Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for January 23, 2014

Base rate for posh resort would be $1,600 daily

A proposed $44.7-million resort near Carcross is not a new concept

By Stephanie Waddell on January 23, 2014 at 3:18 pm

photo

Photo by Whitehorse Star

CONSULTATIONS PLANNED – Meetings will be held in Carcross and Whitehorse to gauge public reaction to the proposed Lodge At Stoney Mountain (above) near Carcross. Inset: JUSTIN FERBEY and SCOTT KENT

A proposed $44.7-million resort near Carcross is not a new concept, but plans are in a new phase with an expression of interest submitted to the Yukon government and a public engagement process set to happen over the next month.

That’s the word from Justin Ferbey, the managing director of the Carcross/Tagish Development Corp.

“We’ve been working on this for four or five years,” Ferbey said in an interview Wednesday afternoon.

He spoke following the Yukon government’s announcement of the Lodge At Stoney Mountain expression of interest submitted to the government and the public process.

Project proponents are also now incorporated as the B.C.-based developer International Ecotourism Development Corp. (IDEC), Ferbey said.

Since a world-class resort is envisioned, a proposed opening rate of $1,600 per day per person is set out in the expression of interest.

Long-time local tourism operator Rod Taylor serves as IDEC’s chief executive officer.

John Caton, who is named as a founder of the organization as well as a founder and managing director of the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort on Vancouver Island, chairs the group.

Jim DeHart, president of Upstream Recreation Corp. (a consulting firm based in Campbell River, B.C.), serves as chief operating officer.

There are also a number of directors with a variety of backgrounds in tourism.

The 42-page expression of interest submitted to the government details the plans for the area, which “includes the head and upper half of Millhaven Bay, surrounded by Carcross/Tagish First Nation (C/TFN) lands.

The land boundary can be generally described as the boundary of C/TFN R-8A to the west and south, C/TFN R-29B to the north, C/TFN R-31B to the south, and an eastern boundary that follows the public reserve boundary between Millhaven Bay and the Wheaton River, as it’s described in the proposal.

It would include a spa, fine dining, 20 cabins and 10 tents among its facilities.

As the proposal states: “The lodge will include a cluster of common area buildings and the main lodge. These will include a reception area, guest communications and business centre, media and theatre, library, meeting rooms, and lodge business offices.

“A separate kitchen and dining area, games room/lounge, spa and specialized services will be located in the building cluster area. A main dock will support the boat and floatplane access to the lodge.

“A series of one- and two-bedroom cabins and fully furnished wall tents will serve guests in both summer and winter seasons. Guests will access cabins and activities on boardwalks or hardened surface to protect the fragile ecosystem areas while servicing of facilities will use a secondary hardened and/or elevated access corridor.

“Staff accommodations, service and maintenance buildings will be located on the upper west beach away from the guest portion of the lodge. This area includes pasture, corrals, staff quarters, barn/vet clinic, fuel storage/ containment, power, greenhouse, maintenance shop and other support buildings.”

The resort could accommodate up to 60 adults or 30 family groups (to a maximum of 120 people at any one time) with a guest to staff ratio of about 2:1.

The $1,600 per day per person rate is equivalent or slightly lower than comparable facilities, the document notes.

It is, for example, 12 per cent lower than the current seven-day rate at the Clayoquot Wilderness resort.

Occupancy projections have been set at 20 per cent in the first year, with an expected growth to 35 per cent in the shoulder season of year five and 50 per cent during the prime season of year five.

As Ferbey reiterated, the project is no surprise to the people of Carcross, who have been hearing about it for years.

“People are waiting to see that it’s real,” Ferbey said, noting it was two years ago that residents first saw the preliminary plans.

The public engagement process that is underway will include public meetings in Carcross and Whitehorse likely in the first week or two of February, Ferbey said.

The proposal is also available online at http://inecdevcorp.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/iedc_stoney_mountain_yukon_final_revised_email_20140121.pdf

The public engagement process will be a more formal endeavour to get a sense of what level of public support there may, or may not, be for the project.

