Columbia Basin Trust’s Board. Back row (left to right): Paul Peterson; Denise Birdstone; Garry Merkel

Adventure tourism program funds announced at CBT meeting

TRU adventure tourism program in Revelstoke gets boost; Jumbo designer has new Jumbo-like proposal near Valemount

The Columbia Basin Trust Board of Directors held a public session at the Coast Hillcrest Hotel on Jan. 24.

The session featured presentations from Revelstoke mayor David Raven and three representatives from town.

Raven explained Revelstoke’s recent economic history.

City of Revelstoke economic development director Alan Mason presented several community projects that had benefitted from CBT funding. All of them have been well covered in stories in the Times Review. In a new development, Mason thanked the CBT for $150,000 in funding for the proposed Adventure Tourism program in Revelstoke. The funding will go towards the purchasing equipment to offer the Thompson Rivers University-accredited program in Revelstoke.

Cindy Pearce explained the city’s ongoing Integrated Community Sustainability Plan process. Readers will be familiar with the program through a series featured in the Times Review. Pearce said more meetings were upcoming, noting part of the challenge has been explaining that sustainability doesn’t just mean ‘green.’

Jackie Morris is the Revelstoke-based director of the Columbia Mountains Institute, a regional science organization designed to improve ecological management by sharing knowledge about the ecology of the Columbia Mountains. She prsented on the organization’s activities

***

The three-day board meeting was mostly behind closed doors. When asked, chairperson Greg Deck said they discussed lots of “inside baseball” such as internal and administrative issues and committee restructuring.

The next Jumbo near Valemount?

I caught up Laura Keil at the meeting. She’s the editor of the Rocky Mountain Goat, an independent newspaper based in Valemount. Why did she make the trip to Revelstoke? Her partner Andru McCracken (Valemount mayor) is on the CBT board of directors. She is working on a story about the changes Revelstoke has experienced since the Revelstoke Mountain Resort project started.

Why?

Jumbo Glacier Resort designer Oberto Oberti has a new proposal called the Valemount Glacier Destination resort, which bills itself as “a sightseeing and year-round skiing destination on Mt. Arthur Meighen near Valemount.”

Obert is the Vancouver-based architect behind the original design for the controversial Jumbo Glacier Resort, and Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in Golden, amongst several other East Kootenay resort projects.

Keil wanted to find out Revelstoke’s experiences in the context of the proposed resort west of Valemount.

An introduction to the project posted by the proponent on a B.C. government website promotes “snow guaranteed by glaciers, elevation and climate,” the “longest vertical drop in the world,” and “a location that is not affected by insurmountable local conflicts.”

It also touts the “only ski in/ski out airport in North America.”

The proponent’s vision is for an international resort destination that will attract international clients year-round.

The proposal sounds in many ways like Jumbo, just in a different location.

Greg Deck is new CBT chairperson

New CBT chairperson Greg Deck replaced long-serving chairperson Garry Merkel earlier this month. “On behalf of CBT’s Board and staff, I would like to thank Garry and acknowledge his many contributions; his input and leadership over the course of 18 years has been invaluable,” Deck said in a statement earlier this month. “Garry’s impact on CBT-and through CBT, on the Columbia Basin-cannot be overemphasized.”

Merkel helped form the CBT and was vice-chair from 1995–2006 and chair from 2006 to 2012.

Deck is from Radium Hot Springs. He was in fact the founding mayor of Radium Hot Springs. On Feb. 19 he’ll host the inaugural meeting of the Mountain Resort Municipality of Jumbo there.

Also new on the CBT board this month is Rick Jensen, president and CEO of Panorama Mountain Village.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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