Zrinko Amerl has made his intention to purchase the ski hill clear, and has hammered out a deal with the hill’s board of directors. He says much progress has been made, and they will be inking the deal in the very near future.
He says part of the deal to purchase the ski hill is to also take over the debts of the current ownership.
“Within the process there are businesses in town that are owed money, and that’s paramount for us and the longevity of the business, to work closely and appreciate what local businesses have done in the past for the ski hill, and what they may do in the future,” said Amerl.
Many of the other details are falling into place. The ski hill has been working with Passion Play, which has joint ownership of the land on which the ski hill operates. Amerl says they have most of the issues resolved.
“We have a few details to work out but it looks like a done deal,” said Amerl.
In June of this year, the Town of Drumheller cancelled its land sale agreement with the Drumheller Valley Ski Club due to non-compliance with the items of agreement. Amerl says it is crucial a deal is made with the Town.
“With the town, we have to come to an agreement with the land, because the ski hill without the land is not a ski hill,” he said.
He is confident that he, residents of the town, and Drumheller Town Council and administration have the same goals.
“I believe the town residents want the ski hill. I have talked to many individuals over the last week and everyone is expecting the ski hill to be there,” he said. "I believe the town itself…council and administration want the ski hill in place.”
He says the ski hill holds great potential to allow Drumheller to extend its tourism season into the winter months.
He says the Drumheller hill is 50 per cent bigger than Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, and has the capacity to be a strong winter draw.
“If the town takes a leading role in a tourism perspective, we could see up to 50,000 visitations due to the hill from Calgary and the Southern Alberta region,” he says. “If we can do that, we can now have winter months, where tourism doesn’t see such a hit that it does, and we could see more jobs in the valley that are year round, rather than seasonal.”
“Businesses are behind it, and I think we have to hammer at the point this is important, so people see it. 50,000 is not unreachable. We just have to promote it,” said Amerl.