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Garibaldi Alpen chair Wolfgang Richter said he is confident his company’s proposal to develop Brohm Ridge as a ski area will pass to the master planning stage. A proposal from Grand Adex Developments was rejected last week by the Brohm Ridge steering committee. Garibaldi Alpen’s proposal is still being reviewed. "The steering committee is still deliberating, they're focusing on mountain capacity," said Richter. He said he expects a meeting between his technical committee and the government’s technical committee by the end of the month. "We're pleased at the fact that the issues seem to be technical," said Richter. Grand Apex’s proposal was rejected because it would have required government funding. The master planning stage includes a public approval process and extensive technical and environmental impact tests. If the steering committee recommends that Garibaldi Alpen proceed to the next stage, the company will have to negotiate an interim agreement with the province, apply to the Environmental Assessment office and do more tests to fulfil the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act. The next stage is at least a two-year process, said Richter, who has budgeted up to $9 million to pay for tests and technical experts. Richter has been trying to build a ski hill at Brohm Ridge for 18 years in total, nine years "going full tilt with a full team," he said. " I know more about that mountain than anyone else. We've had a good chance to study it." Richter also said that if not for the support and interest on the part of Squamish residents, he would not have pursued the project this far. "If we add a winter dimension to Squamish, there'll be four cylinders pumping all year. It adds something beyond eagle watching." A decision on which developer, if any, would be permitted to proceed to the next stage of planning had been postponed several times from the original estimated May date. "We're getting a little antsy," said Richter, "but the government is under pressure too." Richter said he would like to be able to start more studies before Oct. 15, but first needs the okay of the steering committee. Richter suggested that a new resort in the area could draw more business. "It's time to diversify the product available, we want to add to the corridor. The more product and variety, the more customers," he said. No new ski areas have been opened in B.C. since Blackcomb, in 1980.

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