$3.5-Billion Squamish All-Season Resort Projected to Open in 2025

Adrian Dolatschko | | Industry NewsIndustry News
A Conceptual Rendering of Garibaldi at Squamish Image: Aquilini Investments

Just 5 miles North of Squamish, east of the famous Sea to Sky Highway, on Brohm Ridge, lies the groundwork for a new all-season resort. The project labeled Garibaldi at Squamish aims to be a mid-size ski resort. The area seeks to strike the balance between the terrain and culture of Whistler and the North Shore.

The View From the Planed Base of Garibaldi at Squamish Image: Aquilini Investments

Since the project gained preliminary environmental approval in 2016, the planning process has intensified. Through a 4-step process, the project led by Aquilini Development seeks to first add 8 lifts and construct a base area by 2025. The Base area will be located at an elevation of 1100metres so that there is sufficient snow for the ski area. Aquilini Investments also owns the Vancouver Canucks and Sutton Place Hotels, so there should be sufficient funds for the project

A Rendering of the Garibaldi at Squamish Base Area Image: Aquilini Investments

Pending further environmental and provincial approvals, Aquilini plans to construct 247 Ha of Hiking, Biking, and Ski trails for a capacity of 4370 people in Phase 1. In addition, the base area will have significant retail/lodging space. Similarly, real estate opportunities will also be incorporated.

The overall goal of the project as stated by Aquilini Investments is,

“To build a compact yet complete resort in Phase 1, and to develop incrementally into an international destination to meet the market demand while keeping the resort amenities, tourist lodging, housing and services always in balance.”

A Rendering of Garibaldi at Squamish From the Northwest Image: Aquilini Investments

Due to the high number of intermediate skiers all over the world, Aquilini wants to highlight such skiers in the ski area. This market segmentation estimate is similar to what was found by Atomic (savor-the-simplicity). As a result,

“The slope gradient analysis indicates that the study area is dominated by moderate terrain, suitable for intermediate-level skiers (i.e., gradients of 25 to 45%)”

Planned High Alpine Terrain of Garibaldi at Squamish Image: Aquilini Investments

However, due to the sheer size of the ski area, expert skiers will also have sufficient terrain to explore, especially off-piste. For backcountry enthusiasts, the projected ski area could serve as an access point to the serious high alpine terrain around the Garibaldi Massiv.

Depending on further local and provincial approval the Project will move forward. For more information take a look at https://www.garibaldiatsquamish.ca

Further information and the current plan are available at Garibaldi-Concept-MP-170623-Final.pdf

 


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8 thoughts on “$3.5-Billion Squamish All-Season Resort Projected to Open in 2025

  1. As a skier, but also as someone that advocates for wilderness, and sees wilderness areas dwindling, I think this is a TERRIBLE idea. We have plenty of places to ski.

    1. Hard-line stances like that rarely stand up to reality.

      Yes, this project will absolutely disrupt a moderate size wilderness area, but it will also create a space where people, perhaps even unwittingly, will have the opportunity to engage with and enjoy the wilderness areas that will continue to surround this ski area for years to come. In the grand scheme of things, I’m not sure that’s such a bad use of 247 Ha of former wilderness bordering an area that’s already lightly developed.

      Also, anyone who’s dealt with traffic and crowds at ski areas near urban centers knows there are demonstrably not enough (lift served) places to ski. (Not that this is likely to help with the traffic bit; I can’t imagine 99 out of Vancouver is much fun on a weekend morning.)

          1. The justification for destroying a wild place is that it will bring people “closer to nature?” Skiing at a resort is as wild as walking through central park. Wilderness is intrinsically valuable and doesnt need to be justified to people who wont take the time to go to its fringes unless there are condos and shopping. Hard line stances against development can work, but they are only temporary victories while defeats are permanent. The only goal of a place like this is to line the pockets of real estate developers and that’s it. To say the whole region is a wash because it’s “lightly developed” is classic salami tactic for full on development. This will absolutely negatively effect every single animal and plant in the area that are already getting stressed further and further by this death by a thousand cuts approach. Plus, this mountain looks flat and boring. Flat!

          2. You’re not entirely wrong, but you’re totally misrepresenting my comment. Protecting wilderness areas is not something you can do on your own or in a vacuum, and you can’t reasonably expect people who wouldn’t otherwise care about natural spaces to change their position by simply saying, “You’re wrong. All development is bad. Go away.” That doesn’t work.

            Look at it this way. If you had taken the time to consider what I said in the most positive light and argued from there why, perhaps, there’s a better way to get people to appreciate nature, I’d have likely agreed with you. All else being equal, this area is almost certainly better off not being a ski area. Instead, you chose to argue a straw man and taken this comment thread effectively nowhere.

            As I said, hard line stances rarely hold up to reality. Occasionally you get lucky, but more often than not, all you end up doing is alienating those who didn’t already agree with your position.

      1. People aren’t going to “engage with and enjoy” (more importantly appreciate) “the wilderness” by sitting on a chair lift, skiing down a groomed mountain, and sipping latte on a deck while munching on processed food. There’s little “wilderness” left when a resort is built.

        1. So, all resort skiers are entitled snobs who couldn’t possibly care about wilderness? That’s a productive approach to the problem.

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