Snow All-Season Resort. That is the idea, should the Municipal District (MD) of Bonnyville go through with one of the two master plans that were unveiled last week in a series of open houses.
Manager of the resort, Jürgen Grau said although things are in the early stages there is a lot of excitement surrounding the plan to go all-season. “We’re really trying to develop tourism.”
Reeve for the MD, Greg Sawchuk, said it was important to get feedback from the public, “really see what they wanted before we went any further.”
A consultant from Whistler came out to the open houses to help display what could be possible if Kinosoo Ridge went to an all-season resort.
Included in the designs were trails for hiking, biking, snowshoeing, and more. The was an adventure park, enlarged tube park area, a multimedia trail, mini-golf, cable wake boarding park, enhancements to the beach area at French Bay, larger and more campsites at French Bay, with “glamping” areas, and a mooring area for boats.
There were two master plans displayed at the open houses. The first displayed the green chair in the same place. In the second design the green chair was shortened allowing for more trails and a snowshoeing/cross-country skiing area at the top of the hill.
Grau favoured the second design with the green chair shortened. He enjoyed the adventure park, mini-golf, the campsite, and enhancements to the lake, like the mooring area. “In order to achieve the experience we’re looking for, it depends on a number of variables.”
“The adventure park looks like a lot of fun.” Reeve Sawchuk explained the park would be much like the one at Snow Valley in Edmonton. “It’s made for all ages, the lower levels are for little kids and the upper levels get tougher and tougher. I love the technology that’s involved in it.”
The reeve stated he also enjoyed the expansion of the tubing park and he would like to see the mooring system installed. Mooring is much like a marina, but it does not require a blockage of water flow.
Grau said the turnout was solid, “more importantly, the people that did come, were there for the right reasons and very well engaged. They were invested and had viewpoints and opinions.”
There was 30-40 people who attended the open house in Ardmore and 70-80 in Cold Lake.
Suggestions were left behind at the open houses and will be used to help make further decisions on the ultimate master plan. Grau explained it may be a combination of both designs and the feedback that was given.
The reeve adds that families who use the resort in the winter were, “nearly unanimous that they’d like to see more done out [at Kinosoo]”.
Next the MD will get input from Alberta Environment & Parks, neighbouring First Nations communities, and other community stakeholders to ensure that everything they want is doable, in terms of environmental regulations and concerns.
The MD met with Alberta Environment & Parks on Monday. Reeve Sawchuk explained, “before they can give us the green light on anything we have to go through the consultation process.”
“From that we’re going to come up with a final master plan,” Grau said they are at the very beginning of their journey.
A timeline for starting the project could not be given, but both men were optimistic that if everything runs smoothly they could begin installing and creating one or two of the features in the summer of 2019, with competition, of a select few projects, in 2020.