The Lillooet Economic Development Commission has been given $9,000 by the province to study the economic potential of Al Raine’s proposed Cayoosh ski resort in the Melvin Creek area north-west of Duffey Lake. The announcement was made Dec. 20 by Yale-Lillooet MLA Harry Lali, on behalf of Jan Pullinger, minister of community development, co-operatives and volunteers. The funding comes from the ministry’s Community Enterprise program designed to support grassroots economic and social development led by communities. "This is the first Community Enterprise project to be approved for this region and the long-term implications are great," said Lali. "Understanding employment spin-offs generated by the resort will help organizations, including First Nations, capitalize on new types of employment as well as new business ventures." The study will review similar resort developments across North America to: o Identify business opportunities and the types of jobs created for existing and new businesses at each stage of the mountain resort development; o Identify neighbouring communities’ economic opportunities in relation to the resort development; o Identify any training and skill gaps within communities in order to develop future training to qualify local residents for resort employment and; o Recommend next steps for the community. Lillooet’s economic development officer, Dale Wheeldon, said the funding will facilitate finding the best ways the community can build on opportunities the Cayoosh ski resort could offer. "This is an excellent example of what Community Enterprise is all about — communities and government working together to build stronger, more diverse economies," said Pullinger.