An Open Letter to Mr. Tom Gaglardi

Dear Mr. Gaglardi,

We would like to start by thanking you for taking the time to read this letter.  We know that you are a busy man, what with your many business interests, including the recent acquisition of the Dallas Stars.  With all these irons in the fire, perhaps our little ski resort way out in Revelstoke is not always at the top of your mind.  So we’re writing today to remind you why it should be.

We all remember how you and your company stepped forward in 2008 to save our new ski resort from impending bankruptcy.  It’s no secret that while helpful; this move created bitterness in Revelstoke.  Almost four years later the infamous “60 cents on the dollar” is still whispered about in bars and coffee shops.   It could be argued that this animosity always lay just under the surface of the town in those who never wanted a ski resort here.  However, whichever way you look at it, these wounds have slowly started to heal and with time they will only be small scars on the face of the development.  Many will agree, while painful, this was the lesser of two evils, as shuttering the resort would have been much, much worse.

Revelstoke business leaders were grateful for your visit in the fall of 2008 upon the invitation from the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce.  It was confidence boosting to see and hear from the new owner of our ski resort.  We felt assured you would look out for the best interests of Revelstoke Mountain Resort, on which hinges the growth and success of our community.  Your commitment to on mountain real estate and village development has been noteworthy.  This expansion has provided more on mountain activities and options for guests of the Nelson Lodge Sutton Place Hotel.  However, we think it’s time to invest back into the mountain, and less the village.  You know that famous saying, “If you build it, they will come.”  Well after a few years of rest, it’s time to start building that mountain again.

Due to some big snow years and plenty of word of mouth marketing, not to mention feature segments in significant winter films and efforts of the RMR marketing team, Revelstoke is seeing bigger and bigger crowds each season.  Lineups out the parking lot used to be reserved for opening day and the odd powder dump.  Now those lineups are more frequent, longer and have lengthier wait times.   More and more people are coming to ski Revelstoke Mountain Resort, and while there is tons of easily accessible terrain, we need more!

Some of us still have copies of the mountain master plan pinned to our walls.  During dinner parties we stand with wine in hand, poring over this small piece of paper and imagining a resort that will one day have lifts accessing Kokanee and Montana bowls.  Understanding those lifts are still a pipe dream, some of us believe that at least lifts 6 and 15 could develop an entirely new riding experience, diffusing crowds and preserving snow conditions.

Lift 6 can get more people moving up mountain from the mid-station without clogging the gondola.  This lift could shift a great deal of traffic back on to the original Mount Mackenzie ski runs.  These runs often appear underutilized.  Adding lift 15 keeps traffic moving vertical, while providing new combinations of lines to run.  The best part about lift 15 is providing another option to return to the Stoke chair without going all the way down and coming back up on the gondola.  Instead of subjecting those coming from Jalapeno, Hot Sauce, Roller Coaster and the South Bowl to a long descent back to the gondola, or a bumpy ride across the Ninja Traverse, lift 15 can zip everyone back up without trouble.

These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg.  Revelstoke has some great tree runs, but needs additional glading to compete with Red Mountain and Whitewater.  Revelstoke’s taxi service is abysmal and visitors commiserate about a lack of evening shuttle service, bringing them into town for nightlife.  Conversely, locals cannot easily experience nightlife at the Rockford or Wino’s without evening shuttles.  This is just winter chatter.  We won’t get started about summer mountain biking or golfing ideas.  Speak with anyone in town and you will certainly receive a million more suggestions of how to improve the mountain.

An easy one to implement would be to come visit us in Revelstoke at an open forum with the community.  As another season winds down, this would provide a fresh opportunity to connect with us and share your development plans.  Perhaps you could offer a few specifics and have residents vote on where we would like to see enhancements made.  The public relations and marketing benefits of allowing the Revelstoke community to determine the development of its ski resort would be tremendous and likely heal those early wounds even quicker.

We hope you will consider some of these suggestions and look forward to the opportunity of hosting you at an open forum.

Some people who live in Revelstoke.