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Revelstoke Mountain Resort

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Should I buy in Revelstoke? In the UK, Revelstoke is being billed as the most exciting development in the 'snow business' in the last 20 years. Poised to become one of the world most thrilling ski destinations over the next 15 years. It seems to have 2 lifts at present but more planned for next season and a 15 year plan for 21 lifts servicing 115 runs in 10000 acres, not to mention CAT skiing and Heli-skiing. Access is also set to improve with direct flights to Revelstoke next year and an extention to Kelowna's runway allowing possible direct flights from Europe.

This all sounds fantastic and, on the surface, a great place to be and invest. Is this growth likely to happen and what are your views on the resort's potential?

post #2 of 13
Personally, I believe!

It will have the longest vert in North America and with the quality of snow there you can't go wrong.

Growth is extemely likely and almost certain. (I'm inclinded to say growth is certain). My view is that if you choose NOT to buy there, you'll kick yourself in the ass two years from now.

Revelstoke is now, what Whistler was 30 years ago, just starting out as a world class resort, but with better weather and better snow.

If I had the means, I would buy there. Just my two cents, I'm not a real estate agent.
post #3 of 13
I would like to believe it, but the problem is that Revelstoke is quite a ways from any major city & airport. A world class resort has to be readily accessible. One only has to look at Kicking Horse & all the potential it had when it was launched. It takes the right combination of things to make it.
post #4 of 13
Revelstoke is going to have as tough a time as any other new resort under development. And despite what they may want you to think, they're not the only major resort under development. There are plenty of other developments that are just as exciting.

So in the coming years, they'll have some challenges. Things like establishing a presence in destination ski market (I predict that'll be quite difficult), raising capital for development, and actually pulling off that development. It all looks good on paper, but it's pretty easy for a 5 - 10 year development plan to take 20 - 30 years in reality. Finally, as someone else pointed out, access to Revelstoke is pretty limited.

If you buy real estate, will it appreciate? Probably. Is Revelstoke the most exciting thing in the snow business in the past 20 years? The jury is still out.
post #5 of 13
I agree with Wiz and Vinn. I think the prices are a little inflated right now due to the hype of RMR's potential. The credit crunch and the soft dollar are going to adversely affect both the developer and his customers in the short term.
post #6 of 13
Don't always believe the hype. RMR may in time be the next Whistler but then, where will all those people come from? Maybe the UK or Europe where they have lots of cash and the Euro is king. But then how will they get there? Calgary and then a 5 hour bus ride. Fly into Vancouver and then take a 6 hour bus ride or a feeder flt and then an hour plus bus ride? Who wants that after spending 9 hours on an int'l flight. U.S. economy and subprime market is taking its toll. How many ski/beach houses does the average million need. Only thng driving real estate prices is the energy biz in Alberta.

Just take a look at Kicking Horse and all the hype from a few years back. hasn't really panned out. You've also got Red Mt, Fernie, Silver Star and Big White in the vicinity all chasing the same dollars. Other than that, the terrain is awesome.
post #7 of 13
If you're looking for a quick turn on your investment, that probably isn't going to happen. But, if you're looking for North America's powder paradise I think you're on the right track.

All the negatives that these people are pointing out are actually positives to me.

I like a lack of crowds.
I like powder stashes that last for days because there's nobody there to track it out.
I don't like expensive restaraunts, glitzy night clubs, women in furry boots with big flashy jewelry etc...
You have Golden just an hour down the road.
You have Rogers Pass, some of the best backcountry in North America right out your door.
Personally, I think Revelstoke is going to offer the best lift access terrain in the country when it's all finished. I am looking at buying a place in either Reve or Golden myslef.
post #8 of 13
As some have said the biggest hurdle for both Kicking Horse and Revelstoke is the access.

Revelstoke terrain is simply out of this world, the snow is pure quality stuff, lots of it, it builds up incredibly and the weather stays cold to preserve it.

but... Revelstoke needs a somewhat major airport. Then companies like Westjet will fly in and offer great air service.

IE if and when Westjet flys there, I no longer have a 8 hour drive on good roads, I have a 1 - 1.5 hour flight minutes from downtown Revelstoke. Using VISA or Airmile points it would be pretty rare I would drive 3.5 to Jasper, 4.5 to Sunshine Village, or 5 Hours to Lake Louise, 7 Hours to Golden.

But... the weather in Revelstoke is often fogged in and snowy, which will cause cancelled flights etc....

IF Revelstoke moves on their airport situation (they are insane if they don't, and I think sucess hinges on this) , look out, that place is going to EXPLODE ! ! !

