[R286R, Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park] has big plans for the future, including a backside expansion and a new day lodge. But the ski area needs extra cash to get there. The park is starting up an annual event aimed at raising funds for its two future projects.

The ski area is unique. It is a nonprofit, which operates on state park land. It primarily services families in the Spokane, Wash. region with affordable skiing and snowboarding.

The backside terrain expansion received approval from Washington State Parks this past spring.

"We are currently working on the permitting to add seven more runs and a chairlift to the backside," Spokesperson Kristin Whitaker said. "We've got the plans and developed trails on paper. We've found the best fall lines and slope aspects to create these runs."

The proposed new day lodge is in the works, too.

"We received initial funding from the state to study feasibility and planning," Whitaker said.

So, it's full steam ahead for Mt. Spokane.

The backside expansion will take Mt. Spokane's lift count up to six. Some of the backside terrain will be designated for backcountry skiing and riding.

Mt Spokane backside expansion

The backside expansion area is outlined in white. Photo courtesy of Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park.

The fundraising event to kickstart the backside expansion takes place Sept. 24 at Arbor Crest Wine Cellars. Fundraising will be via a silent and live auction. During the auctions, attendees get to taste wines and sample hors d'oeuvres. Mt. Spokane fans will find a few unique items up for auction: a customized chairlift porch swing, exclusive First Turns early lift and breakfast package, and canvas art prints of early mountain photographs.

KHQ's Shelly Monahan will host the event with live music provided by Charles Tappa and Fly Right. Tickets, which can be purchased here, cost $55 per individual or $100 per couple.

Proceeds from the benefit's wine tasting and auction will go toward the backside expansion. The proposed lodge is further in the future.

Mt Spokane proposed lodgewinter

The new proposed day lodge is being studied for feasibility. Photo courtesy of Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park.

"If everything goes well, we'll be able to break ground in spring and ski the new terrain next season," Whitaker said. "It's really coming together right now."