Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Setting the Record Straight - Down on the Farm

I imagine by now I/We have upset some 'local' farmers. This week's edition of the PACKET has reported correctly that the Community Development and Communications committee of Council, which I am the Chair, turned down a request to take part in a buy local campaign for farmers. (see The Packet Down on the farm - Dec 12, 2013 Edition).  We did indeed turn the opportunity to participate in the campaign down, not because it was a bad idea, but rather because it was a much better project for our farming oriented neighbouring towns of Musgravetown & Lethbridge.

There are no farming businesses in the Town of Clarenville
I am a firm believer in building on strengths and the fact of the matter is that farming is simply not one of the Town of Clarenville's strengths.  It is strength for the Musgravetown area - they know the farmers, the farms and the area, and as a result they would be much more informed, credible and supportive player in the initiative.

As as Town, our job must be to focus our limited resources of time, talent and treasure into things we do well.  We made a conscious and calculated effort to focus our efforts on helping our local business sector.  By helping to ensure their success, they in turn, will be able to help regional industries, such as farms located in the Musgravetown area, prosper.
So Farmers, our decision not to participate in the Buy Local initiative was by no means meant to diminish the value of the/your efforts - rather we felt that your voice channeled through a farming region would be much stronger and much more credible.  We only have limited resources, so we'd prefer to focus our efforts on developing Clarenville's strengths - that in turn will help grow your markets and help ensure your future.

Recording Christmas 2013 in Clarenville

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tribute to Mayor Best in MNL Newsletter

Municipal News is the monthly publication of Municipalities Newfoundland & Labrador.  This month's edition features former Mayor Fred Best on the occasion of his retirement.  I have included the article here, the full newsletter is available at

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - Boosting Clarenville as a Winter Destination

This past weekend, Clarenville's tourism community celebrated two significant milestones.  First, White Hills Resort launched its new season with an open house in the beautiful main building at the Resort.  2014 marks the 25th year of the resort and with newly appointed manager Jason Crawford, coupled with some major events planned for the resort over the winter, it is shaping up to be a great year for the Resort's Silver anniversary.  Take this opportunity to see a short video of the event here:

Second, the Resort, the Town and their Partners launched a "one-stop" web space that will be promoted to tourists and residents alike. reflects the fact that there is a lot to love about winter here in Clarenville and we want to share its joys with others. Below is a video of the launch.  Be sure to check out the website at

Historical White Hills Resort

The Resort operated as a private business for many years but, on the verge of being dismantled, in December 2000 it was bought by the Town with the help of the Province and key members of the local business community for $400,000.  

Even though the Town of Clarenville is the owner of the Resort, a long term operating agreement is in place with Alpine Development, an independent volunteer management board that manages the Resort. For the past 14 years the Resort has been self-supporting.  In fact, the loan for the Town's ownership 20% share was paid by the Resort from funds generated by the Resort's operations. 

Through revenues and partnerships with funding partners, ACOA and the Provincial Department of Innovation, Alpine has made investments in the Resort of over $4 million over the past 14 years.

You can see some early pictures HERE

What White Hills Resort means to Clarenville

  • In excess of 14,000 skier visits in 2012/2013 - and that number is growing annually
  • Increased Winter Tourism spending in our community
  • 42 Seasonal jobs
  • Clarenville has one of the two ski resorts on the island and we are closest to the largest market in St. John's
  • Clarenville's White Hills serves as a feeder hill for Corner Brook's Marble mountain
  • Helps to attract and retain people in Clarenville
  • Promotes healthy living
  • Host site for the 2014 NL Winter Games
  • Integral to the Clarenville Winter Tourism Strategy
Cross Country, Snowshoeing and Snowmobiling as Well!

The resort has grown largely because the product offering has grown to make it much more than a Down Hill Ski facility.   40 km's of groomed Cross Country / snowshoe trails as well as dedicated Snowshoe and Cross Country trails all contribute to a great winter experience.  This coming year, snowmobilers will join in the Resort's offering as trails are being built to allow for snowmobile access from the Resort to the Trailway and backcountry!

See THE PACKET story "A Mountain of Potential"

Here's looking forward to another excellent year!