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Jumbo proponents proceed with scaled-back resort plan

SMALLER RESORT — Glacier Resorts Ltd. has begun correspondence with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource on submitting an overview of a 1,997-bed version of Jumbo Glacier Resort. File photo

SMALLER RESORT — Glacier Resorts Ltd. has begun correspondence with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource on submitting an overview of a 1,997-bed version of Jumbo Glacier Resort. File photo

By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff

Glacier Resorts Ltd. has begun the process of amending its Master Plan for the Jumbo Glacier Resort project, scaling back the scope of the project to make it less than the 2,000-bed threshold that triggers a provincial environmental assessment process.

Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality received, during its Tuesday, September 15th council meeting, copies of two letters between Phedias Project Management Corp. president Oberto Oberti and provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) senior project manager Bill Hunter, the second of which contains revised drawings of the proposed Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort village along with statistics outlining 1,997 bed units built through three stages.

Neither of the letters was addressed to Jumbo council; the municipality simply received copies for information purposes.

“There’s no actual proposal as a result of these correspondences, and in the meantime we (council) are waiting the outcome of negotiations between the province and the proponent,” said Jumbo mayor Greg Deck at the meeting.

The first of the two letters was sent by Mr. Hunter to Mr. Oberti on Wednesday, August 12th and, in it, Mr. Hunter says that — in response to a Glacier Resort Ltd. inquiry following the expiration of its environmental assessment certificate for the Jumbo Glacier Resort project — the ministry has reviewed the Jumbo Glacier Resort Master Development Agreement and has determined that, consistent with Article 12 of the agreement, the proponent can submit a modified resort Master Plan to the ministry for review.

“We will require a preliminary overview of the new proposal in order to determine specific Master Plan information requirements and the procedural steps of our review, including consultation requirements with other agencies and First Nations, going forward,” wrote Mr. Hunter, adding that such an overview would need to include balanced resort capacity; number of bed units; a phasing schedule; a spatial layout; an updated business plan reflecting the new reduced balanced resort capacity and reduced bed units; and updated data on projected skier visits and other market-based assumptions.

The other letter, dated Friday September 4th, was sent from Mr. Oberti to Mr. Hunter and it contained the revised drawings and bed unit count. In it, Mr. Oberti wrote that this correspondence addressed three of the points (bed units, phasing schedule and spatial layout) mentioned by Mr. Hunter in his August 12th letter.

“We are working on the response to all the other points of your letter but we would like to share with you our approach as we move forward to facilitate your review and to prepare the responses to other points in your letter, starting with a resort village plan that is in the right direction,” wrote Mr. Oberti.

Neither Mr. Hunter nor Mr. Oberti mentioned the review process that the scaled-back proposal would be subject to by name, but ministry spokesperson Greig Bethel had previously indicated to The Pioneer that it would be FLRNO’s All Season Resort Policy.

The bed unit statistics for the three phases of the resort included 551 beds in the first stage, 917 in the next stage, and then a further 529 in the final of the three stages.

Among the 1,997 total beds are 24 bed and breakfast beds; 819 condominium beds; 180 duplex beds; 180 hotel beds; and 450 single-family chalet beds. The statistics also include 298 employee bed units. Several other buildings are also outlined in the plans, including various sorts of service and utility buildings, amenities such as a place of worship, a firehall, a convention centre, a society building, an interpretive centre, at least four daylodges and a teahouse on top of one of the resort’s glaciers.

Motorized access
During the September 15th Jumbo council meeting, Glacier Resorts Ltd. vice-president Grant Costello gave an update to council on concerns raised at a previous council meeting by valley resident and longstanding Jumbo critic Jim Galloway about what Mr. Galloway sees as the resort proponents’ lacklustre efforts in keeping motorized vehicles out of the resort’s controlled recreation area.

Mr. Costello said that three signs have been installed in the Upper Jumbo Valley and three in the Farmham Valley, and that a gate has been put up and locked. The lock was later broken off, so it was put back on, he said.

“We are doing it to comply with conditions in our environmental assessment certificate, even though the certificate is expired,” said Mr. Costello.
Jumbo chief administrative officer Mark Read said he could personally confirm that the lock was still on the gate as of Sunday, September 13th.

EcoSociety Legal Petition
Mr. Deck asked during the meeting if there was any update on the West Kootenay EcoSociety’s petition against the province’s decision to create Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality, which had been heard in the B.C. Supreme Court in July.

Mr. Read replied he’s heard nothing yet and there’s little else to do on the matter except wait for judge Grace Choi to make a decision in the case.

Steve Hubrecht
Email: steve@columbiavalleypioneer.com
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Reporter Steve Hubrecht arrived in the Columbia Valley after working for newspapers in Fernie, B.C., and Beijing, China. He spends as much time outside as possible – if he's not at the Pioneer and Echo office, he's probably out telemarking or hiking. He grew up in southern Ontario and graduated with an MA in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario in 2006.

