MONTE VISTA - Remember that old saying that indicates forging ahead despite obstacles and difficulties to realize a dream or goal? That’s exactly what’s happening in Monte Vista with the continuation of the original plan to soon begin demolition of the old and construction of the NEW Ski Hi multi-use Complex. “Delay is not an option for progress,” states Karla Shriver, co-chair for the Friends of Ski Hi Committee.
The City of Monte Vista, Friends of Ski Hi Park and ALCON Construction are pleased to announce that the future building for Ski Hi Regional Event and Conference Center has been ordered!! Shriver and fellow co-chair, Kathy Woods explained: “Friends, ALCON staff, City Council and city management met in a special public meeting to discuss ordering the building so the project could stay on schedule.” After much consideration it was determined that a delay could mean losing the facility entirely. A lot of teamwork, thought and strategizing went into this important project for Monte Vista and the SLV and it will move forward as planned. “To delay it, after so many devoted donors contributed in good faith, didn’t seem like an option,” Shriver stated.
The Friends of Ski Hi set a hefty local fundraising goal to show community support and backing as they continue to seek grant money. The more than $8 million project kicked off with the local donation campaign early in the year. Within a few months there was a notable amount of the community match raised that now totals over $772,000.00. “Everyone is amazed at the amount of funding our San Luis Valley community has raised in such a short period of time” exclaimed Shriver.
“The majority of it was raised before the COVID-19 crisis, but some funding continued to come in despite the crisis set back. We received several letters of commitment, as well. Now it’s time to begin collecting on those commitments in order to show cash on hand as funders begin making decisions on funding the project,” added Shriver. “It is imperative to show the cash on hand for assurance to the potential funders.” Two approved grants have been disbursed for the project. That, along with the local donations that have paid out, brings the fund balance to about 1/3 of the way to a fully funded project.
“The timing of the unprecedented COVID event seriously disturbed the original plan of having grants secured at this point as some funders have delayed their capital grant awards to a later date, ” added the Co-Chairs. “Friends of Ski Hi ceased fundraising during the most critical stage of the COVID event but now it’s time to move forward in seeking funds in order to complete this long awaited project. “While we need donations more than ever, we don’t want to financially strain and already strained community. Families and livelihoods come first.” Because many foundations began to focus on humanitarian needs, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some have cut back or delayed answers on capital campaign projects. “We have an added challenge, due to this unexpected worldwide event now, but the Friends of Ski Hi and supporters will see it through,” said the team.
The new structure was designed to meet the needs of an Essential Use Facility for the entire region. SLV communities, for decades, have used the current, outdated and inadequate, structure for educational, social, recreational, heritage and public safety related activities, as well as a shelter during wildfires and more.
“City Council and I are so excited about what is taking place with the vision of Ski Hi Regional Event and Conference Center,” said Monte Vista Mayor Dale Becker. “Please help us all continue to make this a reality. The project is still on schedule to be completed by March 2021 for the San Luis Valley Potato-Grain (Ag) Conference.” This vision was started in 2006 with a Master Plan that was a joint venture between the City and local individuals, groups and businesses. The Ski Hi Regional Event and Conference Center is Phase 3 of that Master Plan.
Shriver and Woods added to that: “Please help “Raise the Roof” on this important San Luis Valley asset! This project embodies our SLV past, our present and will be our future! We would also like to say - thank you – to those who have committed already to this very worthwhile community project.”
This is an Enterprise Zone Tax Credit project. For every $100 donated, there is a 25 percent Colorado tax credit. Please call Karla at 719-850-5808 or Kathy at 719-588-4092, or the Monte Vista Chamber at 719-852-2731. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 262, Monte Vista, CO 81144.