Milestones: Increasing expectations from members (after challenges with grooming and collections program in the previous season) coupled with new legislative demands require FSA to dial-up back of house procedures and grooming program. Overarching goal is to become a financially independent organization, not reliant on City of Fernie Grants. Nicole Matei (diploma in tourism and recreation management + emergency management) hired for up to 20 hrs per week at $20/hr to tackle growing admin challenges. Discussion and vote at AGM that FSA should maximize revenue potential by transitioning to 7 day a week collection funding an in-house grooming program. Spenser Olsen and Dave Hozjan source new snowcat – eventually Spencer flies to US to inspect and ultimately purchase a new snowcat for the club. New groomer arrives September 5th – Bison 350R with Rexroth Drive at 10,000 hours, 8-way Leitwolf blade and tiller. Total purchase price was $42,677 USD. Funded by $47,750 raised from corporate partners including a kick start of $5000 from the United Steelworkers, remaining balance was via loan from East Kootenay Credit Union. November 2017 – FSA receives sign off on first Avalanche Safety Plan prepared by Braden Schmidt & Nicole Matei reviewed by Steve Conger (CAA Ops3, QAP) with avalanche path mapping data and aerial photos donated from Elk Valley Snow Shepherds, significantly reducing the cost to FSA. Steve Kelly suggests oil and gas industry solution to assist FSA meet WorkSafe BC Lone Worker safe work procedures and spearheads subsequent ‘lifetime’ donation of Blackline Safety devices bringing the club into compliance with WorksafeBC. FSA completes official transition to the new BC Societies Act. Creation of first FSA Employee Manuals, official job descriptions, trailhead logs and data recording spreadsheets, Occupational Health and Safety Manuals and Emergency Response Plans. FSA amalgamates with Corbin Country Club October 2017 – Curtis Hagley remains as Corbin Director (the French’s and Hagley’s should be noted for significant contribution).
Events: Bob Arnott Memorial Ride and plaque installation at the Rolling Hills Cabin Jan 21, 2017 (Alex Millar and Randy Zahn). Island Lake Ride. Avalanche Awareness Days Event raises $2030 to be donated to Avalanche Canada, the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association and Fernie Search and Rescue. Feb 11th Moonlight Ride. FSA hosts Thunderstruck film premier at Griz Bar.
Other Notable: General member’s meetings moved from Thursday to Friday to encourage out of town member attendance. 1527 volunteer hours and 660 employee hours recorded in 2017. BCSF Auto-Renew System Paypal issue causes major in-house administrative work to repair as over 100 FSA members are billed the incorrect amount for their annual membership. Harvey Cabin under construction and partially completed lost to wildfire (FSA had donated $2500). Bingay Coal Mine proposal near Elkford. Large metal trail map signs purchased and posted on trails – the first step in new signage program. First online member survey is sent out with a positive response rate and good feedback
Trail Passes and Annual Memberships: Annual primary membership rate $175. Day tickets $25.
Grooming: Avalanche Safety Plan now instrumental in guiding the grooming program. Justin Boehm, as professional CAA Operations Level 1 elected as Grooming Director to support the rollout of these new standard operating procedures. Spenser continues to play major role as Maintenance Director. Jim Tosh (15 years plus grooming experience at Fernie Alpine Resort, AST1) hired as groomer operator. Fri, Sat, Sun, Wed grooming on Coal Creek, Doug Dean, Summit, and Morrissey Trails. Notch, Matheson, and Martin added in as conditions and fuel allows. Corbin groomed once a week by a volunteer from the staging area to either Rain Gauge or McClatchie as avalanche conditions permit. Hartley groomed once a month or so as avalanche conditions permit.
Executives: President Dave Hozjan, Vice President Devon Hanson, Secretary Nicole Matei, Treasurer Steve Kelly. Directors Peter Valenta, Mike Stefano, Roland Kraemer, Justin Boehm, Spenser Olson, Mike Scarpelli.