By Rosalind Russell – It has been a tradition for families to sled, cross-country ski or just walk the Espanola Golf & Country Club grounds in the winter, but that will no longer be allowed.
The Club executive sent a letter to the radio stating in the past it was done under the radar adding some signs stating, “use at your own risk”.
However, the letter states their insurance company saw people commenting about it on social media and contacted the club, stating they would not be covered if someone made a claim.
Officials say they know it is frustrating for the public, but if a claim was made, it would be the club itself that would have to pay and/or the property owner, in this case Domtar owned by Paper Excellence.
They add their insurance covers the golf course and club for golf-related activities and to add winter activities would cost thousands in premiums.
To that end, they can no longer allow access to the property and/or winter activities to take place there.
Anyone who accesses the property can be charged with trespassing.
Signage is being erected and notices put up on social media to inform the public of the new policy.
The entire letter sent to The Moose 99.3FM is below:
We know it is a frustrating time for the people who want to use the golf course for sliding. Our insurance has told us that if there was an accident we would not be covered. If they would not cover a claim, it would be the golf course that would have to pay. If the golf course did not have the funds, the next in line would be the owners of the property (Domtar), who would have to pay. If that was the case, it would not be surprising that Domtar would close the property for everyone. That would mean no more golf course. That would be terrible for the community.
Here are some questions we have been asked.
Don’t you have insurance?
Yes, we do. The insurance covers the Golf course and club for golf-related activities
Why not just include sliding and X-country skiing on the insurance?
We possible could, but it would cost over $10,000 more. There would be very strict conditions on the way it would operate. Including staffing being there.
I would never sue the golf course.
No, you wouldn’t, but your caretaker might. Other people getting hurt might sue.
We have done this for years with no problems. Why now?
In the past, it was done under the radar. Some signs said, “Use at your own risk”. The insurance company saw people talking about it on Facebook. They
Informed us, we will not be covered if someone makes a claim.
What do we do now?
Would the town have any property with a sliding hill?
The executive feels for the people that enjoyed sliding and X-country skiing but we cannot put the golf course at risk.
The Executive of EGCC