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Unbuilt Projects

DougB

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Yes, instead. As for snow, the bid book said that that valley got the best snow of the entire Rockies range in Alberta. The main resort would have been north facing (sparrowhawk). the secondary would be west facing. Not sure how much higher the elevation of the valley bottom is on the spray side if any.
Thanks for posting those! I had looked them up in Government of Alberta archives in the early 90s but never made copies. Where did you find them?

Tent Ridge (Spray Lakes Resort) and Mt. Shark have similar weather patterns and snowfall to Sunshine as they aren't far away as the crow flies. Tent Ridge is also wind sheltered. Sparrowhawk doesn't get as much snow and much of it would have been exposed above the treeline. It would have been by far the highest lift serviced resort on Canada, topping out around 10,000 ft. In comparison, the current highest lift in Canada is Sunshine's Great Divide Express at 8,900 ft.

The whole Spray Lakes project suffered scope creep. At its most ambitious, a private developer would have taken on Tent Ridge with the government developing Shark and Sparrowhawk and a small area on Mt. Lougheed. Sparrowhawk was thought to be too steep and cold to be commercially successful, so a small beginner pod would have complimented it on Lougheed. Smith Dorrien Trail would have been paved with a tunnel replacing the sketchy climb up from Canmore. A gondola would have linked the four mountains.

The Spray Valley sits at around 5.600 ft so the resort bases would be somewhat higher. Naksiska's base is at 5,000 ft. Louise is at 5,400 ft. Sunshine village is at 7,200 ft. Whistler is at 2,200 ft.

If the UCP had some guts, it would pursue an aggressive mountain tourism strategy as that would be one of the most obvious diversification plays:
-do something to advance redevelopment of Fortress
-build infrastructure and partner to develop Tent Ridge and Mt. Shark
-work with Feds to implement a shuttle bus system in Canmore and Banff in return for more hotel rooms and expansion of Sunshine and Louise

Of course, this is all a dream. Too bad more wasn't done in the 70's.

Another great proposal to see would be the Village Lake Louise plan from the early 70's.
 

zagox

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Thanks for posting those! I had looked them up in Government of Alberta archives in the early 90s but never made copies. Where did you find them?

Tent Ridge (Spray Lakes Resort) and Mt. Shark have similar weather patterns and snowfall to Sunshine as they aren't far away as the crow flies. Tent Ridge is also wind sheltered. Sparrowhawk doesn't get as much snow and much of it would have been exposed above the treeline. It would have been by far the highest lift serviced resort on Canada, topping out around 10,000 ft. In comparison, the current highest lift in Canada is Sunshine's Great Divide Express at 8,900 ft.

The whole Spray Lakes project suffered scope creep. At its most ambitious, a private developer would have taken on Tent Ridge with the government developing Shark and Sparrowhawk and a small area on Mt. Lougheed. Sparrowhawk was thought to be too steep and cold to be commercially successful, so a small beginner pod would have complimented it on Lougheed. Smith Dorrien Trail would have been paved with a tunnel replacing the sketchy climb up from Canmore. A gondola would have linked the four mountains.

The Spray Valley sits at around 5.600 ft so the resort bases would be somewhat higher. Naksiska's base is at 5,000 ft. Louise is at 5,400 ft. Sunshine village is at 7,200 ft. Whistler is at 2,200 ft.

If the UCP had some guts, it would pursue an aggressive mountain tourism strategy as that would be one of the most obvious diversification plays:
-do something to advance redevelopment of Fortress
-build infrastructure and partner to develop Tent Ridge and Mt. Shark
-work with Feds to implement a shuttle bus system in Canmore and Banff in return for more hotel rooms and expansion of Sunshine and Louise

Of course, this is all a dream. Too bad more wasn't done in the 70's.

Another great proposal to see would be the Village Lake Louise plan from the early 70's.
Heavy rail to Canmore and Banff, plus a gondola from Banff townsite to Norquay, are a good push in that direction. I assume the feds will require some shuttle bus implementation and maybe restrictions on private vehicles if they are going to fund it through CIB.

I don't see a greenfield development in the Spray Valley in the cards, it would cost a lot of political and financial capital for a pretty thin return relative to expanding/improving the existing operations plus Fortress.
 

Mountain Man

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I would be amazed if we got a new ski hill or two beyond Fortress, these are such expensive developments. Revy is over 10 years old now and they still only have 3 chairs?

