The plan can be better!
We propose options that are better for the environment and better for the visitor experience!
At present, there are significant gaps in the Parks Canada draft site guidelines that need to be corrected for us to achieve our triple goal of environmental integrity, guest experience and business sustainability.
Here is how the draft plan can be improved:
- Our plan for parking is for a reasonably sized parkade (280 stalls) plus a new satellite parking lot on the access road (750 stalls). Parks Canada’s plan is for a gigantic parkade (1,030 stalls). Parks plan would look like the Calgary airport when you drive in. Our balanced plan will allow wildlife to move through the area more effectively (particularly at night) and will be more aesthetically pleasing. Wildlife will walk across a parking lot at night but not through a giant parkade.
- Parks Canada is taking away terrain from the existing leasehold boundary that will eliminate three lifts that have been planned for decades: Bye Bye Bowl lift (skiers left) and Meadow Park Lift (skiers left), and the Wildside lift (Southside Chutes). PC’s plan also eliminates new glading and trails that have been planned for years that would improve the visitor experience. The lifts and ski terrain are necessary to comfortably balance to the 8,500 PAOT (People At One Time) and are all within our existing lease boundary. They should be retained in the site guidelines.
- Parks Canada and Sunshine have agreed that a secondary lift from the base area is needed so that we are not totally dependent on the existing gondola. Park Canada’s solution is to construct a lift system that runs parallel to the existing gondola. We prefer a lift (tram or gondola) that runs from the base area up to the Sunshine Coast run on upper Goat’s Eye. Our location is much better for the environment because it requires far less tree removal (200 verses 5,750 trees) and only requires 1 tower verses 32 towers. Our alignment for the lift travels over steep slopes and cliffs where wildlife does not travel. Our proposal is better for the visitor experience because it immediately accesses ski terrain as opposed to Parks plan which drops people off at the bottom of Goat’s Eye. We also envision that the lift from the base area to upper Goat’s Eye would be used for summer sightseeing as the people would be contained at the top and there is a wonderful view.
- Parks Canada is not providing enough indoor commercial square footage for visitors to comfortably use the restaurants, retail shops, or rental shops. Parks Canada proposes a range of between 2,000 and 3,650 new square meters of commercial space which is completely inadequate. Consultants calculate that the resort requires 5,050 new square meters of commercial space to balance to the 8,500 PAOT. Our proposal provides 1.4 square meters per person, the same amount that Lake Louise was given in their site guidelines. Without the correct amount of commercial space, the buildings will continue to be overcrowded and unpleasant.
- A section needs to be added to say that adequate maintenance, employee, and administrative space will be added as required for the operation of the resort.
- Parks Canada received a “concurrence letter” from Marmot Basin, Lake Louise, and Norquay when they issued Site Guidelines for those resorts. It does not appear that Parks Canada is seeking concurrence or agreement from Sunshine Village which indicates unfairness towards us. Parks Canada should work collaboratively with us so that the plan works best for the long-run. We have valid options to make this a much better plan for the environment and the visitor experience.
This plan will guide the resort until at least 2060. If something isn’t in the plan, it won’t even be considered. That is why it is so important to get this plan right. The above changes need to be incorporated into the final plan!