Two weeks ago, the Shamrock Tube Run opened for the 2021 season, their fifth consecutive season after their grand opening in January 2017. The outdoor facility offers tubers 400 feet of sliding potential in two different runs accessed by a magic carpet lift. The grand opening celebration in 2017 was just six months after Northern Development approved a $60,000 grant through its former Community Halls and Recreation Facilities funding program for the $193,593 project.
“The addition of the tube run with magic carpet lift has been an excellent and welcome addition to the Barkerville community,” said Kate Cox, chief executive officer, Barkerville Historic Town and Park. “By adding this unique attraction, we have been able to expand our operating season, increase our revenue, attract more people to the historic site and support the local and regional economy. Over the past four years we have welcomed thousands of people during the winter months and provided guests with another way to enjoy the snowy beauty of the Cariboo.”
The tubing infrastructure helps attract visitors to the historic site and increases business for local accommodations, restaurants, service providers and other establishments during the quieter winter months. In the first season of operations, four new permanent seasonal positions were created directly from the completed project and Barkerville welcomed more than 5,000 visitors to the historic site during the off-season. These numbers climbed in the following years, with 6,753 people visiting in 2017 and 8,576 in 2018.
“Located at the gateway to our Cariboo Mountains backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling destination, the Shamrock Tube run offers a fun and accessible family-friendly outdoor activity,” explained Cox. “As part of a symbiotic and diversified system that also includes the Barkerville Cafe and our Barkerville Cottages, a winter weekend can now include joyful sliding, chili cheese dogs eaten in front of fire pits, and relaxed walks through Barkerville’s historic zone while enjoying hot beverages. We are grateful to NDIT for helping us make these offerings a reality.”
Funding for this project was approved through the Trust’s Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program. In September 2020, Northern Development announced new community funding programs through Trust 2020. Now, it would be eligible for funding through the new Recreation Infrastructure program. The new funding program provides up to $100,000, to a maximum of 70 per cent, for upgrades or repairs to an existing facility or up to $300,000, to a maximum of 50 per cent, for new construction or substantial upgrades to existing facilities. Learn more about the funding program here.