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Ski Cape Smokey to Become a Year-Round Recreation Destination
The new owners of Ski Cape Smokey plan to transform the ski hill in Ingonish Beach, Victoria Co., into a year-round recreation and tourism destination.
The province sold the property to a private-sector group, Cape Smokey Holding Ltd., for $370,000.
“We are pleased to have a private owner who understands its importance and wants to make this spectacular natural setting a four-season destination for the local community and visitors,” said Business Minister Geoff MacLellan.
The property includes almost 162 hectares (400 acres) of land, a lodge and a chairlift. The lodge needs significant updating, while the chairlift is no longer safe and needs to be replaced.
The group says it will update the ski hill and plans to expand seasonal use to allow for year-round recreational activities, such as a signature tree walk. Under the terms of the sale, once the construction and developments are completed designated areas of the property will be accessible to the public for recreational use, such as hiking and snowmobiling.
About 20 per cent of the property can be subdivided for residential development.
“We are excited to begin work on this development,” said Joseph Balaz, president of Cape Smokey Holding Ltd. “With the support and assistance of the Cape Breton Partnership, we engaged with the local municipal government and the Mi’kmaw First Nation communities. Together we see a lot of opportunity for the future of Cape Smokey.”
Until the recent sale, the property had been leased to the Ski Cape Smokey Society, a volunteer community group, under a 25-year agreement with the province which was due to expire in 2020.
“This sale ensures the future of the facility and will enable significant economic growth within our communities,” said Larry Dauphinee, chair of the society. “For the last ten years, the facility has been operated by volunteers with the goal of privatization. We would like to thank the many volunteers and the province for helping us keep Smokey operational for the local communities.”
As part of the lease agreement with the society, the Department of Business has been responsible for paying the power bills for the lodge building, about $20,000 a year, and the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal has provided basic maintenance services to the lodge.