Ray Tatro, left, past president of Mount Joy Snow Resort congratulates former vice-president, Dean Peters, who was elected the new president during the board’s AGM, held at the Econo Lodge on Oct. 25. Tatro will assume the vice-president role. Peters will chair his first board meeting on Nov. 7. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
Snow and volunteers.
Those are the top two priorities for newly-elected Mount Joy Snow Resort president, Dean Peters who trades positions for a one-year term with past president, Ray Tatro.
“The priority is to get snow on the ground, and everything else will work itself out,” said Peters, following the election of the new board at an annual general meeting at the Econo Lodge on Oct. 25.
“Even last year with the snow, you could just see the excitement from the buzz.”
Mount Joy will start its 2018 season in January with some improvements to the coverage provided by a new snowmaking system that went into operation last season.
“Last year, we put a couple of risers up the hill,” said Peters, in an infrastructure program called Project Snow that will continue to roll out for this season.
“We want to expand that a little bit and put in a couple more water risers so we can move our water cannons around and spread the snow out a little better,” he said.
On the drawing board is a future plan to construct a new water line from the reservoir to the pump building, and a pump discharge to the riser of the water line that goes to up the hill.
Peters also said having consistent snow will also help to bring out more volunteers.
“If we get consistent snow, people bring their kids and when they get tired of skiing they come and volunteer,” said Peters.
He said that’s what people told him during a tour of Table Mountain Regional Park near Battleford last winter.
“The volunteers here work very hard and if they get more relief, the better we are, so that’s my second priority, to get volunteers,” said Peters.
At the AGM, secretary/treasurer Liz Frieser was recognized for her volunteerism with a bouquet, presented by new director Shelley Mabbott.
Frieser will continue her secretary role for another year with the treasurer duties going to Jake Dyck at the request of Frieser to split the positions and create a 10-member board.
Along with Mabbott, the new directors are Quentin Paddy, Tiffany Sale, Olen Hillaby, Max Simard, and Sheldon Moore.
Peters will chair his first board meeting as president on Nov. 7 with a busy agenda.
“Sounds like we’ve got some business lined up for that one to get ready for the season,” he said.
Peters will also be relying on Tatro as his right hand man to help him make the transition.
“I’m sure Ray will be around to ensure I don’t trip up too bad,” said Peters moments after his election.
“I’m very thankful for all the time he’s put in and I’m sure he’ll make the transition as painless as possible and I hope he teaches me to be as good as he was at it.”
Peters and another member will take the 60 hour Canadian Ski Patrol Course this month, thanks to a $4,000 grant from Devon Energy last season for training and safety purposes.
He said anyone with first aid is welcome to assist the patrollers.
The resort is also looking for a volunteer concession coordinator, a Ski and Snowboard School coordinator, sponsors for seasonal events and fundraising proposals.
Peters was also surprised to learn the City has invited the resort to submit a request for funding consideration at an upcoming council meeting.
Peters’ funding wish list includes upgrading some aging infrastructure at the hill, along with its high mileage snowmobiles and Snowcat.
“Our snowmobiles are at the critical point and our Snowcat will become critical in the next couple of years so we got to start thinking about that stuff too,” he said.
The longer-term shopping list includes a chairlift, with good snowmaking being the critical factor to growth.
“If we can get consistent snow out there, I think the possibilities – full-time employees, ski lifts, that’s all on the table,” said Peters.
“Right now, I’m just hoping to carry on what Ray started and we will hope for the very best.”
Mount Joy has also purchased a membership with the Canada West Ski Areas Association, which includes a website directory listing and liability waiver forms among many benefits.