The vice president of the company behind the Jumbo Glacier Resort says he’s relieved to see the development get approval to move forward, but doesn’t yet know how they will be meeting some of the government’s commitments for the site.
“Waiting is the killer,” said Grant Costello, vice president of Glacier Resorts Ltd. “We’ve been so close so often, and in the last four or five months it’s seemed like everybody’s saying ‘it’s imminent, it’s imminent.’ It’s a relief. I’ve had some sleepless nights.”
Though rumours the provincial government would approve a master development agreement for Jumbo have been gaining steam in Invermere for months, Costello says the announcement was a surprise for the company.
He also said Glacier Resorts Ltd. has yet to receive detailed information from the province about its plans to create a large wildlife management area and establish a grizzly bear management plan for the resort site, and at the moment knows little more than what was released to the public at a news conference in Victoria today.
“We have to sit down and talk to some government staff to find out exactly what it is we have, look at the master development agreement,” he said.
“We have some commitments in terms of studies. We have probably a season of studied to do on site that have to do with grizzlies, archeology and things like that. We have to put a plan together.”
The project’s environmental certificate expires in October 2014, and Costello says the goal will be to have the project moving forward before them.
“We’ll be making announcements on our progress along the way. We want to keep the public informed,” he adds. “But right now I can’t say specifically where we go from here.”
While opponents of the project have been quick to share their disapproval, Costello says Glacier Resorts Ltd. remains undaunted and committed to the development.
“Groups have sprung up that think environment is more important than people. So we just think the human environment is the most important, and we think that working within that, that this is a good project to provide jobs and support families — things that are badly needed here,” he says. “I don’t have any qualms about my role in this.”