Big Ben Ski Center may be conditionally run by Paris Holdings

(Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – The owner of the property the Big Ben Ski Center sits on has proposed to run the hill this winter provided the city funds its operation.

The ski hill was effectively closed March 2 when Coun. Andre Rivette and Coun. David Murphy tabled a cut to all funding for the hill during a budget committee meeting. The vote was later reversed April 16 in a recommendation by Coun. Bernadette Clement and Coun. Elaine MacDonald during a special council meeting on the budget. The motion, which passed in a 6-4 vote, directed staff to go through a request for proposals (RFP) to operate the hill.

The original cut was supposed to save the city $77,000 next year.

A staff report before council tonight (Monday) estimates it costs the City of Cornwall nearly $110,000 to run the ski hill for a season.

Paris Holdings it proposing to operate the hill “provided that the City continue to provide a financial support for the operation of the facility.” But the report doesn’t say whether that would be the $77,000 or some other number.

As for finding alternative people to run the hill, Paris Holdings is concerned about liability should the winning bid from an RFP be someone without ski hill operation experience. The operator before, Leader Sports, is not interested in running it again but has agreed to help Paris Holdings with a transfer of knowledge and experience this season.

Tonight’s council meeting starts at 7 p.m.

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