Dinotown founder supports resort

Original Letter to the Editor submitted by Rob Ell to the April 30, 2021 print edition of the Chilliwack Progress

After a difficult 13 months during which B.C.’s tourism and hospitality sector has been severely and disproportionately impacted by the COVID pandemic, Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley can finally celebrate some great tourism news with the proposal for the recently announced Bridal Veil Mountain Resort.

For more than two decades, I was the co-founder and operated Dinotown (previously Flintstones Bedrock City). The park hosted millions of visitors and employed thousands of young British Columbians. I was also the founding Chair of Tourism Chilliwack and a former board member of the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation.

As a long-time passionate supporter of Fraser Valley tourism, I wholeheartedly support the proposed Bridal Veil Mountain Resort. An anchor tourism attraction such as this will provide numerous benefits such as career opportunities, high-paying jobs for the local community (many of them first-time jobs), recreation opportunities, local project spending and other significant benefits to Chilliwack, the Fraser Valley, local First Nations and the province.

The resort would elevate the region as a tourist destination, and as all good tourism operators know, when one attraction draws additional visitors to the region, all attractions benefit, as do local businesses.

While I applaud both the day-use gondola project and the Bridal Veil Mountain Resort as tourism projects committed to Indigenous consultation and ownership, I believe that the additional recreation, hospitality and business opportunities the resort would provide would attract thousands more visitors per week, generating more overnight visits, more jobs, more local spending, and more local hotel tax revenue to support Chilliwack tourism marketing efforts that have been chronically underfunded for too many years.

I encourage the City of Chilliwack, Tourism Chilliwack, and local residents and businesses to support the Bridal Veil Mountain Resort project.