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Resort offers opportunities

Revelstoke Mountain Resort may be hoping to become a major ski destination, but local businesses shouldn’t fear that will threaten their dominance when it comes to commercial retail.

“Speaking with local businesses, there are a few talking about bringing in local entertainment,” RMR’s Steve Bailey said during a recent talk to Revelstoke Rotarians. “Businesses are looking at how they can capitalize on it.”

The December 22 opening of the hill will give downtown businesses a chance to experiment with their hours as well, said Bailey, because the town will be filled with skiers.

“It’s a great time because local businesses can play with their hours because there’s two weeks where the town is full,” he said.

One of the major concerns which has been expressed is the fear that local businesses will be wiped out by commercial enterprises on the mountain. However, Bailey said that as the resort develops, people who are attracted to the resort for skiing will still venture into the City of Revelstoke.

“It’s a chance for the downtown to get focused and see what the skiers want,” Bailey said, who also noted it will be a chance to showcase the downtown area.

As for the resort itself, Bailey said the mountain will be a completely new experience.

Brand new ski and snowboard equipment has been brought in, there will be an area in the back of the rental shop for repairs and there will be a guest services area in the lodge.

“Everything is based on the day skier,” he said.

While all of the commercial space is operated by RMR one area has been leased out.

“We’ve gone with Great White North to do the food and beverage operations,” said Bailey.

There has also been talk of a hotel being built at the resort. However, Rod Kessler, chief operating officer for RMR said that likely won’t be for a few years.

“We have interested parties,” he said. “It will probably take two years to put a deal together. Right now we’re doing everything we can to be open December 22.”

Kessler also said the resort chose to take a quiet approach this year.

“Being our first year, we were unclear how the community was going to react, so we approached this thing relatively subtly,” he said.

“The design for this year is low key. We wanted to get it open and running.”

Overall, RMR has been pleased with the response from the local community. Bailey said the number of seasons passes purchased exceeded expectations.

MELISSA JAMESON

Times Review

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