FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Whiskey Jack Nordic Ski Club President Eliza Stanford gave a presentation to Fort St. John Rotarians on Thursday about the club’s plans to build a cross-country skiing day lodge at Beatton Provincial Park.
The Ski Club will be the host organization for the Nordic skiing events during the upcoming 2020 BC Winter Games and has begun planning construction of the lodge after being granted permission to build the lodge from BC Parks. The volunteer-driven organization collectively spends over 800 hours a year maintaining the cross-country ski trails in Beatton Park, in addition to delivering adult lessons and children’s programming.
“The Day Lodge is a gathering place and social hub for skiers,” said Stanford. “It’s a warm place to retreat to on cold days. Skit outings can be longer with a place to take a break, eat and drink. A place for younger skiers to rest and warm up. It would be available to multiple groups not just for the 2020 Winter Games.”
The lodge and adjoining accessible outhouse would be part of the Beatton Provincial Park trail system and would enhance the experience for winter trail users.
“The building may cost probably going to come in a bit lower than $400,000, added Stanford. Going down from there the architect has fees based on the percentage of different phases of the work. We are looking at $5,000 for right now to get the drawings done and get the engineers looking at them before we get the rest of the money.”
Stanford said that club is working on getting architectural blueprints of the lodge as a way to secure a budget as currently there are only rough sketches of the proposed building. If all goes as planned, come April the Club will be seeking an estimate from local building companies before applying for grants and getting funding.
If all goes according to plan, Stanford said construction is scheduled to start in the Spring of 2019, with the building opening to the public that December ahead of the BC Winter Games two months after that.