BC man has big money and big ideas for Blackstrap
Published Tuesday, October 30, 2012 5:10PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, October 31, 2012 9:10AM CST
It seems Saskatchewan has a mystery admirer who wants to invest millions of dollars to re-open Mount Blackstrap.
For 35 years, Mount Blackstrap was a popular ski hill, until expensive repairs forced the hill to close.
Now, there is a glimmer of life from a BC man who once worked at Blackstrap, and who has wanted to move back ever since.
Torey Spink owns an orchard and tour company in Whistler, as well as other investments. He says he has $8 million and plenty of ideas to revitalize the ski hill. “I like the fact it's abandoned, it's been dismantled, and it's basically just a hill. I don't want the problems that were there. I don't want to inherit problems; I’d rather come in and create something from scratch."
Spink says Blackstrap has to be an all-season destination to make money. For summer, he wants a mountain bike park, concert venue, and chalet to accommodate weddings. He also wants to develop the waterfront. For winter, Spink would like to put in new chair lifts and t-bar, plus a ski rental and repair shop.
He's sent an informal letter of interest to the province, who own the hill. Cindy MacDonald with Saskatchewan Parks says it is considering the proposal which would lease the land to Spink.
“We are receptive to new ideas, and do welcome private sector development in parks,” says MacDonald.
Spink can't imagine the province would turn him down. “I can't see the government saying no to us. If they do they obviously, honestly, probably don't want the area to be reopened."
Spink says he's waiting to see if the province is interested in moving forward. If it is, he will move his family from BC to Saskatchewan, and would like to have skiers on Mount Blackstrap within two years.