Jumbo Glacier Resort will be a unique sightseeing destination and the first year round ski resort in North America. It will be located at the foot of Jumbo Mountain and Jumbo Glacier — 53 km west of Invermere, British Columbia, on a former sawmill site. The resort will provide lift-serviced access to four nearby glaciers at an elevation of up to 3,419 metres (11,217 feet).
The resort is planned in three phases and will ultimately include 5,500 bed-units (plus 750 beds for staff accommodations) in a 110 hectare resort base area. At build-out, the resort will see up to 2,000 to 3,000 visitors per day in high season.
In winter, the ski area will offer a 1,715 metre (5,627 feet) 100% natural snow vertical. In summer, up to 700 metres (2,300 feet) of natural snow vertical will be available on the glaciers.
The resort’s location was chosen for its optimal snow conditions, high elevations, large glaciers, and the fact that the Jumbo Creek valley has seen significant prior use. The valley provides the easiest access to 3,000 metre high (10,000 feet) glaciers in North America.
It snows in Jumbo!
Climatic conditions, in the mountains where heli-skiing was born, are ideal for skiing: consistently huge annual snowfalls in a dry and protected region with an above average number of sunny days. The area is protected from the humid climate of the Pacific Coast and from the cold Arctic air that penetrates Banff National Park. Because of the elevations, snowmaking will not be required, and rain in winter is not a threat — unlike most existing resorts in North America.
Featuring incredibly varied and expansive terrain, the resort’s high base area elevation will also ensures legendary top to bottom snow conditions throughout winter. Its high alpine elevation will provide the longest continuous vertical drop on 100% natural snow in North America — 1,715 metres (5,627 feet). The elevation, and four large glaciers — Farnham, Commander, Jumbo and Glacier Dome — also offer up to 700 metres (2,300 feet) of vertical is available in summer on natural snow. This is unprecedented in North America. The skiable terrain in mid-summer is equivalent to what many regional ski resorts offer in mid-winter.
The ski area will offer North America’s only permanent summer training area for aspiring Olympians and snow-sports athletes, as well as for local youngsters. This will be the only full-summer ski school in North America.
Imagine the view from atop a 3,419 metre (11,217 feet) high mountain: stunning vistas and awe-inspiring glaciers anywhere you look. An easy gondola ride will provide access to what may be the most spectacular views in Canada to everyone, even the physically disabled. Imagine the thrill of a bird’s eye view of the beautiful Lake of the Hanging Glacier, crowned by Jumbo Glacier – while contemplating a 360º panoramic vista of glaciers amidst rugged mountain peaks. “Awe-inspiring” is hardly a strong enough word to describe such a sightseeing destination, only accessed by helicopter until now.
An equity employment plan emphasizing local residents and First Nations will be implemented. The project proponents are honoured to have won the support, guidance and the cooperation of the locally based Kinbasket-Shuswap First Nation who will participate in a substantial way in the project, together with the local community. The project enjoys strong support from the Village of Radium and nearby Panorama Mountain Resort.
An Economic Engine
Some $15-20 million a year in construction activity for a period of twenty years is expected until buildout. Approximately 3,750 person years of construction employment will be created. Direct spending by visitors in the nearby communities is expected to reach $4 million annually after three years of operation. Upon completion, the resort is expected to provide 750 to 800 full-time jobs and a $20 million payroll. Taxes generated to all levels of government are estimated to exceed $12 million annually.
The Jumbo Valley has seen a relatively heavy historic and present-day human presence. Of the 33 individual grizzlies identified from hair samples collected in the 1998 Grizzly Bear Population Survey in the Central Purcell Mountains, only 2 samples were found in the Jumbo Valley, compared with 31 in the other drainages. With mitigation measures, a near “no-net-impact” on the grizzly bear population may be achieved. These mitigation measures can be implemented without requiring any new restrictions on public access to nearby drainages.
The project has been approved under the Environmental Assessment Act of the Province of B.C. It has undergone the most comprehensive environmental assessment process for a project of its kind in the history of the Province. Comprehensive environmental management plans have been developed and included as part of the approved Master Plan. Today’s technology, skills, experience and vision make it possible to plan a resort with minimal impact on the environment. The EA Office concluded that the project is “in the broad public interest.”
- Glacier Resorts Ltd, Vancouver BC
- Oberti Resort Design, a Division of Oberto Oberti Architecture Inc., Vancouver BC
- McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd., Surrey BC
- Urban Systems Ltd., Kamloops BC
- UMA Engineering Ltd., Victoria BC
- Golder Associates, Burnaby BC
- ENKON Environmental, Surrey BC
- AGRA Earth and Environmental, Calgary AB
- URS Canada (formerly Norelco), Vancouver BC
- Chris Stethem & Associates Ltd., Canmore AB
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