Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

A small Indian band with a strong focus on independent business development could be one of the big winners in a decision by the British Columbia government to grant approval for a major new ski resort just west of the Rockies.

"The phone is already ringing off the hook. People want to talk to us about joint ventures. And a contingent [of investors]from France is coming to visit us next week," Dean Martin, CEO of the Kinbasket Development Corporation, said Wednesday.

The KDC is the business arm of the Shuswap Indian Band, which has 300 members living on reserve near the town of Invermere (pop. 3,000) in southeastern B.C.

Story continues below advertisement

The Ktunaxa First Nation, an umbrella organization made up of seven regional bands, including the Shuswap, is opposed to the development. But the Shuswap have taken a different stand, and are the closest band to the proposed site of the new Jumbo Glacier Resort.

The controversial, $900-million project was approved by the government Tuesday, after two decades of review and debate.

Environmental groups were arguing for preservation of the site, which is revered in the East Kootenays because of its spectacular wilderness scenery and wildlife values.

But Mr. Martin said the Shuswap Band began supporting the project eight years ago after carefully reviewing the proponent's plans, and concluding the resort could be built without undue environmental damage.

"We knew if there were any negative impacts we'd most likely be the ones affected because of our proximity," he said. "So we made sure our interests were being addressed."

Mr. Martin said the KDC is involved in commercial and residential developments, has a construction company, runs a golf course, has a forestry operation and is interested both in helping to build the Jumbo Resort and in securing land within the planned alpine village.

"We're more than just lift operators. We look forward to playing a significant role in this project," Mr. Martin said.

Story continues below advertisement

The project would see a 104-hectare resort community built in Jumbo Valley, about 55 kilometres west of Invermere, just north of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy and about a four-hour drive from Calgary.

The plan calls for two hotels, 1,360 residential units, 6,250 beds and more than 20 ski lifts onto the slopes and glaciers above.

The Jumbo Glacier master plan says the goal is to build the only ski resort in North America with lift access to a glacier and with year-round skiing "of such a calibre that it will be spoken of with the same awe as heli-skiing in the Bugaboos or vacationing in Zermatt, Switzerland."

The plan promises "a boutique-sized, high-quality resort designed in an authentic mountain character in accordance with sustainable development principles … and supported by a first nations heritage theme."

It would also feature a gondola and aerial tram, to give access to a teahouse atop Glacier Dome, 3,000 metres above the valley floor.

The loss of the wilderness atmosphere on Jumbo Mountain, and the potential impact on grizzly bears and other wildlife in the valley, have long fuelled criticisms from environmental groups. One of the leading opponents, Wildsight, has promised to continue the fight.

Story continues below advertisement

But Bill Bennett, the local Liberal MLA, said he thinks the project will be good for the economy of the region without having any significant environmental impact.

"Yes, there will be a gondola and teahouse on top of that mountain," Mr. Bennett said. "I know how that gets people who hike up there and enjoy the wilderness. I get it. I hike too, but there is an issue of fairness to the general public in terms of what they get to see, and where they get to go. This gives them a chance to get up there and see the Lake of the Hanging Glaciers, and experience what is an exceptional view."

Mr. Bennett said he expects Jumbo will be unique when it is finished, built along the lines of a tightly contained European ski resort, rather than the North American model which is based on ever-increasing condo development.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies