Where does the name ASESSIPPI come from?
In 1881, William Denmark set up a store on the edge of the Shell River and sent his supplies by steamboat to the small town of Shellmouth, Manitoba. Shortly afterward, it became the Shell River Post Office. Henry Gill was the postmaster and land agent. His sons, known as Jack and Doc, ran the store which became named Gill and Company.
In 1882, with a federal land grant and the hope of an early railway connection, the Shell River Colonization Company founded the village of Asessippi, a Cree word for “the river of shells” aka Shell River!
At this same time, the company built the first bridge to provide reliable river crossing. It was a difficult bridge to maintain as annual flooding caused many problems.
Other businesses began to pop up in the village of Asessippi. These included a Blacksmith, a Grist Mill and a Boarding House. Approximately 50 settlers from the province of Ontario homesteaded here by 1883.
One of the most popular social activities here at that time was the Asessippi River Curling Club established in 1887.
In 1896 a church was built, a result of joint Methodist and Presbyterian fundraising and by volunteer labour. It served the community for thirty years at which time it was moved to the town of Inglis.
As time went on, the plans for the expected railway were changed to take a new route. There would be no railway built through the town. By lacking access to a larger market, the local industries either failed or moved on. And the town was quickly abandoned.
More recently, the Shellmouth Dam was completed in 1972 to provide flood protection to the Assiniboine River. It created what is known today as the Lake of the Prairies which is approximately 56 kilometers long. To compensate for some of the lost land, the Provincial government opened the Asessippi Provincial Park in 1973.
It was late in 1999 that Asessippi Ski Area and Resort opened and was presented the “Best New Attraction” award by Attractions Canada in 2000. Since then Asessippi has done a lot of growing, in March of 2007 it opened its 3rd chair lift and expanded its terrain by about one third or a total of 25 runs. Winter activities include skiing, snowboarding, downhill snow tubing with a full rental fleet. There are lessons for all abilities and excellent learn-to-ski programs.
In the summer of 2007 construction began on the new Cottage Cove division, creating a great community for families year round.
How did Asessippi come to be?
In the 1960’s the provincial government built the Shellmouth Dam and created Lake of the Prairies. At that time, some surrounding land was also bought that included the abandoned village of Asessippi. The whole idea was to create an area for a Provincial Park and other resort development.
In 1990, 7 individuals in the area conducted a site assessment. In 1992, a feasibility study was conducted. Focus groups spent hundreds of hours with dozens of people learning exactly what local people were looking for in a ski area. Ski Asessippi Ltd. was born. In 1993, the provincial government came on board with financial assistance. A 3 year process of environmental studies and licensing ending with government contracts was signed in 1997. After 2 years of construction and millions of dollars, Asessippi Ski Area & Resort was ready to open.
Asessippi has been awarded:
- 2000-Canada’s Best New Attraction
- 2001-Readers Choice Award as Best Family Ski Area
- 2002-Tourism Marketing
- 2004-Manitoba Star Destination
- 2005-Featured in both Snowboard Canada Magazine and Pontiac World of Skiing
- 2008/2009–West Jet Up! Value Magazine Award
- December 2012 we welcomed our 1,000,000 visitor
- Homologation Certification from FIS in November 2012
We can boast that we provide the best snow sports facility from Thunder Bay to Calgary, with 27 groomed runs ranging from beginner to expert, with 1 quad chair, 2 triple chairs and 1 handle tows as well as the 650 foot Magic Carpet, and a tubing park . We have 2 terrain parks for skiers & snowboarders to play in and work on their freestyle skills. We have a first class lodge that provides food and beverage, equipment rentals and repairs, ski and snowboard instructors, group reception, ticket sales, gift shop, pub, administration, and ski patrol.
We also provide a number of summer activities including: a dance camp, banquets & weddings, kayak rentals, and even the Trans Canada trail for visitors who just want to go for a stroll along the river.
We take the most pride in delivering our products and services with a team that is dedicated to maintaining our status as one of the best attractions in Canada.