The Province has approved the new Valemount Glacier Destinations ski and sightseeing resort with the finalization and signing of a master development agreement, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Shirley Bond announced today, on behalf of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson.
The first-phase project investment by Valemount Glacier Destinations and its capital partners will be approximately $100 million. On completion, the new resort – located in the Premier Range of the Cariboo Mountains immediately west of the Village of Valemount – will include:
- Year-round glacier skiing and gondola access for alpine sightseeing;
- Access to mountain top elevations of more than 3,000 metres (9,850 feet), including the summits of Mount Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Twilight Glacier, Glacier Ridge and Mount Arthur Meighen;
- The largest vertical drop in North America, third largest in the world, of over 2,000 metres (6,726 feet);
- A base-area village with residential, hotel and commercial space, which will be a focal point for all seasons resort activities; and,
- 800 full-time jobs that will be created and supported through the construction and operation of the resort.
The Valemount Glacier Master Plan, showing how the resort will be built out over time, was approved by the Province in August 2016. The master-plan review process included consultation with First Nations, government agencies, local stakeholders and the public. These consultations were completed in March 2016.
The Province also completed detailed technical analysis on the Mountain Development Plan (proposed gondolas, chair lifts, ski runs and trails) and worked with the Simpcw First Nation to carry out a comprehensive environmental review to ensure a strong environmental impact mitigation strategy was part of the approved master plan.
The Valemount Glacier Resort has strong support from local partners, including the Simpcw First Nation, the Village of Valemount, and the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George. The resort proposal was a locally born initiative brought to the developer by the Valemount Ski Society and the Village of Valemount.
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 is the land-use contract between the Province and Valemount Glacier Destinations, which will allow construction and development activities to proceed toward an anticipated resort opening in December 2018.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, and MLA for Prince George-Valemount –
“The signing of the Master Development Agreement is the last step for the Valemount Glacier Resort to call the Robson Valley home. The glacier access at this world-class resort gives visitors an extended ski season and helps diversify the tourism experiences in northern B.C. The partnerships, investment and jobs created by the resort will benefit the region for years to come. Reaching this point has taken an incredible amount of work and, as the local MLA, I am proud to have worked hard with all the partners to finalize the MDA.”
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations –
“Mountain resorts and community ski areas provide important recreational, sport and tourism opportunities throughout the province in smaller, rural communities. Approval of this ski resort will help grow the economy in the Robson Valley.”
Oberto Oberti, president and CEO, Valemount Glacier Destinations Ltd. –
“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. 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.”
Chief Nathan Matthew, Simpcw First Nation –
“The Simpcw First Nation is pleased to support the Master Development Agreement for the Valemount Glacier Resort initiative, which is a key element in the regional economic development plan for the northern portion of the traditional territory of the Simpcw people.”
Jeannette Townsend, mayor, Village of Valemount –
“Valemount Glacier Destination Resort represents an exciting, unique opportunity for our community to attract global tourists and help build a prosperous future, and we are pleased to see the completion of the Master Plan Development process. I sincerely thank Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond and Minister Steve Thomson for their support.”
Dannielle Allan, Electoral Area H director, Regional District of Fraser-Fort George –
“Over the past number of years there has been a shift in the economic drivers within our rural and small communities, which has created challenges for our economic sustainability. The Valemount Glacier Destination Resort is an exciting project and we are so pleased and thankful that Mr. Oberti and partners believed in this project and worked so hard to get to where we are today. This project will result in jobs in both the construction and tourism sectors and will complement our current basket of outdoor adventure recreation opportunities so well known to us that live in the Robson and Canoe valleys.”
- With the addition of the Valemount Glacier Resort, there are now 37 mountain resorts in B.C.
- Mountain resort and community ski area visits for the 2015-16 season reached 5.9 million, employing approximately 12,000 people.
- B.C.’s mountain resorts and ski areas play host to amateur and professional sport, from the 2010 Olympic Games, the 2015 Canada Winter Games to hundreds of amateur skiing, snowboarding and Nordic competitions that take place every year.
Valemount Glacier Destinations Master Plan: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/natural-resource-use/resort-development/proposed-approved-resort-master-plans/list-of-proposed-plans/valemount-glacier-destination
Gaining the Edge: 2015-2018 – British Columbia’s Tourism Strategy: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/tourism-and-immigration/tourism-industry-resources/gainingtheedge_2015-2018.pdf