Sasquatch does exist – for one Fraser Valley ski resort, at least.
Located just over two hours from downtown Vancouver, Hemlock Resort has announced it has officially rebranded to Sasquatch Mountain Resort (SMR) as of today.
The name change is as much about a new image as it is about the history of the resort’s location, which is situated within Sts’ailes’ Traditional Territory.
“The Sasquatch, which is an anglicized pronunciation of Sa:sq’ets, is the primary caretaker of the land and an integral aspect of the Sts’ailes’ identity and spiritual beliefs,” said SMR in a press release. “The Sasquatch ensures that the land remains plentiful and well taken care of.”
Resort officials added that there will be no disruptions to the mountains daily operations as the rebranding takes place.
To celebrate the name change, children 12 years of age and younger can ski for free with a donation to the food bank, from March 15 to 26.
Massive expansion approved
In 2015, the BC government approved major expansion plans at the resort.
The five-phase expansion of the resort’s existing ski hill will see the addition of more activities and base-area development, as well as:
- An increase to the controlled recreation area to more than 6,000 hectares from 350 hectares;
- An increase of approximately 20,000 bed units and an additional 23 lifts at build-out over a period of 60 years;
- An estimated capital investment of $500 million for Phase 1 of the expansion, with an estimated total $1-billion investment at build-out
Development plans over the next 20 years include a lakefront First Nations-themed residential village and small marina, with year-round recreation activities such as mountain biking, hiking and ATVing.
The agreement also includes a collaborative approach between the ministry, the proponent and Sts’ailes to reduce impacts of the resort expansion on existing forest licensees in the area.
The new expansion, if successful, will put Hemlock in a comparable sphere to Whistler Blackcomb:
- Whistler Blackcomb: 3,300
- Hemlock Resort (after expansion): 6,000
- Whistler Blackcomb: 200+
- Hemlock Resort: 283
Number of lifts:
- Whistler Blackcomb: 37
- Hemlock Resort: 23
- Whistler Blackcomb: 17,990
- Hemlock Resort: 13,440