Revelstoke Mountain Resort property owners unite to push for development
The Revelstoke Mountain Homeowners Association sent out a press release (that can be read below) on Thursday saying the resort has failed to develop beyond what was initially built in the first phase of the resort a decade ago. It has not added new lifts, accommodation or restaurants, the group says, and is not "delivering on the vision outlined in the master plan that was approved by the province in 2004.
"As home owners, our collective investment is approaching that of the developer," states Peter Brown, RMHOA's vice-president and a full-time resident of RMR, in the news release. "We, along with many other enthusiastic stakeholders and supporters, want to see the resort reach its full potential as a world class destination. The hill is second to none, with the longest lift-accessed vertical descent in North America and some of the best snow and terrain on the continent, but investment is minimal for the scale of the resort and there have been few new amenities and upgrades in the last 10 years."
The RMHOA is a legally registered society who's president is Richard Tucker. They claim to have about 20 members and are expecting more.
RMHOA hired the public relations firm Peak Communicators and launched a website at RMHOA.ca that includes information about the group and their concerns. It has three stated goals:
— Establish, grow and foster a homeowners group that represents a major stakeholder interest in the resort;
— Be invited to provide views in regulatory discussions and approvals that may impact the resort, the master plan and timing of development; and
— Create an environment in which Northland Properties is strongly encouraged to invest consistently and regularly in slope side, guest services and accommodation improvements in the Revelstoke Mountain Resort.
Revelstoke Mountain Resort has not yet replied to a request for comment.
Image: Revelstoke Mountain Resort's master plan includes 20 lifts and 100 ski runs.
RMHOA is critical of the master plan development process and say they want to see it updated to include specific development timelines and five year plans, with minimum levels of investment and expansion that would occur, along with monitoring and enforcement if the resort doesn't meet its obligations.
They note RMR's master plan calls for 20 lifts and 5,000 housing units upon completion, but there is no timetable for that to happen.
They argue that as property owners at the resort, they should be considered stakeholders in the resort and consulted about development decisions and timelines.
"We are not asking for authority over decisions, but we want to be part of the process of planning RMR's future along with the City of Revelstoke, First Nations and Northland Properties, which holds the land tenure. We have valuable insights into what owners and future investors are looking for," stated Brown. "We have invested a similar amount of money, but we have no standing and it is unreasonable to shut us out completely. We simply do not have a voice in the future of this amazing resort."
Revelstoke Mountain Resort just completed its 10th season of operations. Last week, the resort announced it was increasing capacity on the Revelation Gondola and Stoke Chair to help alleviate lift lines.
The RMHOA says the resort should be looking at building new lifts and on-mountain infrastructure.
In an interview, Brown said he moved to Revelstoke from Fernie, and wouldn't have purchased here if he would have known how slow RMR would have been to develop. He purchased two units, one that he and his wife live in, and the other that he rents out. The latter is beginning to see a return on investment, largely thanks to the increase in visitors last summer.
"We made Revelstoke our home based on the plan to make this mountain a world class ski resort, golf course, etcetera." he said. "We put a lot of money into it. We didn't do it to flip it. It was a way of life and that way of life is just not happening."
He said other home owners who bought in as an investment were also disappointed in the lack of development.
Brown criticized the long lift lines, the grooming and the lack of facilities on the mountain. He said he expected a golf course would be built by now and added he would like to see more development in the village.
"It's not a world class resort yet, but we're not taking any steps to get there," he said. "I think if a golf course went in, you would see a lot more people."
Brown said questionnaires were sent to all condo and land owners at the resort and he expects more of them to join the RMHOA.
"The concerns are similar right across the board. Hopefully we can turn this into a very positive situation," he said. "We want to be able to work with the developer, have an advisory committee where can have some input into it."