Local housing association say they want better engagement with RMR; seek city’s help

The Revelstoke Mountain Homeowners Association brought their concerns over a lack of development at RMR to Revelstoke city council. Councillors say they feel communication and better engagement are key in creating better relationships with stakeholders.

File photo: A long line-up at the Revelstoke Mountain Resort gondola base early in the 2016-17 season. The resort has announced new gondola cabins and lift chairs for the 2017–18 season designed to alleviate big lines in the morning. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer

The Revelstoke Mountain Homeowners’ Association brought their frustrations over what they feel is a lack of development and stakeholder engagement at Revelstoke Mountain Resort to Revelstoke City Council.

The RMHOA, formed this spring, is a group made up of property owners within the Revelstoke Mountain Resort master plan boundary.

Richard Tucker, president of the RMHOA made a presentation to city council outlining the group’s concerns.

“An important part of resorts is confidence and feeling like you’re growing. If the owner is not willing to invest in the resort, why should other people be willing to invest in the resort?” Tucker said.

The RMHOA received a letter from Northland Properties’ corporate counsel in April of this year. Northland Properties is the company which owns RMR. The letter states the master development plan made no specific promises about lifts, accommodations, food services, or other facilities and improvements. The RMHOA issued a press release in April, expressing concerns over what they felt was a lack of development that did not match what was included in the master development plan.

“The MDP is a “plan,” which was relevant to what was known and anticipated at the time it was created. Additionally, skier visits are not at levels projected in the original MDP as part of the master plan process,” Rob Toor, corporate counsellor, wrote in his letter to the RMHOA. “The phases of development contemplated by the MDP are directly tied to skier visits and uphill capacity. There has been no lack of investment at RMR.”

Tucker said while legally RMR may be correct he feels it has been a frustrating exercise with a lack of engagement with stakeholders.

“There’s not a lot of discussion or engagement about with their future plans are, if any,” said Tucker, who did meet with RMR vice president of operations Peter Nielsen last week. “We all recognize the economy changes, but it would be good if they were saying ‘there’s going to be this in two years and this in five years’.”

Richard Tucker, president of the Revelstoke Mountain Homeowners Association presents to city council. Photo: Melissa Jameson/Revelstoke Mountaineer.

Tucker also pointed out that the lack of specific development time lines could make difficult work for the city to plan ahead.

“It’s obviously a risk to the city economy. I think there’s things that can be done to try and increase engagement with stakeholders,” he said. “At what point does it become ‘enough’s enough?’ I think that’s a question we all ask as home owners. How can  we push RMR do a better job?”

Tucker made a number of suggestions on how the city can help, including:

-Increase engagement with RMR, province, ministries, RMHOA and other stakeholders to seek compliance with the master plan and long term capital investment.

-Implement and empower dedicated resource to advance resort development, clear issues with RMR and engage with stakeholders.

-Develop and implement well considered incentives, taxation and time dependent planning approval policies.

-Enforce completion of infrastructure to meet master plan and municipal standards in a timely manner – More than five years of non-compliance – Use financial security and other tools available to the city.

Councillor Linda Nixon said the city has been working with RMR to discuss development of the resort.

“This council is not doing nothing, this staff is not doing nothing. This is a dance, this is a big corporation,” she said.

Mayor Mark McKee said one of the goals of the current city council was to create a better relationship with RMR, but pointed out the city does not tell others how to operate their business.

“When it comes to finishing up development and paving the way for new development to come in, that’s what we are concerned with. We’ve had quite a few meetings with the resort to get some of the issues behind us. There’s lots of work going on behind the scenes right now,” said McKee.

The Mountaineer has reached out to RMR for comment on this matter but has received no response.