The B.C. government has approved the new Valemount Glacier Destinations ski and sightseeing resort.
The news came Mar. 28 as the government announced the signing of a master development agreement for the resort. If the construction schedule goes according to plan, the resort will be open for skiing in December, 2018.
The resort will offer year-round glacier skiing and gondola access for sightseeing. It is also slated to usurp Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s claim to the largest lift-accessed vertical drop, coming in at over 2,000 metres. (Revelstoke boasts 1,713 vertical metres.)
According to a statement, operator Valemount Glacier Destinations and its capital partners will invest about $100 million in the development.
Once completed, the year-round resort will have a base area village with residential, hotel and commercial space.
The B.C. government estimates about 800 full-time jobs will be created and supported through the construction and operation of the resort.
The Valemount Glacier Master Plan was approved by the Province in August, 2016.
The B.C. government said that agreements signed with the Simpcw First Nation allow the Simpcw to share in revenues generated from the resort and ensure the Simpcw have the ability to share in the success and benefits of the resort in their territory over the life of the project.
The approved 60-year master development agreement will allow construction and development activities to proceed toward an anticipated resort opening in December 2018.
Oberto Oberti is the president and CEO, Valemount Glacier Destinations Ltd. He is also the proponent of the controversial Jumbo Glacier Resort, which has been the subject of controversy for the past 25 years.
The Valemount Glacier Destination Resort didn’t see the same controversies, such as friction with First Nations and local environmental groups.
“It has been an honour and great pleasure to be invited by the Village of Valemount and the Simpcw First Nation to design a unique ski and sightseeing destination in the Premier Range,” Oberti said. “Its glaciers, scenery and year-round snow sports potential, with the biggest vertical in North America, will make it a great tourism destination in British Columbia and a complement to Jasper National Park.”
Simpcw First Nation Chief Nathan Matthew said he was pleased to support the Master Development Agreement for the Valemount Glacier Resort initiative, saying it was, “a key element in the regional economic development plan for the northern portion of the traditional territory of the Simpcw people.”
The resort will be a new competitor for Revelstoke. Located at the north end of the Kinbasket Reservoir, Valemount is about two hours closer to the Edmonton market than Revelstoke. Valemount is also know for its snowmobile terrain.
Valemount Glacier Destinations Master Plan: