Searchmont Resort is having a particularly busy off-season/pre-season this year. Multiple projects are ongoing, including hill remediation, lift repairs, and four Superior Skills training programs, all contributing to a much needed infrastructure renewal and an improved visitor experience.
Infrastructure projects already undertaken include:
• Goulais River water intake was cleaned and pumped out;
• Water leaks were fixed across the mountain and new piping was installed, reducing the strain on the system and reducing energy costs;
• New snowmaking hydrants were installed at strategic locations;
• Exterior of the Villas was painted by staff and volunteers;
• Main portion of the mountain was brushed, reducing the amount of snow making required, and improving riding conditions;
• Drainage ditches were filled, again reducing the amount of snow making required, and improving riding conditions;
• Tower bases of the Double lift are being strengthened;
• The counterweight cable was installed on the Triple lift;
• New motor was installed for the Poma lift;
• Two new groomers were purchased.
These projects were made possible by the generous support of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, FEDNOR, and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.
In its efforts to revitalize the hill, Searchmont Resort is hosting Superior Skills’ 8-week training sessions in four programs areas and will benefit from the participants’ efforts in upgrading some of the facilities and getting ready for the upcoming season. Participants will become familiar with a resort’s structure, while learning new skills, and gaining experience that could see them employed at Searchmont, other area resorts, hotels, restaurants, contractors, or with landscapers, foresters, and the like.
The Superior Skills program stems from a partnership between Destination North – a non-profit social enterprise, and Sault Ste. Marie’s Ontario Works, lead by Mike Nadeau. The training program recruits individuals from the Ontario Works community and provides intensive, contextualized skills, with the aim to create a confident, goal-oriented, skilled work force.
The four program areas are :
1. Hospitality and Housekeeping
2. Facilities Maintenance
3. Outdoor Skilled Worker
4. Food Service Worker
Hospitality and Housekeeping participants are cleaning up the Villas, Chalets and the Lodge. The resort seldom gets a chance to have a deep clean before the season starts. In addition, the program provides Searchmont the opportunity to use new housekeeping equipment and supplies procured through the program activities to enhance the participant experience.
Facilities Maintenance participants are patching and painting damaged areas throughout the resort, as well as updating the interior of the Villas with paint and a few new finishes. Broken windows will be replaced and many new door seals installed, leading to lower energy costs. The resort will also be better equipped for ongoing maintenance of their facilities.
Outdoor Skilled Worker participants are breaking a sweat brushing and clearing the edges of ski runs and trails around the hill. The resort will have ongoing use of new brush saws, chainsaws, and associated safety equipment purchased during the program.
Food Service Worker participants are cooking up a storm, feeding their fellow Superior Skills participants while gaining kitchen experience. Through the program, the resort will have some existing equipment, cleaned, repaired and certified, as well as use of new equipment such as coffee and beverage machines, which will allow the resort to save on beverage costs as well as introduce the Searchmont Blend from St Joseph Island Coffee Roasters.
Season Pass Sales
Those interested in purchasing their season pass or a 6 pack can do so at Mill Market from 11am to 3pm Saturday November 7th and Sunday November 8th, and at the Ski Swap located in the Willowgrove United Church at 55 Tilley Rd, this Saturday November 7th from 9am to 11am.
Season passes are always available for purchase online at any time.
Follow us on Facebook for future dates and locations of season pass sales.