Two community ski areas near Prince George and Fort St. James now have more secure futures, thanks to renewed operating agreements with the Province.

The operating agreements for Purden Ski Village and Murray Ridge Ski Area last for 30 years each, and help support the long-term viability of these ski areas for the continued benefit of winter recreation and tourism in B.C.’s northern communities.

Small ski areas are excellent venues for community sport, education and events throughout the province every year, and host thousands of children and families annually through school and club programs in which local residents learn and participate in downhill and cross-country skiing, and snowboarding.

Also, all levels of amateur winter sport competitions are held at community ski areas, where athletes and coaches acquire skills and train for events like the BC Winter Games and Canada Winter Games. In February-March 2015, the Canada Winter Games were hosted by Prince George and ski and snowboard events were held at Purden.

The ministry’s Mountain Resorts Branch facilitated master plan updates and review processes for the two ski areas, and the new operating agreements were reached in spring 2015.

The branch works with partners to provide timely decisions for community ski areas and mountain resorts, and co-ordinates environmental assessments for new resort proposals and major resort expansions. It also sets and administers policy for all-seasons resort development and works to contribute significantly to support recreation, tourism and jobs.