Plans for $75-Million Mountain Resort Development Unveiled for Hudson Bay Mountain

SMITHERS – October 2008 — An aggressive plan to transform what has been generally regarded as a ‘community’ ski hill in Smithers into one of B.C.’s most unique mountain resorts has been unveiled by 20|20 Group. A ceremony to announce the plan took place at the base of the mountain’s Skyline Chairlift, attended by representatives from the Province of British Columbia, approximately 60 Bulkley Valley VIPs and members of the Wet’suwet’en First Nations community.

The three year plan will see adding another chair lift to Hudson Bay Mountain, the addition of 10 runs including the completion of the eight-kilometre-long “Trail to Town.”  It is one of the few opportunities in North America where  a skier or boarder of any age and ability to ski from a mountain top down one continuous run, to the town at the base of the mountain. This gives Hudson Bay Mountain more than a 3,700 foot vertical drop, elevating it’s stature as one of the top five ‘longest run’ mountains in British Columbia.  It is the perfect “ski out” experience.

“Hudson Bay Mountain is the exact opposite experience to what Whistler is. It provides a rare opportunity to build a safe, secure cabin surrounded by nature in a four-season mountain resort,” says Lorne Borgal, president of 20/20 Developments.  “With world-class fishing and hunting along with an uncrowded and expanding ski operation, this is an amazing and unique opportunity.”

With Borgal, B.C.’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts, Bill Bennett cut a ribbon to officially open the eight-kilometre-long “Trail to Town.” “Smithers is one of British Columbia’s best kept secrets in tourism,” says Bennett. “The local economy can only benefit from development of the mountain ski area right in town. Together with the planned expanded tarmac at the Smithers airport, and the natural beauty and recreation opportunities, the future of the Bulkley Valley is bright.” “This expansion will attract serious skiers and snowboarders from around the province, country and world to experience all of the magnificent opportunities this region has to offer for sport and recreation,” says Bulkley Valley-Stikine MLA Dennis MacKay.

The first phase of mountain development includes 148 building lots with the first release available for sale in November 2008. This is the beginning of a master-planned ‘ski-in/ski-out’ community on the mountain. Fully serviced home sites will range in size from 8,500 to 20,000-plus square feet with prices starting at $137,900. Registered Design Guidelines will direct the architectural style and theme of residential development on the mountain.

Smithers’ two Rotary Clubs were represented by Jos Konst, who spoke at the lunchtime event. Konst indicated that he and many of his fellow Rotarians dreamed of one long run that would connect the mountain to town. The Rotary Clubs raised the money and cleared the bottom 2.9 kilometres of the mountain road which is now called the Rotary Community Trail. They also cut in a parking area for 25 or 30 vehicles at the bottom of the trail. This work has made the eight-kilometre-long “Trail to Town” a reality.

Quick Facts:

•    Located in B.C.’s northwest region, adjacent to the Town of Smithers (population 5,700)
•    Mountain rises to 2,589 metres (8,494 ft)
•    Average snowfall of 500 to 600 cm; average annual snowpack of 250 to 300 cm
•    Skiing was first introduced to this area in the early 1960s
•    In 1997, Hudson Bay Mountain Adventures (HBMA) purchased the ski hill operation on Hudson Bay Mountain
•    In late 2005, Hudson Bay Mountain Adventures was acquired by 20|20 Resorts from the previous owners Wayne Huxtable, Lloyd Webber and Bob Gemmell
•    Past names of the ski resort include Hudson Bay Mountain, Ski Smithers and Ski & Ride Smithers
•    In 2008, 20|20 announced that the name of the ski resort will once again be Hudson Bay Mountain
•    Open an average of 150 days/year, the ski resort attracts 41,000 visitors annually
•    Resort includes four chairlifts on its south and east sides, with approximately 117 hectares of skiable terrain, including 30 ski trails
•    Area has the potential to develop over 3,700 square feet of snow covered trails, which would be among the largest in North America
•    Existing operation to be transformed into an all-season regional resort to complement the surrounding world class outdoor recreation
•    Other nearby activities include golf, world class fly fishing, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing,          whitewater rafting, boating and heli-skiiing

For more information contact:
Ross Sullivan, PR for 20|20 Group
Peak Communicators Ltd.
Office: (604) 689-5559
Cell: (604) 802-7139

David Greer, Communications Manager
Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts
Office: 250-387-2799