Brent Harley and Associates in collaboration with CMR and CMCA have now delivered the Master Development Plan to the Provincial Governments departments of Parks, Environment, Tourism and to the MD of Pincher Creek. All GOA groups including CMR and CMCA are considering all aspects of the MDP and how it will impact future development at Castle.
To date information sharing meetings with the Assistant Deputy Ministers of Culture, & Tourism, Environment & Parks, Transportation and Economic Development & Trade and their staff to present our Master Development Plan (MDP), review the regulatory approval process’, which may include Environmental and Financial Impact Assessments. Paving of the road is now complete and bringing potable water to the Park and CMR/CMCA via pipeline to Beaver Mines is complete. The water pipeline is scheduled to be expanded into the Castle Park and Castle Mountain Resort summer 2020.
In June, the CMR MDP was presented to Andre Corbould, Deputy Minister, Environment & Parks and Meryl Whittaker, Deputy Minister, Culture & Tourism as well as 6 Assistant Deputy Ministers (ADM’s) from Tourism, Environmental Monitoring, Operations, Strategy, Policy & Planning, Parks and Corporate Services. The Government departments that have a vested interested in seeing the Castle Parks staging areas and commercial nodes supporting the park succeed. It is clear in communications with the various levels of government that CMR is a key staging area and commercial node for Castle Parks. All of the above contacts have now changed with the current UPC government.
The Government of Alberta (GOA) clearly indicated there is a lot of work to do before the MDP can gain approval. The presentation materials need to show the size and scale of the development when compared to other well-known developments. A clear picture of the expected impact of the development on the local economies and when some of those economic benefits will be realized. Relationships with the MD, Beaver Mines, local Indigenous People and those protecting the environment on the Eastern Slopes of the Rocky Mountains need to be fostered and improved. The Environmental and Regulatory challenges faced in getting the full Master Development Plan approved will be significant however with guidance and support it will be successful. The government is currently working on a survey at the resort to help in the determination of any requirements that may need to be addressed. More will be known when the survey is complete later this fall.
Foundational challenges must be overcome to lay the ground work for a sustainable development. The foundational issues that the Government/MD can assist with include access to water (snow making now complete), paving Highway 774 (safe access) now complete, amending our License of Occupancy (giving us 4 season access to our hill for commercial purposes) as well as approval of the MDP. There are positive indications of progress towards resolving these issues.
A great working relationship with the Castle Mountain Community Association (CMCA) has been fostered through the Community Relations Committee, (CRC). Signage, mapping and brochures of winter multi-use and summer hiking trails and the organization of a first annual Summer Solstice Weekend was paid for and organized cooperatively.
CMCA will continue applying for grants and managing grant money for improving the community spaces and facilities as part of the MDP.
Currently in the fall of 2019 the snowmaking system is complete as is the natural gas conversion. The new water pipeline to the resort is also underway however not complete.