Ski event promoter willing to discuss environmental impact of race on Mount Royal

The promoter trying to bring a major downhill ski race to Mount Royal says he is willing to sit down with the lobby group Friends of the Mountain to discuss its concerns.  

The preservation group says the slope in question, behind the Universite de Montreal, is in delicate condition, and a big ski event would be detrimental, as well as counter to the mountain's vocation. 

But Gestev president Patrice Drouin points out that the old ski run was used by amateurs for years, and twice in the mid-seventies by the North American Pro Tour. 

He says it is close to ideal for a parallel slalom event in a city setting, although slightly narrow in spots.

"The incline, the length, the elevation from top to bottom, it's pretty much right on the standards of the FIS, amazingly," he notes, referring to the International Ski Federation.  

Drouin says he is willing to discuss environmental concerns, as he did when he brought a cross country skiing event to Mount Royal in 2016. 

"But it has to be an open discussion," he insists. "And everybody bring to the table their concerns or their support, and I think the logic will win."

Drouin says if he gets some government and private backing, the race could be run for the first time in 2020.