THUNDER BAY – Travel – With the start of fall, thousands of Thunder Bay area alpine skiers start the process of getting their minds set toward another great season of sliding down the slopes. Across Canada, the start of fall gets skiers dreaming of deep powder. When you are thinking of powder snow, serious skiers realize that means Alberta’s Sunshine Village. With up to 30 feet, or over 900 centimetres of natural snow annually, Sunshine Village offers something for every level of skier.
Several years ago, Sunshine opened new terrain on the mountain. A new high-speed lift to Goat’s Eye Mountain expanded the ski terrain at the ski resort on Canada’s Continental Divide. Now it is looking like there will be even more enjoyment for the resort’s visitors.
Sunshine Village has set November 8th as opening day for the resort.
Sunshine Village Faced With Summer Challenges
It is a challenge – 100 days ago, a massive flood hit Alberta. That flood basically hammered the parking lot at the base of the resort.
In addition, there was damage to many of the ski runs caused by the 200 mm of precipitation that fell during the rainfall event. In addition, the rain caused a massive fast melt to the snow at the mountain resort. Work has continued through the summer and continues to ensure that everything is ready for the ski season.
Parks Canada has been busy ensuring that the process moves forward carefully. The alpine areas in Alberta are very fragile. Last June, the flooding impacted the mountains. While much of the news has focused on the flooding in Calgary, High River and Canmore, the damage from the flooding has changed many areas of the mountains too.
Goat’s Eye Lodge for Sunshine Village
The Parks Canada Advisory Development Board has unanimously voted in favour of allowing Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort to proceed with construction of an environmentally progressive permanent day lodge at Goat’s Eye Mountain.
The important decision, after three hours of presentations, moves Sunshine closer to receiving Parks Canada final approval to build the much-needed facility that will improve an already fantastic overall guest experience in the Canadian Rockies. Only one personal letter in opposition was read into the minutes. Nine major local and provincial organizations spoke in support of the facility that has been more than a decade in the making.
The Board, made up of regional residents, endorsed the spectacular facility, voting to ask Banff Field Unit Superintendent Dave McDonough to proceed with consideration of the project.
The Superintendent’s final decision for the proposed Goat’s Eye Day Lodge is expected near the end of October, 2013.
“With the goal to improve an already spectacular visitor experience at Sunshine Village, we are pleased to receive unanimous support from the ADB and look forward to the next step in having this long awaited project move forward,” said Dave Riley, Chief Operating Officer, Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort. “The proposed Goat’s Eye Day Lodge will provide much needed space for areas such as dining, child care and ski school in the Goat’s Eye area and will help elevate the resort’s offerings to be a showcase worthy of Canada’s oldest National Park.”
The permanent day lodge would replace temporary ATCO trailers, which the resort has used since a temporary tent structure burned down in 2007. The proposed project, which has undergone a detailed environmental impact assessment, has been designed utilizing green building practices.
If all approvals are granted by Parks Canada, Sunshine hopes to begin construction next summer to have the facility open to guests for the 2014-15 season.
Public comment to Parks Canada on the proposed development is open until October, 4th2013.
Sunshine Village Ski and Snowboard Resort
Sunshine Village, close to the town of Banff, provides skiers and boarders with 12-lifts including seven modern high speed quad chairs, the most in the Canadian Rockies, and one of the world’s fastest 8 passenger gondolas. Stay slope-side in the Rockies only “ski-in ski-out” hotel and ski or ride 3,300 acres and three mountains in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia along the Continental Divide during Canada’s longest season from November to late May. For more information visit www.skibanff.com.