By David F. Rooney
The Revelstoke Snowmobile Club is $100,000 closer to its goal of building a new cabin on top of Boulder Mountain with the announcement Friday of a major grant by the Columbia Basin Trust.
“This is a very big deal for us,” the club’s Greg Byman said. “So many people are using the mountains these days that we need larger facilities.”
The two-storey cabin, which he described as an “emergency shelter,” can provide shelter for sledders and others on the mountain as well as a secure location for the storage of stretchers and mountain rescue gear. It will provide users with registration and trail information, avalanche awareness and training and a food preparation area. A restroom is already in place.
The club is contributing $50,000 of its own money, in-kind donations and labour towards the $420,000 project. City Council has recommended that it also be granted $80,000 from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s Equal Opportunities Fund. An additional $100,000 in funding is coming from the City’s Tourism Infrastructure Program, he said.
CBT Community Liaison Lynda Lafleur called this “an exciting project for residents” and said the CBT is “happy to support Revelstoke in continuing to build a strong winter recreation industry.”
The cabin it replaces is 40 years old and was built on a marshy area.
“A 40-year-old cabin at 5,000 feet in the alpine — well, you can imagine,” he said.
The Revelstoke Snowmobile Club has 600 members, making it one of the largest in Canada. The area its members use is rapidly growing crowded. According to a 2004 study cited by the CBT in its announcement of the grant, Revelstoke attracts about 13,000 visitors per year, averaging 86 visitors per day during sledding season Eight per cent of these visitors use local accommodation and services. Byman said they spend $5 million a year making them a major force in the local economy.
“Revelstoke is the number one snowmobiling destination in the world, and to keep attracting visitors we need to have the right infrastructure on our mountains,” Byman said in the CBT statement. “This is such a big job and without the support of CBT, the Regional District, volunteers and others we couldn’t do it.”