Two Saskatoon snowboarders are fundraising to make the upgraded Optimist Hill a great place to ride, ski, tube and toboggan.
Optimist Hill, located in Saskatoon’s Diefenbaker Park, is already getting a multi-million-dollar facelift in order to make it a winter destination for all types of downhill fun. The hill’s elevation has already been raised by 30 feet and the project will also feature man-made snow, new lighting, landscaping, a warm-up lodge and a “magic carpet” ski lift.
Local snowboarders Anthony and Nathan Thoen have been involved in the project for more than five years and are currently helping a fundraiser for a second lift in order to cut down on lineups at the bottom of the hill. The pair joined CKOM’s Brent Loucks Tuesday to discuss their efforts.
“Our second lift fundraising campaign is to essentially finish phase one of the hill,” Anthony said. “We have our first lift being installed right now and we’re raising money for that second lift because we’re going to need it.”
The “magic carpet” lift system is simple and easy to use, Nathan noted.
“It’s basically a magic carpet that takes you right to the top. It’s very user-friendly for any age,” he said. “You don’t have to climb those stairs anymore!”
The second lift will be paid for through an online Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Donating gets you entered into draws for some big prices, the brothers noted, including a four-day ski holiday at Ski Louise including accommodations and lift passes, as well as four box-seat tickets to the March 28 NHL game between the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
The newly-upgraded Optimist Hill is set to open in January, with snow-making to begin before Christmas.