In 2008, Fort St. James Ski Club received a $30,000 grant from Northern Development through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program towards this $493,240 project. This has been a funding partnership of Murray Ridge Ski Area, Northern Development, District of Fort St. James, Fort St. James Ski Club, Local Fundraising, Nechako-Kitamaat Development Fund Society, and Towns for Tomorrow
2012-Under this project in 2008, the Fort St. James Ski Club developed and proceeded to implement a multi-year redevelopment plan for the Murray Ridge Ski Area near Fort St. James. This project is supporting an increase in the recreational tourism capacity, and marketability of the ski area by revitalizing the ski area’s assets.
The project has resulted in major upgrades to improve year-round use of the ski hill. The implementation of the multi-year plan includes renovating and expanding the existing ski lodge, replacing the upper mountain cabin with a gazebo and viewing area, developing a potable water source, as well as reconditioning terrain throughout the ski area for year-round use ranging from mountain biking to skiing.
"The Murray Ridge Ski Area Redevelopment has seen the facility and hill undergo extensive renovations and improvements. The whole exterior of the lodge has been transformed and a potable water system installed and kitchen renovated in the interior. These improvements, along with others, have increased business and kept visitors happy."Daniel Goff, General Manager, Murray Ridge Ski Area
This redevelopment project is helping the community of Fort St. James meet its economic development objectives in diversifying the local economy through an investment in tourism infrastructure while creating direct new employment opportunities. Overall, the goal of the work completed under this project is to establish the Murray Ridge Ski Area as a recreation and tourism destination, attracting visitors to Fort St. James and the surrounding region. By undertaking this project, the Fort St. James Ski Club is also better positioned for future capital expansion and development of the ski area. A next goal of the society is to develop new recreational cabins at the ski hill.
During the 2006/07 operating year, the ski area generated more than $299,000 in revenue and contributed more than $238,000 in wages and business expenditures to the local economy of Fort St. James. The society estimated that the realization of the overall redevelopment plan will allow the Murray Ridge Ski Area to extend its operations by as much as four weeks, resulting in a 33% increase in direct revenues and employment benefits in Fort St. James.