Funding gets Red Mt. Racers event off to good start

Tourism and Columbia Basin Trust grants give boost to West Kootenay communities

Thanks to funding from Columbia Basin Trust, the Red Mountain Racers added homologated ALGE dual start doors – an electronically timed gate - that help the Racers host the multi-lane ski and snowboard race events like the National Technical Ski and National Ski Cross championships at Red this week.

Thanks to funding from Columbia Basin Trust, the Red Mountain Racers added homologated ALGE dual start doors – an electronically timed gate - that help the Racers host the multi-lane ski and snowboard race events like the National Technical Ski and National Ski Cross championships at Red this week.

Members of the 2018 Canadian Olympic ski team will be able to compete at Red Mountain in Rossland during spring break thanks to the addition of new racing equipment.

With $25,000 from Columbia Basin Trust, the Red Mountain Racers have purchased homologated ALGE dual start doors – an electronically timed gate approved by the International Ski Federation (FIS) that will now allow the Racers to host multi-lane ski and snowboard race events at Red Mountain. The new gates will be highlighted during the 2018 Sport Chek Canadian National Technical Championships and 2018 Canadian National Ski Cross Championships taking place at Red Mountain this week.

“From its beginnings, the success of Red Mountain has been tied to its innovations around ski racing, a history defined by a pioneering spirit and punctuated by many firsts in Canadian competitive ski racing from the first national recorded ski competition in 1897 to its hosting of the first World Cup event in Canada in 1968,” said Brian Fry, Race Chair for the 2018 Canadian National Championships. “With this addition at Red Mountain, Canada now has the only three sets of FIS homologated start doors in North America. Red Mountain and the Red Mountain Racers are continuing their leadership in innovation and are once again at the forefront of ski racing in Canada.”

In addition, the Province’s support of the National Technical Ski Championships will bring a welcome tourism boost by shining an international spotlight on the city of Rossland.

“Spring is here – a great time to welcome competitors and visitors from around the world to the beautiful Kootenays,” said Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Lisa Beare in a press release. “Our government’s support of these ski championships will enable this event to be broadcast internationally, attracting people to Rossland and surrounding communities. I’m confident this support will help the many families who rely on tourism by bringing more visitors to this beautiful area of British Columbia.”

BC is providing $50,000 through the ministry’s Tourism Events Program to help promote the event, and support media activities related to livestreaming and advertising. The funding will enable the live webcast of the national championships to an estimated 50,000 viewers throughout Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. An additional $10,000 from the provincial Sport Division’s Hosting BC Program will further support the event.

More than 1,000 spectators and athletes are expected to attend the national championships, with most coming from outside Rossland. Visitors will stay in Rossland, Trail and Castlegar for up to 10 days, providing an estimated economic return of $4 million. Event organizers are also working to entice visitors to extend their stay and explore the region beyond Rossland.

“This national event will heighten global interest in Rossland and surrounding communities as a premier sporting and tourism destination,” said Christine Andison, a director on the Board of Tourism Rossland. “I am grateful for the government’s investment in this event. This funding will strengthen our efforts to leverage this opportunity, which will contribute to the vitality and prosperity of this region in the province.”

The National Technical Ski Championships, which are celebrating a milestone 50th anniversary this year, started Wednesday with the Men’s Giant Slalom (GS) running on the left of Backtrail. The Women’s GS goes today and Saturday, while the Men’s GS wraps up on Friday.

The Women’s slalom event started Wednesday on the Face of Red and continues on Friday and Sunday, while the Men’s slalom starts today and continues on Saturday and Sunday with the first runs scheduled for 8:30 a.m.

The event will be streamed online via Alpine Canada’s website and social channels, BC Alpine’s website, and Red Mountain Resort’s website and social media channels.