Statement from Glacier Resorts Ltd.
January 18, 2020
VANCOUVER, BC – Glacier Resorts Ltd. (Glacier) has made the decision to relinquish all its development rights and interests for the Jumbo Glacier Resort project, a proposed village, ski area and sightseeing destination in southeastern British Columbia. Glacier has terminated its Master Development Agreement (MDA) with the Province of British Columbia. It has also discontinued its application for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, in a legal challenge over the province’s cancellation of the project’s environmental certificate.
Glacier recognizes the vision of the Ktunaxa Nation Council to see the Upper Jumbo Valley protected, and their commitment to move forward now in negotiations with the province, the federal government and others towards the development of an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area.
“We worked for many years to develop a project that would be transformational for tourism in BC,” said Celso Boscariol, Chairman of the Board of Glacier Resorts Ltd., “however, we believe as a conserved place the Jumbo Valley will still provide inspiration and joy to those who will visit it to explore nature.”
Negotiations around the relinquishments of development rights were facilitated by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).
“NCC appreciates the willingness of Glacier to make room for a new conservation vision for the Jumbo Valley,” said Nancy Newhouse, Regional Vice President for the BC Region of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. “We appreciate this was a difficult business decision and recognize the sincere cooperation of Glacier’s leadership in working towards a harmonious solution.”
Statement from Pheidias Project Management Corp.
January 18, 2020
VANCOUVER, BC – Pheidias Project Management Corporation (Pheidias) is pleased that a cooperative and reconciliatory conclusion to the controversies surrounding the Jumbo Glacier Resort project has been achieved.
Glacier Resort’s decision to relinquish its development rights will ultimately see the creation of a vast and spectacular conservation area in the Purcell Mountains as the area is expected to become part of an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) administered by the Ktunaxa First Nation.
Jumbo Glacier Resort was a pioneering project in BC. It was the first to propose high-alpine glacier sightseeing and year-round snow-sports, and one of the first to be accepted for review by the Province under the Commercial Alpine Ski Policy. It was the first mountain resort project to receive an Environmental Assessment Certificate and it directly and indirectly led to other mountain resort projects in British Columbia.
“Our work in designing mountain resorts has always been inspired by the beauty of the mountains and a desire to create something special that would create life-long experiences for visitors,” said Oberto Oberti, President of Pheidias and Vancouver architect and leader of the project design team. “We take great pride and joy in projects that we’ve designed, like Valemount Glacier Destinations, as well as projects that we’ve built, like Kicking Horse Mountain Resort which makes people happy, or our urban projects that present new and better design solutions.”
IPCAs are intended to be areas where Indigenous governments have the primary role in managing, protecting and conserving ecosystems through indigenous laws, governance and knowledge systems. The new IPCA may include over 2,100 square kilometres of mountainous lands spanning from the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy to Bugaboo Provincial Park. “We wish the Ktunaxa well in their important role,” says Oberti.
Pheidias continues to advocate for investment in BC’s mountain tourism future. BC’s untapped sightseeing and mountain tourism potential is vast, and tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, representing 10% of world GDP and contributing approximately $18 billion in annual revenue to the provincial economy.
“We believe mountain tourism and sightseeing in BC is a pathway to truly sustainable economic growth,” says Oberti. “We look forward to continue to work collaboratively with investors, the Province, local communities and First Nations on other projects that will help create livable, vibrant communities with strong economic growth for many years to come.”
The Jumbo Glacier Resort project was centred on Jumbo Mountain in British Columbia’s Purcell Mountains and included a 5,925-hectare (5.9 square kilometre) Controlled Recreation Area. It sought to provide the first lift access in North America to high alpine glaciers (elevation is 3,419 meters) for sightseeing and year-round snowsports in a location with beautiful views and abundant snow.
A history of the project can be downloaded here: http://www.jumboglacierresort.com/chronology/