Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Kinosoo manager awarded for outstanding passion

For the Bonnyville Nouvelle.

Jurgan Grau (centre) poses with the Lars Fossberg award in along with Bonnyville M.D. Council on May 25.
Submitted photo
 The manager of the local ski resort has been recognized with a major award for exceptional service to the community.

Jurgan Grau, who runs Kinosoo Snow Resort, was awarded the Lars Fossberg Award on May 4. The award recognizes outstanding passion and initiative towards the skiing community within the Canada West Ski Areas Association, which covers ski hills from Winnipeg, MB. to Whistler, BC.

“I really feel the recognition should go to everybody involved in the ski hill throughout the years,” praised Grau, downplaying his own contributions. “I think that the industry has recognized what we've done. We've really created something great in this small community.”

Grau said he was honoured to be counted among such esteemed company, especially since wasn't aware he was even nominated until he was declared the recipient.

“I have no idea who else was nominated,” noted Grau. “When I was called up to receive this recognition I was literally dumbfounded.”

Lars Fossberg was a passionate skier who maintained a resort in Quesnel, BC. He is known for building the entire resort himself. The award was set up by his family as a memorial for their “bestefor” (Norsk for grandfather.)

“Lars was known for being a pioneer in the industry,” explained Grau. “He cleared all the runs, he used the logs to build the chalet, the shacks, his home and so on. He would build his own parts instead of buying them. He was a true pioneer.”

This is the first time Grau and Kinosoo have been recognized with the award. Grau has close to 30 years in the industry under his belt. He has worked at Kinosoo since 1996.

“We used to get around 8,000 users a season,” mentioned Grau. “Now we get about 50,000 users.”

The Kinosoo Snow Resort is approaching its 35th year of operation and is now in its 20th year being managed by the MD.of Bonnyville. It was previously started as an initiative by a commander at CFB 4 Wing.

“Thirty-five years ago it would have taken a great deal of vision and love of skiing to start a small ski area like this in a small community,” noted Grau. “Over the years the municipality has been very committed to the facility. There has been nothing but improvement here.”

Grau added that the award itself was nice, but the recognition of the hard work that has gone into the resort was what really counted for him.

“Our goal and mission has always been to develop a ski experience that, on a smaller scale, would be very much like what you would find in the Rockies. We have a beautiful chalet and consistent snow,” explained Grau. “More importantly it was about community building and enabling quality time with family.”

Grau wanted to express his thanks to the MD and the community for helping Kinosoo Ridge get this far.

“It's been a long road. They've done really well for the facility and the community,” praised Grau. “Honestly, the initiative was something that we all had. It was a vision we all shared, and we've all worked pretty hard to make it happen.”

No comments:

Post a Comment