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Posted: January 17, 2017

Zipline application supported by RDEK

The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors Jan. 6 unanimously voted to support an application by Fairmont Hot Springs Resort Ltd. to establish a zipline attraction.

The board considered a Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO) referral for an application for an Amendment to a Controlled Recreation Area in Fairmont Hot Springs, in Electoral Area F.

The application is for an amendment to an existing 203 ha Controlled Recreation Area to include an area of approximately 55.3 ha for a proposed zip line facility. The total tenure area would be approximately 258 ha.

“The proposed zip line will cross Fairmont Creek; however, construction will not require entry into the creek. Tree cutting is required within the zip line corridors and the components of the zip line course are considered to be non-permanent infrastructure. No changes to the existing road access are proposed and parking expansion will occur on private land,” explained a RDEK staff report on the MFLNRO referral.

“The proposal is a small expansion to the resort area. Rezoning is required prior to construction,” the report also noted.

The project is known as the Mineral Mountain Zipline, which will have a third party owner/operator (Mineral Mountain Zipline Ltd.), an experienced adventure tourism operator that currently owns and operates Kokanee Mountain Zipline located in Nelson, which was also built on provincial Crown land.

A project overview notes that when completed the project will include a combination of six ziplines crossing Fairmont Creek in several locations, with a staging area (office building and equipment storage, washrooms, and a parking lot for staff and customers). Some of the zipline platforms will be located on a combination of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort-owned land or on their existing ski hill tenure. The staging area will be located on FHSR owned lands around the overflow parking lot directly east of the RV check-in building. This management plan will be considered as an amendment to the ski hill tenures to capture the addition of the zipline activity and additional lands to accommodate the zipline course. Access to the site will be via the Fairmont Resort Road, off of Highway 93/95, near the RV check-in for Fairmont Hot Springs Resort campground.

“Mineral Mountain Zipline will operate from April 1 to Oct. 31 of each year and offer a unique eco-experience, unlike anything currently offered in the Columbia Valley, providing an unparalleled experience to the local tourism options. The zipline course will provide customers, ranging in age from five to 90+ years old, with incredible views of the Rocky Mountains, Columbia Lake and Fairmont Hoodoos while zipping high above Fairmont Creek. On the two plus hour full guided elevated zipline course, customers will get to experience flora and fauna, while being provided an interpretive tour highlighting the local area natural resources and history,” the overview outlines.

Lead image: Fairmont Creek at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. e-KNOW file photo

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