Parks Canada to put parking ban in place for ski resort
Published Friday, April 21, 2017 6:41AM MDT
If you use Sunshine Village as your go-to skiing and snowboarding location, be warned that parking at the resort may be a lot more difficult next year.
Parks Canada officials are planning to put a parking ban in place on the access road leading to the ski hill in November.
The move will eliminate a large area that hundreds of skiers and snowboarders use when the main lot is full.
Officials at Sunshine Village say the plan will have consequences.
“I think it is going to create chaos,” said Dave Riley, Sunshine Village’s chief operating officer. “I don’t think that Parks Canada has really thought through how this is going to work. We won’t be on the road with our 30 employees operating like we normally do. So are they going to park a car or truck in the middle of the access road and turn people away and, if so, where are they going to go?”
The resort received notice of the plan last November and has since filed a judicial review of the decision.
Sunshine Village now wants members of the public to sign a petition and write to their MPs to voice their displeasure with the plan.
Those who use the resort are concerned about the change, but understand that something needs to be done about the parking shortage at the resort.
“Not a fan of the parking ban, no, but somebody needs to come up with a good idea for parking because it’s absolutely crazy on the weekends,” said skier Michael Hehrn. “Quite often during the week there is no place to park. Quite often I come in the afternoons and there are cars clear down to the access road.”
“There is no parking in here on a busy weekend or any long weekends; it’s pretty crazy,” said snowboarder Nathan Stregger. “I’ve parked a good three or four km back. It sucks but, has to be done I guess.”
Officials say the decision was made because of concerns over avalanche and pedestrian safety but declined to make any further comments because the issue was before the courts.
The resort’s main lot has room for 1,600 vehicles and up to 500 cars end up using the access road to park.
Sunshine Village says it may need to increase costs because of the parking crunch.
“The consequences are really amazing,” Hehrn said. “For us as a company, it’s tens of thousands of people who will be turned away so you can do the math on that; it’s going to really impact us.”
The resort says it has received about a thousand emails since they launched a support website a week ago.
Sunshine Village hopes that it will drum up enough support so that the federal government takes notice and steps in to reverse the ban before it is officially put in place.
You can visit the website by going to sunshineparkingsolution.com.
(With files from Jordan Kanygin)