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Funding adds another kilometer of lights for Airport Nordic Ski Club

Jeremy Decker repairs an existing light at the Airport Nordic Ski Club
Jeremy Decker repairs an existing light at the Airport Nordic Ski Club

Gander — Some people ski at night because it suits their schedules. Others enjoy the aesthetic experience of gliding along the trails after dark.

Whatever their reason, next year skiers in Gander will have another kilometre of lighted trail for their nighttime runs.

Jack Waye, vice president and director of projects for Gander’s Airport Nordic Ski club, says the club has just received the final piece of the funding needed to install lights for an additional kilometer, for a total of five kms of lighted trail.

Whatever their reason, next year skiers in Gander will have another kilometre of lighted trail for their nighttime runs.

Jack Waye, vice president and director of projects for Gander’s Airport Nordic Ski club, says the club has just received the final piece of the funding needed to install lights for an additional kilometer, for a total of five kms of lighted trail.

Trails ready for a night time ski at the Airport Nordic Ski Club

Waye told the Beacon, the project will cost just over $60,000. The province and federal government — through the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development and ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund — are contributing $40,000; another $10,000 will come from the Co-op 50/50 fund and the rest will be provided by the club.

The club is volunteer-run — with one paid employee who grooms the trails — and finances its activities largely through membership fees 

Waye said the addition of lighting on the trail has brought in new members. 

“We found when we did the lit trails our membership had a dramatic increase because there were all those people who couldn’t ski before because they worked all day.” 

The club is up to almost 450 members right now. Waye says that’s one of the highest ski-club memberships in the province. He says they also have one of the lowest membership fees, partly because they keep their overhead low.

The extra kilometre will complete a loop, allowing skiers to ski right back to the parking lot, without having to backtrack.   

The new section of lit trail will be a little more challenging.

“Most of the lit trail now is relatively flat terrain but this is hilly and will appeal to a different level of skier.” 

Wade notes that nighttime skiing is a totally different experience.

“It’s very, very beautiful skiing out there under the lights.” 

The lights will be installed in time for next year’s ski season.

Weather permitting, the trails open at 10 a.m. and are lit from dusk to 10 p.m.  The club offers free equipment loans to people who want to try the sport on a day pass. 


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