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New all-season ski resort with North America's largest drop approved for BC

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Kenneth Chan Mar 28, 2017 10:16 am 2,112

Another major ski resort planned for the BC Interior has final green light it needs from the provincial government to proceed.

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Valemount Glacier Destinations received its initial approvals last summer while the latest development announced today, prior to the start of construction, finalized and signed the master development agreement.

The ski and sightseeing resort in the Premier Range of the Cariboo Mountains is immediately west of the Village of Valemount near the BC-Alberta border. It is a five-hour drive from Edmonton, six hours from Calgary, and eight hours from Vancouver.

Proposed phasing for new ski lifts. (Valemount Glacier Destinations)

The first phase of the resort plan will cost $100 million and be completed in December 2018 just in time for the winter ski season.

“The signing of the Master Development Agreement is the last step ‎for the Valemount Glacier Resort to call the Robson Valley home,” said Shirley Bond, the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, in a statement.

“The glacier access at this world-class resort gives visitors an extended ski season and helps diversify the tourism experiences in northern B.C. ‎‎The partnerships, investment and jobs created by the resort will benefit the region for years to come. Reaching this point has taken an incredible amount of work and, as the local MLA, I am proud to have worked hard with all the partners to finalize the MDA.”

Artistic rendering of the base-area village. (Valemount Glacier Destinations)

The largest vertical drop in North America

With a drop of 2,090 metres, the new ski resort will boast the largest vertical drop in North America and the third largest in the world.

All snow at the resort will be natural as the mountain’s facilities are above the snow line, meaning there will be no need for artificial snow. And with its high elevation terrain on glaciers, reaching over 3,000 metres above sea level, the resort will also be one of the few places in North America where skiers and snowboarders can enjoy the slopes year-round.

Glacier sightseeing at Valemount Glacier Destinations ski resort. (Valemount Glacier Destinations)

View of Mount Robson in the Canadian Rockies. (Valemount Glacier Destinations)

This resort experience includes access to the summits of Mount Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Twilight Glacier, Glacier Ridge, and Mount Arthur Meighen as well as close-up views of Mount Robson – the tallest mountain on the Canadian side of the Rocky Mountains.

A network of ski lifts accessing ski runs and sightseeing locations will be constructed over three phases. As well, the base-area village will accommodate residential, hotel, and commercial space.

It is estimated that 800 full-time positions will be created from construction and operation of the resort.

Map of the proposed phasing for ski lift construction. (Valemount Glacier Destinations)

Diagram of the proposed resort terrain. (Valemount Glacier Destinations)

More new resorts planned in BC

A number of new resorts or expansions of existing resorts are planned, including a massive new resort at Garibaldi near Squamish and the expansion of Sasquatch Mountain Resort, formerly known as Hemlock Resort, near Harrison Lake.

Major expansion plans are also envisioned for Whistler Blackcomb, such as an indoor water park with a wave pool and deep water surf simulator, mountain roller coasters, night skiing, tree-top ropes courses, and a mountaintop suspension bridge.

Last month, plans to build a 793-acre adventure park near Revelstoke Mountain Resort were approved by the provincial government.

According to the province, Valemount will be the 37th resort and community ski area in BC. During the 2015-2016 season, these facilities attracted approximately six million people and employed about 12,000 people.

Artistic rendering of the base-area village. (Valemount Glacier Destinations)

Artistic rendering of the base-area village. (Valemount Glacier Destinations)

Artistic rendering of the base-area village. (Valemount Glacier Destinations)

Artistic rendering of the base-area village. (Valemount Glacier Destinations)

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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