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Rossland alpine ski club preps for March Madness

Red Mountain Racers request City support in hosting three major races in the month of March
The Red Mountain Racers call out volunteers to help host three major ski events in the month of March. Photo: Jim Bailey

The Red Mountain Racers (RMR) are kicking off an ambitious ski season with the possibility of hosting three major events in March.

RMR race chair Christine Andison and Tourism Rossland’s Andras Lukacs presented their case to Rossland City Council on Nov. 6, for what has appropriately been dubbed “March Madness”.

Alpine Canada asked RMR to host the Canadian National Alpine Championship and the FIS BC Cup Spring Series which would run from March 15-25. After a two day rest, Red would be the sight of the U14 Provincial Championship from Mar. 27 to 31.

The competitions will add to Rossland’s rich alpine skiing heritage, and Andison says the ski team is incredibly excited about hosting the events, but will need a big buy in from the community.

According to Lukacs, the costs will come to about $167,000 for Red Mountain Racers.

“It’s a huge ticket item for the club, so we are looking very diligently to get as many grants as possible to make this happen,” said Lukacs. “Additionally, there is also approximately 100 volunteers per day on the hill and in town to make this happen. So projected over 11 days that’s a lot of man hours.”

The delegation projected that the first two events will see over 260 skiers from Canada, the U.S. and Europe competing, in addition to coaches, parents, support teams and other visitors that could add up to more than 600.

The U14 Provincial Championships will see up to 360 competitors, their families, coaches and support staff for a total of approximately 800 people from around the province.

“That being said the economic impact of the event is considerably large,” said Lukacs, noting that traditionally there is a significant drop in tourism in late March.

“So big events coming in March 15 and going to the end of March will be very significant to our local economy, including accommodations, food and beverages, interactions, retail.”

Lukacs estimates that the economic benefit could add up to about $1.6 million, and said the benefits would be shared throughout the region, projecting that accommodations will be needed in Trail and Castlegar and potentially Salmo.

Council agreed to provide RMR with a letter of support. The delegation also requested in-kind assistance that includes the closure of Columbia Avenue for a Parade on March 18 for the National Championships Opening Ceremonies, use of the new stage at Harry Lefevre Square, and ski-racing and event-specific streetlight banners installed for the months of February and March.

Recruiting volunteers will be key to the success of the races. Mayor Andy Morel suggested they share their volunteer list with the city in its preparation for the 2026 BC Winter Games hosted by Rossland-Trail.

Andison and Lukacs are also volunteer coordinators, and invite anyone interested in assisting to contact them.

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Jim Bailey

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