18 Responses to Jumbo proponents proceed with scaled-back resort plan

  1. Lesley Willows says:

    Keep Jumbo wild!

  2. Carol Scanland says:

    No resort in this sacred land is acceptable. LEAVE IT ALONE please.

  3. Kyle morley says:

    If they build it I will come ski it I support this project think it is good for the area. If it’s good might have to relocate to the area

  4. Anita Rempel says:

    No Means No!!!!!

  5. Laurin Peacock says:

    Keep Jumbo Wild

  6. Tyler Austin Bradley says:

    The Jumbo Resort Proposal has turned into a B-Grade horror flick franchise where the villain just keeps coming back for another round against the same recurring protagonists; every time opponents think it’s dead, this living-dead township and plan is resurrected by necromancers Oberti and Bennett, another sad sequel to an already cliched and unnecessary enterprise- The original was poorly reviewed, and every incarnation since has been worse. Between the set-pieces constructed and the fictional resort municipality, this is a shell-game, a facade, a phony. Phony baloney. Period. The studio bigwigs (our current provincial government) needs to listen up to the sought after audience once and for all- We’re not buying tickets to this. We’re not sold. It’s a bad story with poor character development and an implausible premise. Let this proposal die of natural causes, pull the plug, whatever.
    That this application/travesty has absorbed as many silver bullets, wooden stakes and curses on it thus far is ludicrous. We are rolling our eyes in the Kootenays and have endured enough of this brain-dead, zombified clap-trap; Zombies are so over. Please shamble along and sell your cadaver of a proposal elsewhere.

  7. john wittmayer says:

    No means no! Keep this area wild! There are quite enough ski resorts in business already. With the advent of climate change upon us, it is more and more obvious that snow packs and irregular snowfalls will devalue any resort and be a waste of money in the long term, and road building, access, and road maintenance that taxpayers will pay for will be a wasted effort.

  8. Ross Prather says:

    Give it up already. Keep Jumbo wild.

  9. Norm Wolfe says:

    What does it take for these people to get the message that JUMBO MUST STAY WILD!?

  10. Tara Fleming says:

    Keep it wild! No resort!!!!

  11. Pat Morrow says:

    Last summer the Jumbo White Elephant ski resort was gut shot by no higher an authority than British Columbia’s Minister of the Environment, Mary Pollack, who rescinded the entity’s Environmental Assessment Certificate. Now it’s time for the mortally wounded real estate grab to die a dignified death.

    But before that happens, I’d like to see the unspent portion of the $450,000+ grant money that has been lavished on the mayor and councilors of the Jumbo Glacier Resort Municipality handed over to the bona fide municipality of Invermere to bolster construction of its new community center.

    And while they’re at it, it behooves the JGRM to repair the public Jumbo Creek road they destroyed by driving heavy equipment on their way to pour concrete in an avalanche zone.

    Last year was the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. I would love to see an initiative grow out of the impetus of the Jumbo Wild movement that would extend the northern boundary of the PWC by a few kms to provide a veneer of protection to a valley considered sacred by both natives and non-natives.

  12. Lauren says:

    Keep jumbo wild!!!!!Forever

  13. Pat says:

    Jumbo is already been logged, there are cut blocks all over the area and has been mined. It’s not wild, build it. Hilarious people are not in uproar over all the destruction going on up horse thief creek and forester creek.

  14. Pingback: Jumbo: Keeping It Wild | Nelson Civic Theatre

  15. John Nain says:

    100% accurate Pat, the opposition choose to ignore your FACTS along with most others. RK Heli took out countless log loads while “Gutting runs” FACT!! cheers, jn

    • David R Pacey says:

      Further to yours John, they also left a horrific pile of logs piles hither and yon at the base of one of the cut blocks which Madden initiated towards the building of their heliport in Panorama. Never been cleaned up yet.
      Yah want to see waste and mess, try the Jumbo Basin for logging waste mining waste and piss poor road access.
      On going confusion of the purity of the opposition.

  16. gloria shallcross says:

    I’m just learning of this. I apologize for that. I’ve lived in n.j. for 51 yrs.and all my children (3) and all my grandchildren (5) live in Montana, closer to Canada. I got sick and told them, if I’m to die, I want to be near all of you. So here I am,living in Montana (beautiful) and hearing of this Oberti person wanting to build yet another resort. I did some searching and wondered why they didn’t do a video of the other 6-7 ski resorts in this area,to show how they are barely surviving. As to show that Oberti must need to make more money for his family before he himself turns to dust. This is absolutely about him and money. Like he said,” Jumbo Wild Resort will be my masterpiece”. HIS masterpiece!! All about him and money. Please, please do not let this man ruin the beautiful, and meaningful and wild, jumbo….if anyone wants or needs to ski, go to the surrounding resorts of, Revelstoke or kicking horse, which I read needs the business. This is just a comment, please do not answer to it. Thank you…

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