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Developmen permit pulled on B.C.'s Jumbo Glacier Resort

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

It is really no surprise but the B.C Provincial Government has determined that Jumbo Resort did not meet the requirement of "substantial development" by October 2014. Apparently Jumbo Resort had done some temporary and some permanent access road bridge work and poured a couple of building basement slabs, but it was not enough to meet the permit requirements..

 

The permit that was cancelled took 20+ years to get approved and Jumbo Glacier Resort would have potentially provided some great high elevation skiing. The development was opposed by the expected environmental groups and native bands, and also nearby Panorama Resort and a nearby heli ski operator, but it was the lack of hoped for European investment that doomed the project, along with the fact that B.C. ski areas are already over developed as far as lift capacity goes.

 

Of the 3 newest resorts in B.C over the past 25 years, only Sun Peaks makes $ and that took 15 years of annual cash injections from the parent company, Nippon Cable. The other two, Kicking Horse and Revelstoke have yet to make a profit.

post #2 of 11
There's another planned (rejected once on water extraction grounds) for Squamish (half way between Vancouver and Whistler).

Same applies to golf courses in BC. So many have gone bust. That's why BC is short for "Bring Cash".
post #3 of 11

Great! Now we've got  some giant concrete slabs sitting in the run out zone of a climax slide path. 

 

Not only did they fail to build anything. What they did build failed inspection, because they build it in an avalanche zone. Your tax dollars hard at work!

 

 

 

 

I'm all for real lift access in BC, but these guys are clueless.

post #4 of 11

The only thing that surprised me in this long ongoing saga is how much the orginal proponent was willing to spend to keep his dream alive.

 

Your right lift development is at a high level in B.C.and  more is planned both on existing hills and some proposals for new resorts But I would not hold my breath waiting for the later The last completey new hills in B.C.were Cypress and Blackcomb in the  late 70's early 80's, everything else has really just been expansion on existing.

 

A few others than Sun Peaks (Fernie Big White and Silver Star) have also made money from their expansions but usually its because of additional summer activieties,realestate sales or close enough proximetey to towns to support them. Jumbo would have been in the middle of nowhere. 

 

Our only mega resort  Whistler/Blackcomb has both.

The proximety to population and is a summer holiday destination.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfacehoar View Post
 

Great! Now we've got  some giant concrete slabs sitting in the run out zone of a climax slide path. 

 

Not only did they fail to build anything. What they did build failed inspection, because they build it in an avalanche zone. Your tax dollars hard at work!

 

 

 

 

I'm all for real lift access in BC, but these guys are clueless.

 

I don't know if you are right about the buildings going to be built in a slide path, but I do know this is private money being spent here not taxpayer $.

 

I do agree that the developer, architect Alberto Alberti, is clueless when it comes to ski areas. Just look at the flawed lift system that he is responsible for at Kicking Horse.

post #6 of 11

The picture is pretty clear. There are no trees looking up the valley, and a defined line of trees on either side. this is an avalanche area -  no question. And an inspection done this past spring, found them in violation of this.

 

" ...the two buildings are not in compliance with provincial conditions that prohibit commercial or residential buildings from avalanche zones. As a result, Glacier Resorts must "cease construction of structures" in both locations, the letter said.  A Revelstoke company, Dynamic Avalanche Consulting, assessed the avalanche risk to the buildings, which are located 45 kilometres west of Invermere in the Purcell Mountains." - CBC

 

 

"The new municipality then received a provincial grant of $260,000 and $50,000 in federal gas tax money."  - CBC  Where is this money now? Who gets to keep it? What was it spent on?

post #7 of 11

designer smarts aside I don't agree about "flawed" @ kicking horse. That is one hill where the main lift goes straight up the fall line so you get it all in one shot. 

.I can think of a lot of hills in B.C. which would be better with that flaw. Obviously the snow at the base is not the same  as the alpine but the base is still over 4000 feet and it lasts longer than the season .   

post #8 of 11
Quote:
designer smarts aside I don't agree about "flawed" @ kicking horse.

The flaw at Kicking Horse is not having a mid-station for that gondola, and it's a huge flaw.  Most of this past season was one of not a few examples where 3/4 of the time you ski from the top that you're forced to ski 1,500-2,000 vertical feet of frozen granular crap on the lower mountain in order to reload that gondola. 

 

Revelstoke can have a logjam at its base loading its gondola, but thankfully once you get up the hill you can stay on the top 2,000 vertical all day if the snow sucks lower down.

 

And there can be times in early/late season when the lower parts of these big vertical mountains aren't skiable at all.  It was routine to download the bottom of Whistler this season, and I suspect that was happening a lot at Revelstoke too.

 

I think Jumbo was a potentially much better ski hill than either Revelstoke or Kicking Horse.  I knew RK opposed it, but I thought Panorama was supportive as it would help fill their bed base.  But I agree with DanoT that Jumbo having the same developer as Kicking Horse was a big red flag.

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

I could be wrong, but i assume that a provincial grant is not paid out in a lump sum so some of that money may have not been spent.

 

 

A mid terminal on the gondola at Kicking Horse would have solved a lot of problems including insuring that they are always open for the Xmas Holidays and also prevent people from wrecking their skis on the lower mountain runs especially in poor snow years.

 

A report on TGR this past winter from a local described the skiing one day in January as fantastic on the upper third, good on the mid third and frightening on the lower third. While this might have been overstated somewhat, it does underscore the point that the resort developer, Alberti, failed to recognize the fact that Kicking Horse gets more than adequate snow up top and less than adequate snow at the bottom. Alberto Alberti is an architect but not a ski industry person or ski resort designer, he just thinks he is.

post #10 of 11

actually if you just choose to stay in the alpine at Kicking Horse you already can. Same as Whistler or Revelstoke. Personally I find doing that is much less interesting even when the snow is more challenging on the lower hill. Every where in B.C and Washington it was crappy below 5000 feet this year, so I wouldn't call lack of snow a inherent design flaw. Or all our hills have it as well.  Kicking Horse was still skiable to base on closing day unlike a number of other areas that barely opened or had very limited operations on their lower hill all season

 

However back to Jumbo, it was marketed for potential long season, not for killer terrain. I have never found summer skiing on Glaciers much more than a novelty. And if its snow quality your after there is usually is just a small window for decent conditions.  Conditions are better for the prepped courses like bumps , terrain parks, freestyle camps or running gates but other than those small groups they never get enough crowds to come close to covering the cost of running the lifts. In a remote area like Jumbo it would have been worse.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
actually if you just choose to stay in the alpine at Kicking Horse you already can.

Sure, for exactly one run on CPR then laps on Stairway.  But ski anything in Bowl Over or Feuz Bowl (over half of the upper terrain), you're going to the bottom.  

Quote:
Every where in B.C and Washington it was crappy below 5000 feet this year, so I wouldn't call lack of snow a inherent design flaw.

The killer this year was rain, and since KH is on the colder side of the Selkirk/Roger's Pass weather divide it didn't get as much of it.  But it's also the drier side so the KH base gets barely 100 inches of snow and is thus highly snowmaking dependent.  It's not uncommon at all for the lower half to be manmade hardpack so many people would prefer to stay on the upper half.

 

I had one day with RK in 1999.  The morning was mostly mellow glacier runs, though in awesome snow.  After the 3-run groups were done we skied some longer and steeper terrain.  I don't know whether those were within the Jumbo development plan.  

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