Fortress should be open next year, Castle is slowly moving their expansion plans forward, Louise has a new chair this season with plans for a few more. Sunshine has an expansion plan, but the Scurfields are not easy to work with, so I expect lots of hurdles for them to jump over. Good days for Alberta skiing / snowboarding!
 

darwink

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A gondola would have linked the four mountains.
I could see a shuttle bus linking the two main areas, as that would have been one monster gondola! No wonder the project spiralled out of control and the government couldn't bring the scope back down since the private operator was knees deep, so we got stuck with the skil hill, Village and golf course a valley over. Then Canmore is given the nordic centre to politically compensate for no large new tourist destination on their doorstep. Then Bragg Creek starts to look not as needed since you don't need the reliable snow for the nordic loop. So COP becomes a viable option.
 
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DougB

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I would be amazed if we got a new ski hill or two beyond Fortress, these are such expensive developments. Revy is over 10 years old now and they still only have 3 chairs?

Fortress should be open next year, Castle is slowly moving their expansion plans forward, Louise has a new chair this season with plans for a few more. Sunshine has an expansion plan, but the Scurfields are not easy to work with, so I expect lots of hurdles for them to jump over. Good days for Alberta skiing / snowboarding!
I can dream, can't I?

I'd like to see:
-development of Tent Ridge and Mount Shark with a village spanning between them. Sparrowhawk is likely too extreme to be viable
-build out of Fortress even though the master plan is overkill in terms of redundant lifts and calling for detachable chairs when fixed grip who suffice for the relatively short linear distances
-highway over Elk Pass to link the emerging Kananaskis ski destination with Fernie
-build out of the Castle Mountain master plan, but with more on hill accommodations
-expansion of Sunshine to the entirety of Wawa Ridge and Twin Cairns plus a lift on the lower portion of Delerium, a tram from parking lot to Goats Eye, a proper lodge at Goat's Eye, rebuild of the existing day lodge and a few hundred additional hotel rooms
-Louise expanding into West Bowl (underway), lift up the back of Summit, lift to to top of Richardson's Ridge with access to Hidden Bowl off the backside, lifts into each of Purple and Wolverine Bowls, gondola linking ski area to village, few thousand extra hotel rooms in village
 

darwink

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I doubt the province would ever reverse their year 2000 decision about the resort proposal from Genesis Development (they bought the project a year or two earlier), and the creation of the provincial park.
It was:
  • heli/cat-skiing on Mount Shark
  • lift serviced skiing on Tent Ridge
  • a 400 bed village
  • a tour-boat operation on Spray Lakes
  • at least 1 golf course
I have no idea how they were going to spend $500 million in year 2000 dollars on the project! It is implied they recieved $35 million from the province in compensation for the cancellation.
 

Mountain Man

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I can dream, can't I?

I'd like to see:
-development of Tent Ridge and Mount Shark with a village spanning between them. Sparrowhawk is likely too extreme to be viable
-build out of Fortress even though the master plan is overkill in terms of redundant lifts and calling for detachable chairs when fixed grip who suffice for the relatively short linear distances
-highway over Elk Pass to link the emerging Kananaskis ski destination with Fernie
-build out of the Castle Mountain master plan, but with more on hill accommodations
-expansion of Sunshine to the entirety of Wawa Ridge and Twin Cairns plus a lift on the lower portion of Delerium, a tram from parking lot to Goats Eye, a proper lodge at Goat's Eye, rebuild of the existing day lodge and a few hundred additional hotel rooms
-Louise expanding into West Bowl (underway), lift up the back of Summit, lift to to top of Richardson's Ridge with access to Hidden Bowl off the backside, lifts into each of Purple and Wolverine Bowls, gondola linking ski area to village, few thousand extra hotel rooms in village
Elk Pass would be amazing, had to look that up on maps, kind of amazed there isn't a road there currently! Could be in Fernie in 2 hours if they did that.

For Louise, I hope their next step is another lift from the base on the front side before adding Richardson's Ridge. The new lift to West Bowl will take you all the way to the bottom again, then you have to take 3 lifts to get back there again.

The other thing these hiss need to do (Banff Hills can't I expect) is accommodate lift access mountain biking, especially at Castle, their snow is too unpredictable to be a ski only resort and the purple chair is in the perfect spot for bike trails.
 

darwink

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Park or Helipad on top of Palliser Square (1969)
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Transportation Centre East of Palliser Square (1980)
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Late 1980s:
Palliser Square demolition, conversion and expansion as a convention centre
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Moving the VIA station into the post office site (now Penn West)
VIA tried to move (without paying for the new location, only for renovations) for 4, 5 years after the post office moved its consumer facing operations to Harry Hays, and sorting to a surburban plant in the early 80s. The building sat empty for years, and Canada Post eventually started using it again, killing the plan. VIA apparently hated the Palliser Square location, deeming it cramped, inaccessible to people with disabilities, and little more than a cocktail lounge.
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Olympic Centre 1.9 million square foot 4 tower complex bounded by 4th and 5th Street, and 9th and 10th Ave SW given planning approval in 1982.

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