I do think however to Revelstokes advantage is that it is NOT going to be a weekend destination for many but rather a week long destination location. Yes it's difficult and timely to get there, so once there most will stay a while. IE I am from Edmonton and I won't go for a weekend, but I will go for 3 - more days. So alot of visitors will go there and bleed money for a week, which is what makes a resort work.

Since I was there last week thats all I can think of is how do I buy in now !
post #9 of 13
Between Revelstoke and Kicking Horse, with Rogers Pass backcountry skiing in the National Park inbetween, and multiple heli, cat skiing, and heli access backcountry lodge guided skiing around the area it is undoubtedly the nexus of the greatest skiing in north america and possibly the world. They get more snow than any civilized place on the planet on incredible mountains, and they have more options for accessing it once you get there, but getting there is not that easy.

I'm with danimal's dead, what makes it attractive to me is that you have fantastic mountains and snow with no crowds. I selfishly hope it ends up like Kicking Horse with a very slow growth curve. I skied both places between Christmas and New Years with superb snow and never stood in a lift line. Does it get any better than that?

I live in Colorado and went there for Christmas for the skiing. People from Colorado thought we were crazy. The people in Revelstoke just smiled. The area already has world wide recognition through CMH. Once the travel logistics get worked out it can't help but take off.
post #10 of 13
How much snow does it get - any reputable stats available?

It always seemed to me like Kicking horse snowfall was somewhat lacking - isn't the annual average about 275"? I guess that's probably plenty if they don't get the freeze/thaw cycles that we get in the east.
post #11 of 13
Revelstoke Mountain's website claims "annual snowfall of 40 to 60 feet." That means on a low year they match Alta/Snowbird's average. Kicking Horse is on the other side of the pass and gets less snow, but it is lighter.
post #12 of 13
The stats at Revelstoke induce drool. :

From a financial perspective, access is THE issue. If they open a local airport, ROI will skyrocket. If not, your condo investment will still grow, but not explosively. Current prices are somewhat inflated due to pre-sale hype.

Comparisons to Kicking Horse are valid - in terms of challenges a new resort faces. But, snow stats aren't remotely similar, nor is the terrain, size and options (heli & cat). Revelstoke is whole different animal.

Revelstoke may become the ultimate NA destination for rabid skiers. The sometimes spotty weather will ward-off Bogner-clad tourists, attracting more vigorous Alta-Jackson Hole types.

All in all, I can't wait!
post #13 of 13
I was out there last weekend and got a chance to look at the terrain and the setup. Here are some semi-random observations

1. Currently it is a mountain for upper intermediates and above. As they put up more lifts and cut more trails that will probably change, but this will take some time. However, even at this early stage of development we can safely say that this mountain is HUGE! Despite the President's Weekend/Alberta Family Day/Race Day crowds on the Saturday (25 minute gondola and lift line-ups at times and parking lots full by 8:40 for a 9:00 opening), the hill seemed empty once you got on top. Another 80 or 90 runs will accommodate even more skiers.

2. Sothebys is putting on some major marketing for the real estate. I rode up in the gondola with a couple of guys from Florida who'd been flown in for a VIP weekend. They were certainly interested in buying. The locals in the same gondola were talking about plans to relocate the Revelstoke air strip 7 miles farther south to allow for a greater number of landing approaches. If this were to happen, the air option would open up for travelling.

3. On Monday as I headed back home the Trans Canada Highway was closed in two sections (accident in a snowshed just before the Rogers Pass, and high avalanche danger closure in the Kicking Horse Canyon). There needs to be some work done on the highway infrastructure to really open up the area to Calgary weekend skiers.

4. Revy is about 90 minutes from Golden (barring highway closures) and less than two hours from Silver Star. This has expanded the looping option for those people who like to tour the interior BC hills and makes it easy to ski one mountain and then travel to the next as a short afternoon drive.

5. Freeze thaw will be a concern on the lower mountain, but the upper end will have marvelous snow for a long season. We need a couple more mid-mountain lifts and trails to ensure this. The gondola will allow down-loading from the upper mountain when there is crappy (or no) snow on the bottom.

6. I suspect the resort will also add pressure to do more summer resort development along the relatively untouched (save by clearcut loggers) Arrow Lakes to the south.

7. As part of my retirement planning I'm carrying out an extensive survey of BC ski hills this season to see where I might pick up a condo. Having skied Revy, it is definitely on the list (even at 5 or 6 hours from Calgary and Vancouver).

8. Before dropping the big bucks on buying you should take a trip out and try the skiing this year.
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