A news item from Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) says Valemount Glacier Destinations Ltd. (VGD) submitted a formal proposal to BC Tourism and Resort Operations for a huge new year-round ski resort in the Premier Mountain range near Valemount was delivered in September by.
The proposal states that the Premier Range is one of only two locations in North America accessible for year-round skiing and high-alpine glacier sightseeing that are not in a national park or an area where development is prohibited.
The proposal says the Olympics stimulated interest in the Canadian Rockies and an increasingly powerful Asian market would provide some of the tourist base to make the facility viable.
VGD says it has letters of support from the Village of Valemount council and mayor, the regional district along with many locals. It is also negotiating a joint venture agreement with Simpcw First Nation.
The company cites statistics for 1.2 million tourist visits through Valemount during the summer months and good weather and snow conditions for a ski resort development.
A report from Valemount’s local newspaper, The Rocky Mountain Goat, says the resort is much more than a ski resort with downhill and cross-country trails. The build out plan over 25-years includes a public swimming pool, a spa, mountain bike trails, mountaintop restaurants and a treetop tightrope walking area. In total the recreation area would cover some 20,000 acres with ski terrain covering 2,500 acres.
While the resort includes 2,000 beds, this is much smaller than a resort this size would normally have. The Rocky Mountain Goat article says resort developers say its proximity to Valemount would allow easy access so the hotel base already in existence could support visitors.
The second phase of development would include improvements to the Valemount airport to reduce travel time from Prince George and Edmonton.
After the delivery of this report a coordinated review will be done by a provincial agency along with local government and First Nations. If the proposal is accepted VGD will sign an interim agreement with the provincial government and submit a Resort Master Plan.
VGD says it hopes to have a Master Plan in place and approved by the spring of 2014 with construction starting during the summer of that year.