Should the project move beyond the public engagement phase, a more formal proposal could be submitted to the government.

Both Ferbey and, in a separate interview, Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Scott Kent pointed out that if it does get to that point, the proposal would also have to go through the Yukon Environmental Socio-economic Assessment Board.

That review would include an input phase as well, ensuring there is ample opportunity for the public to make their views on the project known.

Provided it moves forward as planned, Ferbey said an opening date in 2017 is envisioned for the resort.

Both Kent and Tourism and Culture Minister Mike Nixon were quick to praise the efforts for the resort Wednesday.

“We’re awfully excited the proponent has come forward,” Kent said.

The site was identified as a “potential project of interest” in a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed last year between the Yukon government and C/TFN.

The MOU also identifies the possible development of cottage lots, residential development on Bennett Beach and a new campground as other possible projects for the area.

Nixon pointed to the experience IDEC brings to the table in developing major tourism sites.

“This isn’t a fly-by-night operation that’s approaching us,” Nixon said. “They know what they’re doing.”

A high-end resort could broaden the territory’s “appeal as a world-class tourism destination and provide Yukon with another iconic tourism product,” he said.

Potential investors with the project are slated to do a site visit in the spring, Ferbey said.

By STEPHANIE WADDELL
Star Reporter

CommentsAdd a comment

June Jackson

Jan 23, 2014 at 7:45 pm

YTG is going to take a big big ride on this…because its going to be the government that pays for this white elephant.  So many bad decisions, and here comes another one.

Our taxes are sky high..maybe higher, yet, YTG can find the money for ski hills, for a “world class resort”.. (No..not down the Tatachini, where people could hike, go white water rafting, etc.. but..Carcross)

Ohhhhhh, I bet YTG is going to come up with that money by selling off more of the Peel.  I’d say, these folks are not going to get elected again, but they already know that.. and they’re going after the buck now..

bobby bitman

Jan 23, 2014 at 8:34 pm

Just do NOT ask for tax payer money to fund your business, m’kay?  Why do I suspect that is in the offing?  That said, best of luck to you.

concerned citizen

Jan 24, 2014 at 2:59 pm

Sure build a facility that nobody but the rich and shameless can afford that’s real good for the economy…way to go bird brains

Bennett Lake

Jan 24, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Too bad one of the most beautiful spots on Bennett Lake, with its protected bay and sandy beaches - a spot currently protected as a recreational reserve - will be turned over to the exclusive use of millionaires.

Eric the red

Jan 24, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Just 3 words.  “Great River Journeys”

Simple, man...

Jan 24, 2014 at 5:09 pm

If we have to prostitute our territory in the name of jobs and lowering transfer payments I would prefer the johns be of the variety that more or less harmlessly come here get their fix and move on as opposed to the ones that have more violent tastes like tearing up the land looking for shiny stuff.

Tourism over mining equates similarly to voyeurs over rapists. One just wants to come and look, the other wants to make it a little more personal in satisfying a need.

I have to say though that considering FN history in dealing with big money and governments, I’m surprised the door is so readily open.

Short memories?

Earl C.

Jan 24, 2014 at 7:03 pm

Eric the red- Those were the first words to jump into my head.
Historic fact-Rod Taylor ran against Daryl Paslowski for YP leadership.

You have to be kidding

Jan 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm

... this is a perfectly brilliant idea. I can see someone making a lot of money during the development phase and then the project folding. Follow the money and see who really stands to gain from this.

The reference to Great River Journey’s is an excellent example ... a certain specially built riverboat also comes to mind.

Yukonpete

Jan 24, 2014 at 7:50 pm

Here is an idea! STOP WASTING OUR TAX DOLLARS!

CJ

Jan 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Doesn’t anyone have any small dreams up here anymore? A little hardware store, maybe?

Frank

Jan 26, 2014 at 7:04 pm

If I save for a few months I may be able to stay there 1 night.

