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Wall process a convoluted one

What a convoluted process inclusion of a climbing wall in Canmore’s multi-million dollar Multiplex has become.

What a convoluted process inclusion of a climbing wall in Canmore’s multi-million dollar Multiplex has become.

The angst of, at one point, the possibility of not being included in plans for the Multiplex has pretty much come full circle to angst about the climbing community’s support for its favoured selection of contractor being ignored.

The tale continues to twist and turn as first Town staff recommended Yamnuska Mountain Adventures be given the contract to run the wall’s operations. This move instigated a great hue and cry from the climbing community which clearly favoured Vsion climbing gym owner Dung Nguyen as the emotional favourite to take the reigns of the wall operation.

Possibly based on the outcry, staff then switched their recommendation to the town operating the climbing wall itself.

The situation was then muddied further when Yamnuska withdrew its bid on Tuesday, stating the facility should make the community stronger and not divide it.

Being that, according to Mayor Ron Casey, none of the proposals the Town received met its criteria to manage the climbing wall, including projected lease revenues and paying for common costs like utilities, it’s likely better the Town run the operation.

We realize there was massive support for Nguyen, and that his not being named contractor will no doubt result in financial hardship for him, but operation of the climbing wall, like other facilities, must take into account all costs associated with it.

We also realize that many Nguyen-trained climbers have hauled home medals from wide-ranging competitions.

But, like an arena, pool or library, for example, the costs of staff, heating or cooling, maintenance, user fees, etc., must be included in the overall operation.

And now, if somewhat veiled threats that the climbing community would pan use of the Multiplex wall come about, what was the point of the entire process? As part of the Town-owned Multiplex, the climbing wall, naturally, would have to cater to all wall climbers, not just the elite.

Should the climbing community now choose to not use the facility because its contractor of choice was not chosen, then the space and dollars dedicated to it will be wasted when that same space and those same dollars could have been used by other groups, indoor soccer, for example, who also hoped for inclusion in the Multiplex.

In the end, we hope the climbing community can work with the Town on programming that will keep both bean counters and 5.12ers alike happy.

‘Tis the season

We’d like to offer a tip of the tuque to those already deeply involved in charitable work to make the holiday season enjoyable for everyone.

From the Christmas Spirit campaign to the Festival of Trees to Santa’s Anonymous, the business community, churches and volunteers have really stepped up once again.

While the volunteer spirit is always red hot in this valley, when it comes to the holiday season, that spirit goes white hot. Everywhere, it seems, there are those working to ensure that everybody locally, and in other parts of the world, enjoys themselves during the holiday season.

Skating, silent auctions, food drives, concerts, toy collections, food hampers; the valley is aswirl with charitable endeavours and it does indeed warm the heart.

Rocky Mountain Outlook

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