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Expanded Garibaldi resort proposal includes two golf courses

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Proponents amending draft master plan during ongoing discussions with Lands and Water B.C.

Adding two new golf courses to the proposed ski resort development north of Squamish may be the sticking point between its proponents and the province.

For the past six months Lands and Water B.C. has been reviewing the draft master plan for the Garibaldi at Squamish project proposed by GAS Inc.

The development calls for a four-season resort near Squamish. Along with a ski area and village developed on Brohm Ridge, the plan also includes two 18-hole golf courses, one built along Cat Lake and the other on the west side of Highway 99.

But the golf course on the west side of the highway falls outside the boundaries of the project’s study area.

"The study area that we’ve asked for is outside of those boundaries," said Mike Esler, project manager of GAS Inc.

"That’s where we’re at right now – are they (the province) going to approve in draft form the golf courses and the (expanded) study area?

"We really feel strongly we need to have a four season resort," he added.

"(We’ve) gone on to study the surrounding area and demonstrated to ourselves that there’s room, if you will, and a need for golf courses."

GAS Inc. filed its draft master plan for the development to Lands and Water B.C. at the end of April. The company is currently amending the draft master plan as they continue to have discussions with the provincial government. Esler calls the ongoing talks "positive" and said this is just part of the process when dealing with crown land.

"Any time you’re dealing with the crown it’s a negotiation process," he said."

Though the bulk of the proposed project falls on crown land, part of the project’s area is within the boundaries of the town of Squamish. As such, Squamish Mayor Ian Sutherland said the town is watching very closely how the project develops.

"They have to work through the various issues with the provincial government but as far as having two more golf courses near our town centre, I don’t have any problem with that at all," he said. "It’s another development that will bring more people into the Squamish area.

"Looking at the big picture it’s a great project for Squamish."

The original study area was defined in 1995 around the Brohm Ridge area, north of Squamish. Businessman Wolfgang Richter won the right to explore development opportunities in 1996 in a project known as Garibaldi Alpen Resorts.

His plan at one time included a ski resort with roughly 150 runs and about 1,000 metres of vertical drop. He also envisioned a slopeside village, tucked into the mountains with a mixture of hotels and single family lots. A road winding up Mount Garibaldi would be the access to the resort. Richter’s proposal also included a golf academy with a five- or six-hole course.

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