B.C. Approves Jumbo Glacier Resort

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SAM Magazine-Invermere, B.C., Mar. 21, 2012-The B.C. government has approved development of the long-stalled Jumbo Glacier Alpine Resort, which could become the country's first year-round glacier-based ski resort if environmental appeals don't cause further delays. The resort will be located in the Purcell Mountains on an old sawmill site, not far from Panorama resort.

The $1-billion development 40 miles west of Invermere, B.C., was first proposed in the early 1990s. Since then, the project had passed all necessary regulatory and environmental hurdles, but final provincial approval has been held up for many years. Environmental and First Nation opposition, along with a deeply polarized Kootenay population, made approval a political hot potato.

At buildout, Jumbo Glacier would boast up to 23 lifts, a gondola and a ski village with more than 6,000 units. That would make it comparable in size to Silver Star, B.C., or about one-third the size of Panorama-and just a tenth the size of Whistler Blackcomb. The first phase, though, would include only a gondola and T-bar. That would still create a year-round, glacier-based ski resort, offering summertime skiing at higher elevations. Jumbo Glacier is currently the summer-skiing home to Canadian ski teams, and home to a heli-skiing operation. The summit tops out above 10,000 feet.

The resort plan has divided Kootenay residents. A poll commissioned in 2008 showed little public support, but proponents tout the jobs the project will create.

Opposition political and environmental groups cite impacts to grizzly bear habitat and desecration of lands that have spiritual significance to the local Ktunaxa Nation. The B.C. government counters by saying it will establish a wildlife management area to protect the Grizzly bear habitat.

Panorama resort is among the supporters. "We're really excited about it. This region needs more jobs, and this will bring them at all different levels," said Rick Jensen, Panorama's president and CEO. Jensen hopes the business Jumbo brings will also benefit Panorama, halfway up the Purcell mountain range just west of Invermere.

Funding for the development still isn't in place, but Glacier Resorts Ltd. senior vice-president Grant Costello said that the first $50-million phase of the resort, to eventually cost $450 million, could begin soon-if the threatened appeals don't cause yet more delays.



yes there is a bit of a diffrencw. but i alawys just use a waterski rope for when im wakeboardinga waterski rope has the special colours for the line legnth for slaloma wakeboard rope handle is 13-15 inches wide, which is wider than the 11-12 inch wide water ski handles. this makes it easier to perform tricks that require the boarder to pass the handle behind the back.

Rest of the story....

Communicated with a Canadian ski-industry friend who was able to give me some more on the Jumbo Resort story. It, unfortunately, could be a long shot. If one of the indigenous bands (there are two bands claiming it as their territory with one for and one against) files a law suit against and manages to delay the proceeding for a year until after the next provincial election, then if the New Democratic Party (NDP) win the next elections,which is likely, the NDP have said they are against the project and would cancel their approvals. I hope it goes through as it promises to be an interesting place and an area that has been logged, mined and hardly pristine.

ordinary skier

I fear John might well be right. Anti-development activists will exhaust all possible and invented recourses to block a new ski area in BC.

A brand new , high altitude, ski area would be a breath of fresh air for the BC ski industry. The dark secret of BC resort skiing is that all current areas are susceptible to winter rain because they top at 6500 to 7500 ft. The only possible exception is the Kicking Horse summit, but it is not well laid out, forcing you to get back to the low base on most runs.

cool cool

Sounds awesome.. guess this group is looking at other regions in BC as well. And Silver Star does not have 23 lifts, only 6 lifts there.

Congrats to Jumbo!

I've been following this project for years, and I really didn't expect it to get this final approval with some of the key opposition. I'm personally very excited and wish the developers well.

Additional development in the coastal range (near Whistler) may make more sense from a pure demographic perspective, but I know the skiing will be great at Jumbo and the snow will certainly be drier!

Note to Kurt - they weren't comparing the mountain size with Silver Star - just the bed base and size of the village.