With success comes challenges. Just as the city of Kimberley grapples with trying to provide housing stock for all the people who want to live here, the Kimberley Nordic Club has a similar problem. Their success means they’ve outgrown their parking lot, and it’s causing a number of issues.
The Kimberley Nordic Club is the third largest cross country ski club in British Columbia and the fourth largest in the country. It is the busiest recreation facility in Kimberley.
KNC President Mark Koenig and GM Dan Clark visited Kimberley City Council, armed with statistics, to ask for assistance.
Clark told council that the club had been experiencing unsurpassed growth with one five Kimberley residents a member last year.
“That’s more than Minor Hockey, more than swimming. We are producing some of the fastest skiers in Canada. We are hosting camps and races each year.”
In fact KNC will host the Western Canadian Championships in 2023, one of the country’s biggest races.
And it’s not just the winter. The trails are used all year round for mountain biking, trail running and more.
The problem is parking, despite a lot expansion in 2019.
In 2019, the club reports a high of 1900 people a day using the trails, nearly 75,000 over the season.
During the 2020/2021 ski season, there were daily issues with the parking lot at-capacity or over-capacity due to Nordic skiers,
snowshoers, and uptrack skiers all trying to use the limited parking at KNC. This means that the parking lot was at or over capacity at some point every day. People park down the street, causing issues with neighbours, or use other lots not designated for the Nordic Club.
There are three potential solutions as the club sees it. The first, they would definitely prefer not to do because it would involve using the stadium area for parking, which would limit their ability to host big meets, or provide a safe area for lessons.
Another possibility is creating a new lot just off Deer Run Drive. The other, which the club prefers, is creating a lot just off the hairpin at the top of Gerry Sorensen Way. They want to work with Council to develop a solution to their parking problems.
There could be potential problems and expenses with either choice, it was noted.
Council also advised KNC that they should be on the lookout for grant possibilities as city tax payers were unlikely to fund developing a parking lot. And, before a grant is even applied for, a detailed plan would need to be in place.
However, council said the lines of communication between the club and the city would be kept open.