Chilliwack, British Columbia is home to the famous Bridal Veil Falls. In order to attract more tourists, the province is considering putting two proposals that would either put a sightseeing gondola or a large ski resort on the same plot of land above the famous falls. While the two proposals are being reviewed by two different branches of the provincial government, they’re on a crash course, as only one will come out on top.
The Vancouver Sun reports that which bid will win is still being decided, in spite of the belief that whether the gondola proposal was accepted would be announced this spring. Jayson Faulkner, who is the founder of the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project, said that the group has worked for about six years to get their ducks in a row. He’s not thrilled by the delays from the Ministry of Forests, which needs to approve their tenure application to proceed:
“We’re a little confused and unsure about what is happening. Everyone is a bit frustrated with the lack of transparency in the process.”
The Cascade Skyline Gondola Project would have a much smaller impact on the land than the ski resort. The eight-person gondola would have a ride time of fifteen minutes. Some of the amenities and activities could include hiking trails, a restaurant, a theater, a gift shop, an observation deck, and an events plaza. They’re also planning to build a Sto’lo Cultural and Interpretive Centre, which would “showcase the history, sacred stories, culture, and artifacts of the area’s First Nations.”
The ski resort, with its alpine village at approximately 1000 feet higher than Whistler’s village, would become a top skiing destination in Canada. Bridal Veil Mountain Resort has the potential to have 11,500 skiable acres and a 2300-foot vertical drop. Other activities would include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, backcountry skiing, tubing, hiking, and mountain biking.
The destination resort would be built in multiple phases. The first phase would build a sightseeing gondola. The following phases would build out the ski resort and two base villages. They are currently waiting for the Ministry of Tourism in B.C. to start the public consultation phase of the process.
The proposals face opposition from local motorized groups. The Quad City Riders Association has released statements opposing both the ski resort and the gondola. This is due to concerns over the lack of access these resorts would cause to ATV riders. They did say though that they have met with gondola officials, and they believe that they’re close to reaching an agreement that would allow them to support the gondola. Both plans claim to have the support of the First Nations, which is another critical aspect needed for the approval of one of these proposals.
Here is a part of the Ministry of Tourism’s statement, which explains the delay:
“The province is currently working with Stó:lō Nation groups to understand the nature of their interests in the proposal area and how to work collaboratively through the review and decision-making processes in alignment with provincial reconciliation objectives.”