kootenays region is already well-known as one of North America’s best ski areas. Creating the Elk Valley Nordic Centre will help diversify the ski experience available for visitors and locals in the Elk Valley, while attracting even more cross country skiers for recreation and competition. These incredible trails will further contribute to the local economy in summer and spring as they put Fernie on the map for remarkable mountain biking experiences.”
Mary Giuliano, mayor of Fernie -
“Cross-country skiing is an exhilarating way to get and stay active and enjoy the beauty of our snow-covered landscape. The Fernie Nordic Society is transforming cross country skiing in Fernie, allowing for people of all ages to enjoy a day on great trails surrounded by stunning mountains. Sincere congratulations to the dedicated group of volunteers that has made the Elk Valley Nordic Centre a reality.”
Megan Lohmann, president, Fernie Nordic Society -
“The Elk Valley Nordic Centre is a venue that provides an opportunity for residents and visitors to discover the beauty of Fernie and the Elk Valley. The trails are accessible to skiers young and old, recreational and competitive. This facility could not have come to fruition without the support of the RMI funding.”
- The new Elk Valley Nordic Centre and trails allow for increased hosting of local events and an alternative to downhill skiing in Fernie.
- Since 2009, Fernie has received $2,454,207 in Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) funding.
- Since 2006, through RMI, more than $87.6 million has been invested in tourism infrastructure and programs to support local and regional tourism in 14 communities.
- The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development contributed $25,000 toward planning the new ski trails.
Fernie Nordic Society: http://www.fernienordic.com/
City of Fernie: http://www.fernie.ca/
BC Jobs Plan: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour