Ladies, gentlemen, skiers of all ages - the Cariboo Ski Touring Club has recently expanded a range of facilities at the Hallis Lake ski area. In 2006 a number of exciting upgrades to the facility took place in order to expand Hallis Lake's ski operations. The new upgrades included a drilled well for drinking water (hydration is key!), indoor plumbing and washroom facilities, improvements to the biathlon course, staging area for spectators (invite mom to watch!), timing hut, waxing area, sprint loop and concrete floor for the equipment storage building, and trail lighting.
The Hallis Lake venue is regarded as one the best in the province for both cross country skiing and biathlon. The value of this facility is not fully understood in the community around Quesnel or elsewhere in the province. The Cariboo Ski Touring Club has found it very difficult to promote the facility without the aid of a video presentation. As a result, as part of this project, a presentation was designed to be used to build understanding and appreciation for this excellent community recreation facility in order to attract future events to the community. The video presentation is now a key tool to aid the club in fulfilling its goal to attract a national team to train at the facility prior.
"Funding from the Northern Development Initiative Trust was the corner stone for our funding. Their support of our project enabled us to also secure funding from the CEDI program of Western Economic Diversification. The Cariboo Ski Touring Club also made a significant contribution."
Brian Black, President, Cariboo Ski Touring Club
Positive Economic Impacts in Quesnel
The completion of this project ensured that Quesnel and the surrounding area has a first class recreation facility that will attract out of town visitors, encourage new residents to settle in the community, and also help to retain retirees in the region. This project has increased tourism year-round due to out of town participation in the many uses of the venue besides cross country skiing.
For winter use, all amenities for cross country skiing are available including a day lodge with indoor plumbing, 33 km of ski trails for all skill levels, 9km of snowshoe trails, 3.5 km of lighted trails for night skiing as well as a biathlon range. When there is no snow, the facility is used for many other non-motorized activities including hiking, running, archery, horse riding and mountain biking.
The project has enabled the Cariboo Ski Touring Club to complete the facility and increased participation in the sport by local cross country skiers. The use of the lodge has also increased which helps provide increased revenues to the club for operation of the venue and for funding its current initiative, the Youth Ski Program.
Under the Youth Ski Program, elementary schools and youth groups are invited to participate in the sport of cross country skiing at the Hallis Lake ski facility. The Cariboo Ski Touring Club will provide the equipment and instruction for a nominal fee. This program will introduce young people to a very healthful sport which improves fitness and provides fun and outdoor exercise in the winter months. The sport is an important life skill, which develops the basic skill and coordination for more advanced cross country or downhill skiing.
As if anyone needed an excuse to get outdoors and enjoy the wonderful world of cross-country skiing - but in case you did - these improvements at Hallis Lake are more than enough of a reason!