sun peaks 

Raines seek new challenges at Sun Peaks Al and Nancy Greene Raine have never stood still for long. After Nancy had won two World Cup titles and an Olympic gold medal she needed a new challenge. She worked in marketing and served on a federal task force on sport before raising two sons. Later she served as a trustee on the Howe Sound School Board, all the while continuing to promote skiing. Al has gone from head coach of the Canadian ski team to the province's ski area co-ordinator, municipal councillor and one of the key figures behind the development of Whistler Village and Blackcomb. The Raines also built Nancy Greene's Olympic Lodge in 1985. Against this background their announcement last week that they are moving to Sun Peaks Resort near Kamloops is less surprising. "After 15 years full time in Whistler it's tough (to leave)," Nancy said this week. "Especially when you're leaving for a place that doesn't really have a community." But she is excited about getting in on the ground floor of an international development with some of the best skiing potential in the province. "It's a big challenge and it's not going to be easy. Right now it's still pretty much a regional operation." The Raines announced their move last Thursday. Nancy will become the Director of Skiing for Sun Peaks while Al has been appointed Executive Director of the Sun Peaks Resort Association. He held a similar position with the Whistler Resort Association. The Raines have been working for several years on developing their own ski area at Cayoosh Creek, off the Duffey Lake Road. They have done a series of studies and assessments of the area but the approval process has been tied up within various government ministries. They haven't dropped the project, but Nancy said last week they can't sit around and wait for the bureaucracy to make decisions. The move to Sun Peaks also fits in with the Raines' philosophy that British Columbia's ski industry needs to diversify and grow beyond Whistler and Blackcomb. "We're going to spend a lot of time there over Christmas, to get to know the people and the area," Nancy said. "We don't know where we're going to live, but we may build a hotel and stay in a live-in suite for a while, which would keep us involved in the hotel." They won't be selling their house in Whistler. Nippon Cable, which owns a 23 per cent interest in Blackcomb, bought Tod Mountain 2 1/2 years ago and renamed it Sun Peaks. Since then it has invested $30 million in the resort, including a new high-speed quad chair, new day lodges and the first nine holes of an 18-hole golf course. Peter Alder, who has been doing a lot of work for Ecosign Mountain Resort Planners at Sun Peaks, convinced the Raines to look at the resort last summer. They were impressed with the development to date and the future plans, but Nancy said she wasn't going to make a decision until she skied the mountain. She raced at Tod in 1964, but hadn't skied there since - until this month. She intends to spend as much time as possible exploring the mountain, finding the powder chutes and secret glades. The Raines will be joining former Whistlerite Jamie Tattersfield, who is operations manager at Sun Peaks, and Rob Wallace, former ski school director at Grouse Mountain.

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