Letter to the Editor: Big Ben has so many possibilities

Are we going backwards rather than forward, while citing budget woes as the problem?

Our city is being promoted as “a world of possibilities” and a place to eat sleep and play at reasonable costs. Cutting the budget to grow dandelions rather than flowers, grow weeds instead of grass cutting is not the way to go. In a society whereby fitness is becoming the norm for people of all ages, why withdraw funding from Big Ben?

I have many times spoken to members of council and the general public that the facility could and should be developed into a 12 month profitable facility, all at a very reasonable cost.

Let’s not forget that Big Ben is existent and only needs a little foresight to develop. I can envision the current ski area covered in sand and open in the summer to sand boarding. It is a sport I have done in the sand dunes of Oregon and has become very popular.

There is a fairly new sport called slacklining, which is becoming extremely popular and could be installed for peanuts. The hill currently has a roadway to the top for trucks, so let’s bring in bulldozers and create trails up down and around for hiking, as well as trails for mountain biking.

For winter, these trails would be used for hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and what about the expansion of the ski and snowboard area to a higher peak, have long toboggan run with curves (perhaps like what they have at water parks).

We have a gem in the center of town just begging for development. It is not looking at millions of dollars only a few thousand and on a user pay system most certainly could develop into a positive cash flow position and become a mecca for sport and recreation.

Cornwall has ice rinks that bring in tournaments, just imagine what a gem like Big Ben could bring in to compliment the Benson Centre and to help with the losses it creates in both winter and summer.

As I mentioned, we should at least be joining in the request for fitness activities. I would just love to see Cornwall called “The capital of Eastern Ontario for Sport Recreation and Fitness.”

Roland Besner
Cornwall, Ontario