The Province has approved major expansion plans at Hemlock Resort that includes a collaborative and innovative approach between the B.C. government, Langley-based proponent Berezan Group and local Sts’ailes Band.
The approved master plan supports continued economic development and tourism in the Fraser Valley, and positions Hemlock to evolve into a unique all-season resort.
The five-phase expansion of Hemlock Resort’s existing ski hill will see the addition of more activities and base-area development, as well as:
- an increase to the controlled recreation area to more than 6,000 hectares from 350 hectares;
- an increase of approximately 20,000 bed units and an additional 23 lifts at build-out over a period of 60 years;
- an estimated capital investment of $500 million for Phase 1 of the expansion, with an estimated total $1-billion investment at build-out and,
- phase 1 of the expansion will create the equivalent of 1,153 full-time jobs.
Since buying the resort in 2006, the proponent has invested $10 million into upgrading the existing infrastructure for 217 private homeowners. Currently, there are 1,076 bed units and four lifts.
An impacts benefit agreement between the proponent and Sts’ailes Band includes opportunities for a joint venture development on nearby Harrison Lake, which would further enhance Hemlock’s potential as an all-season resort. Development plans over the next 20 years include a lakefront First Nations-themed residential village and small marina, with year-round recreation activities such as mountain biking, hiking and ATVing.
The agreement also includes a collaborative approach between the ministry, the proponent and Sts’ailes to reduce impacts of the resort expansion on existing forest licencees in the area.
This innovative approach to integrated resource management will include a First Nations woodland licence for Sts’ailes to be placed over the expanded controlled recreation area, which will allow forestry operations to continue as the resort builds out.
To keep B.C.’s economy diverse, strong and growing, since September 2011 the BC Jobs Plan has been building on the strengths of our province’s most competitive sectors utilizing our educated and skilled workforce.
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson –
“All-season resorts provide great recreation opportunities for families in communities throughout British Columbia. This collaborative and innovative approach to integrated resource management between the Province, proponent and First Nation will help ensure Hemlock Resort continues to provide year-round jobs and outdoor fun for local residents and visitors to the Fraser Valley.”
Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness –
“Hemlock Resort has been an important contributor to the local economy for decades. With this new master plan, Hemlock is better positioned to support continued economic development and tourism in the Fraser Valley as a unique all-season resort.”
Berezan Group CEO, Ralph Berezan –
“I am pleased we have achieved an agreement with the Province to allow Hemlock Resort to become a summer as well as a winter playground, and we will be bringing new year-round activities to our enlarged recreation area. After working with the Province and Sts’ailes, we are all now able to move forward.”
Sts’ailes Chief, Harvey Paul –
“Sts’ailes supports Hemlock Resort’s expansion and is excited about the joint venture development opportunity on Harrison Lake, as part of Hemlock’s transition to a unique, all-season resort. The West Harrison area already draws significant numbers of recreational users, and the resort’s partnership with Sts’ailes complements the First Nation’s interest in continuing to develop tourism and recreation as a key economic driver for the community. The agreement also addresses environmental and heritage protocols during development.”
- There are currently 36 mountain resorts throughout the province.
- All-season resorts contribute $1.3 billion to B.C.’s economy.
Hemlock Resort: http://hemlockresort.ca/
Sts’ailes Band: http://www.stsailes.com/
Gaining the Edge: 2015-2018 – British Columbia’s Tourism Strategy: http://www.jtst.gov.bc.ca/tourismstrategy/documents/MJTI_TourismStrategyReport_FNL.pdf
Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/