Updated: Squamish resort that is backed by owners of Revelstoke Mountain Resort given environmental certificate

Garibaldi at Squamish resort being backed by Northland Properties, owners of Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

A proposed resort west of Garibaldi Provincial Park would be the latest addition to existing mountain resorts along the Sea to Sky Highway.

The B.C. government has issued an environmental assessment certificate for Garibaldi at Squamish mountain resort, proposed as a major competitor for North Shore ski hills and Whistler-Blackcomb resort.

The resort is being backed by two of the province’s biggest companies — the Aquilini Group, which owns the Vancouver Canucks and a large real estate portfolio; and Northland Properties, the owner of Revelstoke Mountain Resort.

Graham Rennie, the president of Northland Asset Management, the division that operates RMR, said that Northland is a shareholder in Garibaldi at Squamish, but is not directly involved in its development. He said GAS would not affect the company’s involvement in RMR.

“We own and operate RMR, it’s very important to us,” he said. “It’s a prime asset that we hope to see long-term into the future.”

The project has faced strong commercial and environmental opposition over 15 years, and the approval comes with 40 conditions and cautions about its impacts to the area.

The Squamish Nation is a partner in the Garibaldi project, which proposes expansion over 25 years to a 22,000-bed year-round resort village on Brohm Ridge near Squamish. It includes 23 ski lifts and 124 developed ski trails, scaled down from the original plan that included two golf courses and more housing.

Squamish Nation Chief Ian Campbell said the certificate is the first step in getting the project going, and more approvals will be needed from his council and the province.

“Squamish Nation will obtain a licence over a wilderness area that will be equal in size to the project area to practise its aboriginal rights,” Campbell said in a statement. “Although the project is controversial, Squamish Nation is comfortable that its cultural and environmental interests have been protected and that it will share appropriately in the economic benefits of the project.”

In issuing the certificate, Environment Minister Mary Polak and Forests Minister Steve Thomson noted that the proponents made significant changes during environmental assessment. They include changing the water supply from Brohm River surface water to groundwater, as well as removing golf courses and housing near Cat and Brohm Lakes, which are popular recreation lakes for Squamish residents.

Whistler council has lobbied the B.C. government to reject the project, arguing it would take business away from existing resorts, rather than draw more skiers in a “cluster effect” as argued by its proponents.

The Federation of Mountain Clubs of B.C. has also opposed the development, suggesting it may result in a move to expand into Garibaldi Park, as was the case with the Whistler-Blackcomb expansion.

With files from Alex Cooper, Revelstoke Review

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Revelstoke has launched a community well-being survey. (Contributed)
City launches community well-being survey

Everyone residing in Revelstoke aged 12 and over is invited to complete it

BC Liberal incumbent Doug Clovechok is seeking re-election as MLA for the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding in the provincial election. (File photo)
BC VOTES: Get to know BC Liberal candidate Doug Clovechok

Clovechok talks highways, housing, childcare and the environment

NDP candidate Nicole Cherlet on the campaign trail in Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap- Revelstoke Review)
BC VOTES: Q&A with BC NDP candidate Nicole Cherlet

Cherlet talks highways, housing, childcare and the environment

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

Columbia River-Revelstoke Green Party candidate Samson Boyer. (Contributed)
BC VOTES: Q&A with BC Green Party candidate Samson Boyer

Boyer talks highways, housing, childcare and the environment

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP were called to a report of an electrical fire at the emergency response centre operated by Turning Points Collaborative Society on 37th Street Sunday, Oct. 18, just before 5:30 p.m. The fire displaced shelter residents who have been set up with services at the Vernon Recreation Complex. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon shelter residents find refuge in hotels, motels, recreation complex after fire

Electrical fire at Turning Points Collaborative Society’s emergency response centre on 37th Street

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna man charged after allegedly stealing senior’s car

Elderly woman’s car was stolen while she was shopping

Salmon Arm RCMP say residents have been receiving calls from fraudster claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP warn of Publishers Clearing House telephone scam

Police say scammer requests fee to claim sweepstakes prizes

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Osoyoos Fire Department responded to reports of a vehicle engulfed in flames Sunday (Oct. 18) evening at a Lambert Court residence. (Osoyoos Fire Department)
Osoyoos Fire Department knock down car fire near home

Blaze was ‘really close’ to becoming a structure fire

Colin James put on a great show at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds as part of the 2019 Vancouver Island MusicFest. But his Okanagan tour for 2020 has been postponed until 2021. (Photo by Terry Farrell)
COVID-19 cancels more Okanagan concerts

The Contenders and Colin James postponed until 2021

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Most Read