Pelly Construction gives $100,000 for Sima chairlift

Skiers and snowboarders will be riding the Pelly Construction Chair to the top of Mt. Sima for the next two years. Pelly Construction Ltd. and the Great Northern Ski Society, which governs operations at Sima, announced a two-year sponsorship.

Skiers and snowboarders will be riding the Pelly Construction Chair to the top of Mt. Sima for the next two years.

Pelly Construction Ltd. and the Great Northern Ski Society, which governs operations at Sima, announced a two-year sponsorship deal on Thursday.

The Whitehorse construction company is investing $100,000 in Sima to help cover the costs of the resort’s new $3-million chairlift.

The Platinum level sponsorship agreement has given the chairlift, currently being installed and scheduled to open this season, the Pelly name until November 2013.

“We saw an opportunity at Mt. Sima to show strong community support towards a worthy cause that will be a legacy in Yukon for many years to come,” said Pelly vice-president Jess Jewell, in a media release.

Thursday’s announcement marked the official launch of Sima’s corporate fundraising campaign in which the ski society plans to raise the remaining $1.3 million to cover the cost of the lift.

“Pelly Construction Ltd. has always been strong community supporters, and as we developed this opportunity, we saw this being a natural fit for them,” said society president Craig Hougen in the release. “This really kick-starts our sponsorship campaign in the corporate community to raise funds and finance the new chairlift. We’re confident people want to support this worthy cause, and that we’ll reach our financial targets.”

With the construction of Sima’s new chairlift ahead of schedule, Whitehorse city council agreed last week to extend the ski society’s credit limit to $900,000 by $600,000 on a $1.6 million grant issued by the city at the start of June.

The new lift will be a fixed-grip quad chairlift, manufactured and installed by Doppelmeyr Lifts Limited. The quad lift will be capable of transporting up to 1,800 passengers an hour, about twice as many as the old lift.

Sima’s previous lift, which was 36 years old and was bought secondhand in the early ‘90s, suffered an estimated 21 breakdowns last season, including one on opening day that led to the first evacuation of the lift in the resort’s 17-year history.

A dependable chairlift at Mt. Sima will be crucial when Whitehorse hosts the 2012 Arctic Winter Games in March.

With an injection of $1.5 million from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (Cannor) last summer, Mt. Sima is also currently building an adventure park on its premises to open next spring. WildPlay Yukon, as it will be called, will transform Sima into a year-round operation and will require a chairlift for its zipline operations.

Contact Tom Patrick at

tomp@yukon-news.com