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Zincton submits formal proposal for Kootenay ski resort

Backcountry-oriented resort would be located between Kaslo and New Denver in what was once a famous B.C. mining zone
zincton Screen Shot 2021-10-28 at 11.36.44 AM
Video screen shot shows potential lift and backcountry ski slopes. | Zincton Farms.

New Denver, B.C. businessman David Harley, who owns Zincton Farms Ltd., has submitted a formal proposal for an all-seasons ski resort in the Kootenays. The Zincton site is located between Kaslo and New Denver, B.C. along Highway 31A. A century ago, the same area was part of the most productive gold mining in Canada.

“If realized, Zincton will establish all-season, backcountry-oriented mountain recreation opportunities catering to dedicated local, regional, and international visitors seeking an immersive, authentic mountain experience,” says the proponent’s report, released by the Province’s Mountain Resorts Branch on October 7. The resort would encompass 5,500 acres (2,225 hectares) of tenured land, with the 30-hectare resort village being built exclusively on private property at the base of the range.

This spring the developer received a nod from B.C.’s Mountain Resort Branch to complete a formal proposal document and environmental plan.

Harley, who founded Valhalla Pure Outfitters, has plans to build a multi-million dollar resort near New Denver to attract skiers, mountain bikers, and hikers to the area. He had earlier posted a request for public comments on the project’s Expression of Interest (EOI) document. An EOI is the first step in the long approval process for all-season resort proposals. 

“Based on the feedback received from the agencies, First Nations, stakeholders and public during the referral and comment period, the province considers the Zincton proposal to be a feasible concept and has invited the proponent to advance to the next stage of the process and submit a formal proposal,” according to a statement from the Mountain Resorts Branch.

The development is designed to be “near carbon-zero” says the EOI report, using run-of-river electric power, solar panels and battery reserves. The layout of the 30-hectare village and trails for skiing and biking encourage human-powered movement throughout the facility. A long-range master bike trail plan would see those trails connecting to other regional routes.

The 100,000 annual skier days the Zincton resort supports would create up to 127 direct jobs and about 48 indirect jobs in the region, the report says. That would pump just under $5 million into the local economy through wages.

If the formal proposal is approved, the Zincton review process would culminate in a Master Plan and an Operating Agreement with the Province of British Columbia. They should hear the Province’s decision on the formal proposal sometime in 2022.

One can see the formal proposal, which includes a video, on the government website.