Jumbo delegation critic missing the point

The Jumbo Glacier Resort will bring many recreational visitors, which in turn will bring much needed economic stimulus to our region.

I am writing in response to Aaron Hamstead’s letter that appeared in the February 28 Valley Echo (“Jumbo journey fails to impress”).

Did you really think Doug Clovechok was suggesting that Glacier Resorts Ltd. lease farm space in the Jumbo Valley?

Doug’s statements are completely relevant to the Jumbo discussion not as they relate directly to agriculture but as they pertain to the value that tourism and resort development provide to the well being of an entire region’s population — not just those in the business of resort development and its operators.

Recreational visitors fuel our economic driver — the Jumbo Glacier Resort will bring many recreational visitors, which in turn will bring much needed economic stimulus to our region.

I agree with you that our region will not duplicate the same ski experience as centuries old regions in Europe. JGR will never be Chamonix — conversely, Cham will never provide the same rugged remoteness as the Jumbo Valley — but to suggest that there will be no positive economic impact from increasing resort development is short sighted to say the least, despite what economists who are paid to “prove” otherwise would suggest.

You signed your letter as a “Panorama Skier.” Would you suggest that the time you have spent skiing at Pano has had no economic impact on our region?

Do you eat for free here? Does your family own property here? Did you get it for free? Did anyone get paid to build your accommodation? Are no jobs created from the regular maintenance of your cabin, condo or hotel?

Do the people that own the hotels where visitors stay not feed their families with the proceeds? Did you win your season’s pass in a raffle or did you pay for it? Do you have kids? Do they ski free? Are they involved in ski clubs? Do their coaches not get paid? Did you purchase any equipment here?

Did you or your family do anything else besides ski on your last visit? Was this also free? I assume you come in the summer — presumably for free as well? Did you fill up your tank or buy goodies for the drive home? …etc, etc.

All of these things went to support our local economy and we thank you!

Would you suggest that your visit to Europe did nothing for their economy? Did you ski, sleep, travel and eat “spectacular” food for free? Every single cent of the thousands of dollars that trip cost you contributed to their economy.

Every single visitor there or here contributes to our economies and most of us are sincerely thankful for your contribution. So why does it so stubbornly elude you that increased visitor traffic because of JGR will not be beneficial?

Very soon I will thank you for skiing at JGR and joining the thousands of other folks that will help us put food on our tables.

Judging from the list of places you chose to spend a good chunk of money on in your letter, I’d bet JGR will be right up your alley — as long as you’re not too hung up on hating on JGR to tow the party line…?

Dave McGrath

Invermere