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Bentley ski hill get Lacombe County support

Lacombe County provides $25,000 annually to operate ski hill
Lacombe County will provide $25,000 in annual operating funding to help support the Medicine Lodge Ski Hill near Bentley. (Photo contributed)

Lacombe County has stepped up again to help support a popular Bentley-area ski hill.

Last week, county council approved $25,000 in annual operating funds to support the Medicine Lodge Ski Hill. The money comes on top of $190,637 approved by council last month to go towards a T-bar upgrading project and a water study.

The water study is needed to determine if snow making is feasible at the volunteer-run ski hill about 15 km west of Bentley.

The county's contribution covers 45 per cent of the $427,000 cost of the T-bar and water study projects. Town of Bentley is contributing about $8,000 and a provincial grant would cover about $214,000.

A volunteer-led ski club has been running the ski hill for more than 60 years and they have ambitious plans to improve the facility and turn it into more of a year-round destination with bike trails and picnic areas.

A $100,000 master plan funded by the county, town and Central Alberta Economic Partnership found there was widespread support for the ski hill and the prospect of doing more with it.

Topping the priority list is fixing the aging T-bar, which grinds to a halt a dozen times a day on average.

Snow making is seen as another key to drawing more skiers to the hill. Last winter, the warm weather meant the hill was only open for four days and there were only three days of skiing two years prior.

Before snow making equipment – which could cost up to $600,000 – is considered, the ski club needs to ensure there is an adequate water supply.


Paul Cowley

About the Author: Paul Cowley

Paul grew up in Brampton, Ont. and began his journalism career in 1990 at the Alaska Highway News in Fort. St. John, B.C.
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