Ski Hall of Fame takes final look

Rossland in the running for Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and Museum.

The final proposals are in and the powers-that-be will soon make a decision on whether Rossland will be the next home to the hallowed Canadian Ski Hall of Fame and Museum (CSHOFM).

The Golden City is well in the mix with five other Canadian cities that include four B.C. locales: Revelstoke, Whistler, Grouse Mountain, and Rossland, and one from Mt. Tremblant, Que.

The five bid committees were given a final opportunity to upgrade their original proposal by Oct. 15 to further sway the decision in their respective favour.

“I am giving them this chance to consolidate what their plan is, to put us in a position where we can send people out to do site reviews and to confirm to ourselves that we have an entity putting in a legitimate plan in place that will work,” said director of the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame Chris Edgell.

Once final proposals are in, Edgell says the Hall will complete the site reviews in November, after which time they will make their decision.

Rossland Mayor Greg Grandstrom said that the Rossland bidding committee was happy with its July proposal and made no changes.

“We have received correspondence outlining the conditions that should be addressed in the application process (after all these months), and decided to let our submission stand as is,” said Granstrom in an email. “We are waiting for more news.”

The Canadian Skill Hall of Fame and Museum would be a welcome addition and enhancement to the already rich historical skiing roots that runs through Rossland’s mountainous terrain.

The existing Rossland Museum would house the collection, and given its extensive experience in the preservation and holdings of valuable artifacts and archives, would be a perfect fit.

Unfortunately, the process has taken longer than anticipated, and as Rossland’s Gateway Museum Project gets set to hold its planning session this week, incorporating plans for the Canadian Hall of Fame might be premature.

“We have the Gateway project moving ahead, and that’s coming up on Thursday, so that part of the function of the museum is all up for discussion, so it’s too bad the Ski Hall of Fame thing didn’t come quite a bit earlier, we could have done some more.”

With the permanent closure of the Adit, the Gateway Museum project is seeking input from Rossland residents at an open house Thursday as to what displays, themes, and stories will attract an expanded clientele and what the upgraded museum’s role will be in the community.

Rossland’s claim to the CSHOFM faces stiff competition in the bidding, most likely from Whistler and Revelstoke, but Edgell would not tip his hand as to which proposal was most attractive.

“The five groups are completely different lumps in the mix . . . it’s going to be a different plan for each one and it’s got to fit that location.”

However, the CSHOFM’s primary focus is to represent skiing’s national character, added Edgell.

The $1.5 million collection of artifacts are boxed and numbered and awaiting shipment to the winning bid’s location some time before Christmas.

The Rossland Museum Gateway public sessions are scheduled for 1-3 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. Thursday at the museum.