The Edmonton Journal
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2007
REVELSTOKE, B.C. – Rumour finally became reality on Tuesday when Revelstoke Mountain Resort announced it is going ahead with a $1-billion, four-season resort plan that will begin this summer with the installation of a $22-million gondola and high-speed quad that will create North America's longest skiable vertical at 1,829 metres.
The resort owners also announced it has finalized the purchase to take over Selkirk Tangiers, the local helicopter skiing operation, this spring. Those contracts, combined with the resort's acquisition of CAT Powder Skiing, will make Revelstoke Mountain Resort a one-stop destination offering helicopter, snowcat and lift-serviced skiing and snowboarding.
In total the resort will boast more than 500,000 acres of skiable terrain. The eight-person gondola and high-speed quad are expected to be operational by next fall, in time for the official opening of the resort.
"We have been waiting for years for the dream of this resort to take shape and now it's finally happening," Revelstoke mayor Mark McKee said. "This is a monumental day for all of us in Revelstoke."
The gondola will initially take visitors from the upper village to an elevation of 1,700 metres while the quad will begin at 1,595 metres and rise to 2,245 metres. In 2008, the gondola will be extended, creating North America's longest vertical descent with 1,829 metres (6,000 feet) of lift serviced ski terrain.
"Revelstoke has been my favourite place to ski for years," said Don Simpson, chairman of Simpson Property Group Canada, the resort's developer. "This is the epicentre of world-class helicopter and snowcat skiing and now … Revelstoke Mountain Resort will be a world-class, one-of-a-kind ski resort.
"You will literally be able to get up in the morning and have the world's greatest adventure playground at your doorstep, with helicopter, snowcat and lift skiing all accessible from the village."
The resort will be located at Mount MacKenzie, which currently offers the fourth highest vertical of any resort in the world, 1,945 metres. Whistler's vertical is about 1,524 metres. The single lift ski hill at Mount MacKenzie, which has been strictly a local hill, has been in operation since 1964. CAT Powder Skiing has been running the hill since 1999.
The new resort and its residential developments will be located just minutes from downtown Revelstoke in an area that is already a popular heli and cat skiing operation with more than 8,000 skiers and boarders visiting each winter. Traditionally the region receives up to 16 metres, about four storeys, of snowfall each year.
The long-range plans call for a multi-phased resort community featuring a village heli-centre, hotels, condominiums, town homes and single family lots. Officials see some 5,000 homes as part of their long-term plans.
The first release in Phase 1 of the resort will include 60 resort condos ranging in size from 450-square-foot studios to 1.500-square-foot penthouses. The homes are expected to be released in spring 2007 and buyers can register for more information at www.discoverrevelstoke.com.