Revelstoke Mountain Resort opens to the publoic
About 2,000 people weathered steady snow to attend the grand — but low-key — opening of the new $1 billion Revelstoke Mountain Resort on Saturday.
More than 20 years in the making, construction of the resort began in earnest last year and with 6,000 vertical feet, this resort has North America's longest runs. It is fourth longest in the world.
"It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get us to today's ribbon cutting," Revelstoke Mayor Mark McKee told a crowd of a couple of hundred people who gathered at the base of the gondolas for the opening ceremony, while more than a 1,000 shivered in a long, long line waiting for the gondolas to start up.
"There have been many, many mayors and councillors before me who supported this project."
McKee read letters of congratulations from Premier Gordon Campbell and Senator Larry Campbell and told the crowd the resort is the key to the city's future.
"This community has been consistent over the years," he said. "We came out in droves to every public meeting, we showed our support and completed every survey known to Man and we told every Council in no uncertain terms we wanted... out of the ski hill business and we wanted it developed. But just like every project this community has ever done, we decide what we want and we go out and get it."
The resort has a 25 year timeline until its completion and it will eventually include 5,000 hotel beds and about 200,000 square feet of commercial space.
"Revelstoke is the adventure skiing capital of the world," said Resort Chairman Don Simpson of Denver, Colo. "That's what brought me here."
He acknowledged the individual partners such as Toronto developers Hunter Milbourne and Robert Powadiuk, the Gaglardi family of Vancouver, whose Northland Properties Group recently bought an equity interest in the resort, and Romspen, a Toronto-based mortgage lending company which is also a partner.
Milbourne told the crowd that more than $100 million worth of real estate has already been sold in the luxury single-family-home developments and the condominium projects associated with the resort. He said he hopes even more will be sold next year.
"Many resorts start out locally and become popular regionally and ultimately, if they're lucky they get popular internationally," Milbourne said. "Revelstoke, for 30 years has been an internationally acclaimed destination for skiing."
He said the city and the resort complement each other synergistically.
Chief Operating Officer Rod Kessler said there were 129 cm of snow at the 3,000 metre-mark, which drew loud cheers from the crowd.
"There's powder, powder, powder! That's what it's all about, right?"