B.C. has a new resort municipality following the announcement by the province that the town of Jumbo has been incorporated.
"We commend the province and Minister Bill Bennett for acting on the request of the local government," said Grant Costello, senior vice-president of Glacier Resorts Ltd. "This will allow the project to proceed to permitting and construction and we expect to work together with local contractors and First Nations to create the most unique ski and mountain sightseeing destination in North America."
Jumbo Glacier Resort is the first entirely new ski resort project in British Columbia since Blackcomb opened in 1980 and is the first and only ski resort project to have received approval following a review under British Columbia's Environmental Assessment Act review process.
A municipal council has been appointed for a term ending Nov. 30, 2014, and an interim corporate officer has also been named and will serve until the first council meeting of the new municipality.
Appointed as Jumbo's first mayor and councillors are Greg Deck, Nancy Hugunin and Steve Ostrander. Phil Taylor will be the interim corporate officer, ensuring that the municipality is operational by its incorporation date of Feb. 19, 2013.
The resort's Master Development Agreement was approved in March 2012, following a 20-year review process.
The year-round ski resort will be located at the foot of Jumbo Mountain and Jumbo Glacier, 55 km west of Invermere, which opposes the new designation — as do local First Nation groups. According to a government press release, the $450-million resort is planned in three phases and will ultimately include 5,500 bed-units in a 104-hectare resort base area. It is projected to provide approximately 3,750 person years of construction employment and create 750 to 800 permanent full-time jobs.
"This resort will be a game changer for B.C. tourism," said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce.