Bridal Veil Mountain Resort Looks to Advance Ski Resort Proposal with B.C. Govt. in 2023
The original article was published on March 4th, 2023 in Fraser Valley Today.
CHILLIWACK — Supporters of the proposed Bridal Veil Mountain Resort (BVMR) east of Chilliwack say they are poised to submit a formal presentation to the province sometime in early 2023.
According to a year-end update on its website (www.bvmr.ca) from December 20, backers of the all-season mountain resort say their next step is to head to public referral on its expression of interest, a prerequisite before moving to the formal proposal stage. BVMR says it looks forward to starting the expression of interest process in early 2023.
“We have spent the last two years working with the Ministry of Tourism, Art, Culture and Sport’s Mountain Resorts Branch,” BVMR wrote in its year-end update. “In the meantime, we have been busy fine-tuning our application and communicating directly with decision-makers, including local MLAs, the Premier, Deputy Ministers, and senior bureaucrats.”
BVMR and its partners own 250 acres just minutes from Highway 1, the Trans-Canada Highway. It says it recently acquired an additional 52 acres next to the Chilliwack Community Forest.
“BVMR is investing in Chilliwack for the long term,” it said on its website. “We recently acquired an additional 52 acres next to the Chilliwack Community Forest. This land provides the ideal starting point for a world-class all-season resort and a next-generation master-planned community.”
In response to a question on its Facebook page about what activities the proposed mountain resort would offer, BVMR said its current proposed lineup consists of downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, backcountry touring, skating, snowshoeing, tubing, camping, downhill mountain biking, cross-country mountain biking, Indigenous cultural activities and sightseeing.
BVMR has 51 letters of support, including from West Jet, the Township of Langley, and Local Union 97. It spent time conducting outreach at events like Chilliwack Flight Fest in August, Fraser Valley Wellness Expo in October, and the Rotary Christmas Parade in December in Chilliwack. BVMR asks people to contact Chilliwack mayor Ken Popove, Councillor and FVRD board chair Jason Lum, and Chilliwack MLAs Dan Coulter and Kelli Paddon to indicate support for the project.
As the proposed area for the BVMR project overlaps with the proposed area for the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project (CSGP), the provincial Mountain Resorts Branch (part of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development) has initiated a review process in which they will be seeking feedback from local First Nations, the City of Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley Regional District, with the aim of determining which project, if any, should proceed to the next stage in the application process, BVMR wrote on its website.
BVMR’s goal is to become the first all-season mountain resort in Canada to be jointly planned, developed, owned, and operated in full partnership with participating local First Nations Communities.
As a multi-phase development, Bridal Veil Mountain Resort would be built in stages, according to its website. The first phase features an eco-friendly gondola that would rise 1,480 meters above Chilliwack, offering breath-taking 360-degree views of the Fraser Valley and the Cascade Mountain range.
Once it grows to meet tourist demand, a second sightseeing gondola would be built to whisk guests to a vehicle-free mountain recreation area hidden 1,200 meters above the Fraser Valley. In winter, guests will be able to ski or snowboard, backcountry tour, cross-country ski, skate, snowshoe, go tubing or sightsee. In summer, they will be able to hike, camp, sightsee or go downhill or cross-country mountain biking. Ecological and Indigenous cultural programs and sightseeing will be available year-round.
While these facilities, programs and activities remain to be planned and designed in detail, project backers say patrons will be effectively separated and hidden from the valley floor, offering guests a remote mountain recreation experience with spectacular views of the Fraser River and the Cascade Mountain Range. The physical potential of the site suggests that visitation could equal that of B.C.’s premier resort destinations, but final guest capacity will be formulated in consultation with Stó:lō communities and engagement with local communities.