BY SCOTT HADDOW
Slap on the skis because it's only two weeks until the grand opening of the revamped Adanac Ski Hill.
Left for dead after the 2002-03 ski season, the hill became a rallying point for many citizens concerned about the demise of another recreational outlet for people of all ages.
With hope being melted away like late April snow, in stepped The Friends of Adanac group and the City of Greater Sudbury.
Together, the two groups fought and clawed their way back to the top by virtue of a reasonable business plan and good old-fashioned hard work.
They made the hill part of the community's conscience by having an on-going fundraising campaign known as Give Kids a Lift.
To date, the efforts have raised close to $65,000 for the hill. On Monday, the two groups announced the hill would be reopened in time for the Christmas Holidays.
Starving skiers have only a few days to wait to ski again in Sudbury, with the official opening taking place Dec. 21.
"It's great news," said Friends of Adanac Chair Brian Smith. "It's going to be great to see the hill open again and flourishing during Christmas."
Among Adanac's improvements are a repaired chair lift, new chairs, a whole new run and plenty of refinements to the hill itself to make it a better experience.
The city even had 1,000 truckloads of fill to firm up the base of the hill.
There's new snow-making equipment as well, which means the hill can produce enough of the fluffy white stuff to get skiers on the hill even earlier.
A brand new carpet lift has also been installed, which will be a bonus for youngsters who are travelling up the 200-foot bunny hill.
"We've done a lot of work at the hill and the lift to ensure integrity and safety," said Greater Sudbury Manager of Community Partnership Chris Gore. "The key for us was getting the lift repaired."
In addition to all the hill improvements, there are two portable buildings that will serve as temporary chalets.
"Long term, we want something more significant for a chalet," said Gore. "We're looking at Adanac as not just a winter facility, but a year-round facility."
There's still work to be done.
"This is a community facility and the people need to step up and donate towards it," said Smith. "It's really about the kids and having a place for them. Adanac introduces young kids to the sport and the hill develops them."
Anyone interested in helping out can go to any TD Bank branch and donate. Pledge forms are also available in Northern Life.
Both groups have each committed to $370,000 towards the hill.
"The people running it are committed," said Smith. "There will be an advisory board made up of skiers, concerned citizens and business people who will help with ways to improve the hill as we move forward. Time will tell it can be operated successfully."
Besides welcoming skiers, Adanac also has a snowboard park component with rails and jumps.
Fees for the hill encompass a broad range of options. A half-day pass for juniors is $13, while a full day is $18. For an adult, a half-day costs $18 and a full day costs $23.