Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park today announced a significant milestone in its planned expansion that will serve a growing population of recreational skiers and outdoor enthusiasts throughout the Inland Northwest.
Spokane County issued a permit allowing for construction to begin on the mountain’s backside, creating 80 additional acres of groomed trails and an additional chairlft.
“Mount Spokane serves a need in our region to provide accessible, affordable winter recreation to the local community,” said Brad McQuarrie, general manager of Mount Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park. “The timing is ideal because this season we’re bursting at the seams with more skiers than ever.”
McQuarrie said skier visits this season have reached record-breaking numbers at Mount Spokane. He credits a strong winter snowfall and a trend in the region’s youth becoming more active outdoors for the explosive popularity of the mountain.
Spokane County Building and Planning Department issued the permits today for trail clearing, grading, and chairlift construction. Work will begin immediately, with a goal of being open for next season.
Mount Spokane purchased a chairlift known as the Red Chair from Montana’s Bridger Bowl Ski Area in 2013 to install on the mountain’s backside. The legendary chairlift has a long and storied history, including ties to the Spokane community from its inception, as Riblet Tramway Co. was the original builder of this chairlift based in Spokane.
“Mount Spokane’s expansion will serve a diverse skier population and benefit the region socially, economically and recreationally, Shelley O’ Quinn, Spokane County Commissioner.
“Mount Spokane, as good stewards of the land, provide recreation for everyone in our region.”
For more than a decade Mount Spokane has been working to expand, with a vision to provide a strong community benefit by balancing public safety and recreation with environmental preservation and stewardship. The Washington State Parks Commission approved Mount Spokane’s plan in November 2014 following years of extensive studies, public process and collaboration with the environmental community that resulted in reducing the potential 800 acre area, to just 80 acres of trails to address their concerns.
Despite a series of hurdles created by one local special-interest environmental group working to stop the expansion, the landowner Washington State Parks and the non-profit concessionaire MS 2000 are moving forward.
“This is a very exciting day for every skier in our region. What this means is that we can now turn our vision into a reality so that more skiers can enjoy more of the mountain and the entire community can enjoy the benefits,” McQuarrie added.
For more information, visit mtspokane.com.