Almost ten years ago the community of Squamish was all but clamoring to get a simple ski hill. Yet here we are today with a proposed lakeside golf community with ski lifts and a distinct feeling that the vast majority of people in Squamish want nothing to do with it.
Personally I’m torn. On one hand I sure do enjoy playing in the mountains, especially if a nice comfy lift is taking me to the top. On the other hand this project appears more about making out of town developers’ donkey piles of cash then it is catering to the ski/bike bum.
Which is perfectly acceptable in our capitalist society where there have been countless billions of dollars made in spite of public interest or common sense. Heck Whistler is nothing but a real estate land grab as well but I still love it. The unfortunate truth however is that there is no money to be made on the mountain catering to people who love epic fall lines and fresh powder. The only money to be made is on stupid peak to peak gondolas and accommodations.
So you can’t blame Mike Esler and the bottomless money behind him for hoping through the loops to get this project running.
At a glance this project is a tough sell since it will vastly sprawl our boundaries. Plus it’s hard to get past the fact that this resort is a fraction the size of Whistler yet needs 25 tiny lifts (which directly relate to the number of housing units allowed). But most people in Squamish are scared because it involves the best two lakes in town. Not to mention the backcountry and dirt bike enthusiasts who are rightly freaked of loosing their designated playground.
Right now GAS is going through the provinces *cough*bullsh**cough* Environmental Assessment process. A process few consider anything but a corrupt joke and a sham to give the illusion of gathering public input. The worst part? We’re paying for it. I mean, if you’re going to gloss over the lengthy list of environmental concerns then why bother even pretending? Just ram it down our throats like the IPP’s and spend that money elsewhere. But no, we have to spend tax dollars pretending to have input even though something as basic as supplying the site with water hasn’t been figured out.
Realistically the pockets behind this land grab are deep enough to do whatever they want in a Provincial Liberal world. However, it might be that Garibaldi at Squamish has no choice but to come into Squamish’s boundaries. If that happens, the final decision will rest upon our Mayor and Council.
Whatever your view it’s important you research both sides and tell your elected officials since its always scary just hoping they are in tune with the community. It’s even scarier now since we’re in an election year and the current bunch can’t even figure out that our community wants curbside recycling.