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Mount Joy faces insurance shocker

By November 2, 2022No Comments
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Mount Joy Snow Resort is facing a huge cost increase in insurance resulting in higher rates for skiers and snowboarders in the upcoming 2022-23 season.

A recent decision by RMA Insurance from Rural Municipalities Alberta to discontinue insuring all private, non-municipal ski hills in Alberta, including Mount Joy, has left everyone scrambling to afford coverage. 

“We’re trying to find the right fit at the right price. We’re looking at a huge difference in our insurance, “ said Mount Joy president, Chris Bogue. 

“We’re going from about $8,000 to upwards to $25,000. We still don’t know what that exact number is. We are finalizing our new insurance with our new provider.”

On the plus side, the resort has limited the scope of off-season improvements to minor cosmetic changes to save money heading into a new season.

“Without knowing what our insurance is going to cost, we didn’t want to take on any risk with making changes at the hill that’s going to cost money in the offseason, then not have enough for insurance,” explained Bogue.

“So this year was all about some visual changes. We’ve done a little bit of renovations inside the chalet as well as painting the outside of it and rebuilding the (lift) tees.”

They also passed all of their lift rope inspections and repainted the exterior of the rental shop.  

The resort has also acquired a new base grinder and an edger to tune up the rental fleet.

“We’re going to have a pretty amazing rental fleet this year because of the amount of tuning we can do to the existing fleet,” said Bogue.

Season passes are on sale now and ski and snowboard registration will start soon along with the launch of a new resort website.

“We got a grant for social media and marketing and that included a new website and instruction for social media development,” explained Bogue.

The resort is also selling tickets to a steak night at the Canadian Brewhouse on Nov. 17 for $30 a person for phase-2 funding for the Magic Carpet lift project.

All of this fresh news and more will be discussed in greater detail at an upcoming public meeting at Rendell Park Elementary School on Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.

Their usual fall annual general meeting switched to the spring last season to “keep board engagement” through the off-season, as Bogue put it.

He says the purpose of this Monday’s open get-together is to explain a bunch of changes made at the hill and go through a list of things to engage their volunteers.

Bogue doesn’t think there should be any empty spaces on the board to fill at the fall meeting, with insurance costs and rate increases high on the agenda.

“With the increase in insurance and everything else, we did have to increase the rates. We’re asking the community to be okay with it,” said Bogue.

“Everything is price driven.”

He wants the public to know Mount Joy still is a volunteer-run operation that is putting everything back on the hill with changes and optimizations.

Mount Snow is a member of the Canada West Ski Areas Association, which has been working closely with the resort and about eight other affected ski hills to help them find replacement insurance.

“They’ve been offering absolutely amazing support helping us find insurance and get a group of ski hills together as CWSA members and brainstorming what we can do to control the insurance cost,” said Bogue.

Mount Joy is located about 20 minutes south of Lloydminster on Range Road 20, five kilometres south of Hwy. 619.