A small team of FMCBC representatives sat down with some of the proponents of the proposed Garibaldi at Squamish (GAS) resort in Vancouver on September 23. The four-season resort on Brohm Ridge is to include infrastructure for downhill skiing, mountain biking, and zip lining, as well as 22,000 beds. The proposed development has had little real public input so far, and according to the attendees, it was a rare and important opportunity to press the proponents on key issues to the non-motorized backcountry community.
Here are some highlights from the meeting from FMCBC Secretary Mack Skinner with help from Lisa Quattrocchi and Mike Feller:
-GAS’s maps (which can be viewed here) depict the ski runs and the resort development running very close to Garibaldi Park.
-The extent of the real estate development remains unclear. No real estate, actual or proposed, is currently included in the maps, however the intent is there. Proponents did reveal that they will be able to obtain real estate at a “nominal price” in exchange for building a ski hill, but they did not get into specifics.
-Under the proposal, the snowmobilers displaced by the GAS development are to be directed to an area that is currently designated as non-motorized. GAS has been informed of the distinctions outlined in the Sea-to-Sky LMRP regarding motorized/non-motorized areas and have been asked to present an alternate plan.
-GAS proponents were made aware of the numerous frustrations FMCBC member clubs have experienced in past dealings with commercial developers. Historically, these have included: not being consulted, not being listened to, lack of enforcement of motorized activity in non-motorized areas, and more.
-GAS proponent Peter Gordon suggested it might be possible to have a covenant or easement up against Garibaldi Provincial Park, requiring FMCBC’s consent to encroach.
-GAS proponents indicated that there would be no helicopter or snowmobile use in their area.