Interest in Canyon

Several prospects have expressed interest in Canyon Ski Area since the owners expressed fears recently that the popular spot could close for good this spring if it doesn’t sell.

Several prospects have expressed interest in Canyon Ski Area since the owners expressed fears recently that the popular spot could close for good this spring if it doesn’t sell.

“There’s been a few people, that since the headlines, have came up and talked with us,” said Lorraine Martinek, part of an eight-person ownership group and a fixture at the hill with husband Karl for 40 years.

“There’s been a few things happening, although there is nothing set in stone at this point in time,” she said on Wednesday.

“But we have had some discussions with the city and the county and we have also had some discussions with some other individuals.

“We’re still positive, you know, that some sort of solution is going to be found for the hill for next season.”

Two weeks ago, Martinek warned that this could be the last season for the hill if no other buyers could be found.

Since last April, Canyon has been talking with Red Deer County and the City of Red Deer, but no offer has been made so far for the 240-acre site.

However, Martinek repeated the ownership group’s commitment to exploring all avenues to keep the province’s largest non-mountain ski area operational.

Asked if she was more optimistic that a deal of some kind was closer, Martinek responded with caution.

“Yes and no, you know, because you never know until it’s all said and done.

“I mean we are in discussions, but (at) this point in time until everything is finalized, I guess I won’t be optimistic until it’s finalized.”

Red Deer County Councillor Reimar Poth, who sits on the joint city-county committee exploring the prospect of buying the hill, said they last met with the Martineks a week ago before he heard there were further developments, although he was given no specifics.

The municipalities are not pursuing a proposal for the time being.

Poth said the county would be happy to see a private operator step in to continue running the facility.

“Absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt. I would even classify it as our first preference.”

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com