Ski Martock snow woes melt away with $1.1M investment

·2 min read
Ski Martock draws millions of litres of water each year from the Avon River for snowmaking. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)
Ski Martock draws millions of litres of water each year from the Avon River for snowmaking. (Paul Palmeter/CBC - image credit)

The West Hants Regional Municipality has received more than $1.1 million from the federal government to go toward infrastructure to supply fresh water for Ski Martock's snowmaking gear.

Kings-Hants MP Kody Blois made the announcement for the non-repayable investment to the municipality on behalf of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency on Thursday.

"Ski Martock is very important economically to the region in West Hants," Blois said. "So I was pleased to see how quick ACOA was able to move to be able to put a structure in place to ensure they have fresh water and they're able to use that for their snowmaking."

Construction began in October to make changes to the Avon River to allow fresh water to be pumped to the hill.

Water had been pumped from the river for years, but water levels became too low in March after a federal ministerial order stated gates at the river causeway were to be kept open for longer periods to allow for the passage of fish. Highway 101 is being twinned and it runs over the Avon River and Lake Pisiquid.

Tourism draw

According to ACOA's news release, Martock employs 12 full-time and 200 seasonal workers and attracts over 80,000 visitors to the area annually.

"So it's not just Ski Martock, it's the whole environment, and the business climate would have been impacted if this had not been here, so I'm extremely happy that's in place," Blois said.

"It's important for Martock, it's important for the jobs and it's one of the issues resolved in the conversation around the Avon River that we have to get resolved."

Martock owners Heather and Jim Boylan said in the release that they are pleased to overcome the snowmaking challenge and "look forward to providing winter fun for the coming season and for the years beyond."

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