An ambitious plan to significantly expand a Fraser Valley ski area has been approved, and the owner of the resort is saying the plan will take half a century to complete.
The Hemlock Valley ski resort near Agassiz will get a total face-lift, complete with 20,000 new hotel spaces for accommodation, 23 new ski lifts and even a new waterfront development along a five kilometre stretch along Harrison Lake.
Owner Ralph Berezan couldn’t even open the resort last winter due to poor snow conditions, and this new four-season resort will mitigate the loss of income for many staff.
“One out of nine years we didn’t open, and of course that’s very expensive when you do that, because you keep staff around, all year you have the staff, so it’s a pretty expensive little venture.”
Berezan adds he’d like to see some of the changes early on.
“Hopefully I’m around for the first 5-10 years of it, so my family will have to do most of the work. Ambitious, well it seems ambitious, but if you take it over 50 years, it’s not that ambitious.”
Berezan’s plan is a $1.5-billion investment and includes a joint venture with a local first nation.
It’s expected to be completed over five phases with the first phase expected to employ more than 1,100 people.