I hope this is not attempt to have taxpayers support this venture when tapayers could be supporting social housing and the working poor.

Charles

Jan 26, 2014 at 11:27 pm

$1,600 per day? I just can’t wait to spend my pension $ on a local vacation. I thought I lived in YT, but maybe I was confused and really live in Banff! Is everyone nuts or what? What happened to the thought that YT scenic, leisure spots could be enjoyed by the Everyman. No sweat. We can all hop on return flights and enjoy scenery in Europe; probably cheaper.

Faroite

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:12 pm

We are so used to be here and deal with the Yukon’s service industry’s short comings, that we think we can measure up to a first class destination. Get real! Are they gonna build a paved runway for the personal jets to land close by? About we pay up for those hospitals first?

Just Say'in

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Are these guys totally out of their collective minds or what. No idea of what kind of destination we are, and what kind of experience we can support. This is soooo crazy I don’t even know what the government is doing talking about it???? If you know a politician call him, and tell him or her what you think. This is CRAZY.

Just Say'in

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:24 pm

20 cabins and ten “furnished tents” are you kidding me? $1600 per person per day for a furnished tent? You can go to Monaco or Rio or stay in a Swiss Chateau for that kind of money. Government of the Yukon please run, “Run Fast” .

OMG

Jan 28, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Won’t cost my family much, to pitch a tent and have campfire..Kidding me $1600.00 hahahahahaha.

BnR

Jan 28, 2014 at 6:13 pm

I’ve spent many wonderful weekends down the West arm of Bennett and in Milhaven bay.  So will Milhaven bay be off limits to me now?  Will they be keeping the “riff-raff” out?
CTFN, be wary of businessmen making big promises.

Faroite

Jan 29, 2014 at 12:00 pm

This is, to a larger scale, similar to the First Nation buying some hotels in Watson Lake from… “A Politician” that had smelled the incoming fundings and played his cards.

nope!

Jan 29, 2014 at 1:28 pm

If I was going to spend that much, I would rather spend it on a weeks vacation, all-inclusive, to somewhere warm where there are no “tents” to stay in.  But maybe it’s appealing to some people that obviously have way too much money.

I sense a Sima version 2 here…

Max Mack

Jan 30, 2014 at 3:07 am

Read their proposal. They are looking for fee simple title or long-term lease arrangements to a huge chunk of property. (Undoubtedly, they want the land essentially gifted to them.)

As this will be a resort for the rich, you can be sure that locals will no longer be welcome at Millhaven Bay.

Groucho d'North

Jan 31, 2014 at 10:08 am

With all this chatter about new developments for the affluent tourist market, does anybody know what it would cost for a 7 day trip into the Peel region?

SoapToOil

Jan 31, 2014 at 11:16 am

CTFN will probably be on the side of money. After visiting their office this past summer, I saw several “outside” people with substantial sway in economics and business mentality - people who are CTFN members, but had never spent a year of their 30+ years in the territory until very recently. Sleeper cells for capitalist ideals is what those folks are.

The Yukon has always been a place for the average person with a big and curious heart. The day the average Yukoner can’t afford to spend a night at a hotel or resort is the day the Yukon has truly gone to the wolves. Our population is already nearing 40,000… that scares the hell outta me. Remember when it was 27,000 and people were worried everyone was leaving? The good old days.

Concerned

Jan 31, 2014 at 11:44 am

CTFN fought for how many years for land claims to preserve their traditional hunting, trapping and fishing lands. Milhaven is prime for all the above and they want to destroy it for profit?? And profit for who? The only ones making any money are the ones doing the plans because we all really thinking people know it won’t work.
Take a look at what the CTFN owns now and can’t make a profit. A first class restaurant???? How about the tiny restaurant in their store they had to close. Their store is a perfect setup that they still can make run efficiently. How many people have ever made a plan to go for a boat ride and been able to go on the day they planned? Not very many. That lake has its own mind and will not give way to anybody’s plans, no matter how much money they have.

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