Hold on tight!
Revelstoke Mountain Resort is building a mountain coaster that will stretch from the mid-mountain lodge to the resort base.
According to a report by RMR that was presented to Revelstoke council last week the single-track coaster would stretch 1.4 kilometres down the lower portion of the resort, from the gondola mid-station to the base village.
Just don’t call it a roller coaster.
“The experience is really different. It’s gliding through natural terrain and almost mirroring a downhill mountain bike, without having the skills,” said Peter Neilsen, the vice-president of RMR. “It’s that kind of feel, that flow through the woods. It’s definitely very different from a roller coaster.”
The coaster would reach speeds of up to 40 kilometres per hour, and riders would be able to use a braking mechanism to adjust their speed.
Mountain coasters have been installed in Europe but are rare in North America. The report says the ride would be unique to western North America. Similar rides using a double-track exist at Blue Mountain, Ontario, and Mount Saint Sauveur, Quebec.
It would add to the resort’s summer activities, which so far only consist of gondola operations to mid-mountain and brunch at the Revelation Lodge.
Neilsen said the coaster would be a cornerstone of the resort’s summer operations.
“We really see an opportunity in summer that we haven’t realized yet or really pursued doggedly,” he said. “We really felt that having something that was different would have a lot of attraction to not just an adventure sport market, but the general public as well to draw people to the resort and the community.
“We’re seeking out something that was unique,” Neilsen added. “Everybody has a zipline, but nobody has one of these.”
The cost would be $15 for a single ride, with discounts for multiple rides.
The coaster is being built by the European company Brandauer, who has built them on the other side of the Atlantic. The resort aims to finish construction of the mountain coaster by the start of the 2015-16 ski season, with operations set to begin next year.
City council voted to issue a development permit to the resort to build the coaster on Tuesday.
“I’m excited about this and I’m happy to see it come to the table,” said councillor Scott Duke. “It’s more summer development that’s going to draw people into the community.”
RMR is also looking at opening the gondola right to the top next summer. The resort has landscaped the area at the top of the gondola, next to the Mackenzie Outpost, and built an egress trail down Kill the Banker that can be used to evacuate the lift if necessary.
“There’s no doubt we’re going to, it’s just the timeline,” said Neilsen. “Whether it’s next year or the year after. That’s part of the whole plans of summer operations — to expand into our alpine area with a whole variety of different activities from sight-seeing, hiking, and potentially alpine biking.”