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Is Revelstroke a true a paradise?

Allen Bests/Special to the Daily

REVELSTROKE, B.C. – More than a trickle, less than a stampede, there’s been a steady migration of people from Banff and Canmore across the Continental Divide to Revelstroke. The Canmore Leader set out to discover why.

The Canmore paper concluded that Revelstroke, a city of 7,500 people that is base to several heli-skiing operations, has wonderful skiing and rock climbing, but also lower housing costs. Starter homes can be purchased for less than $100,000 ($60,000 US).

“I found paradise,” said one 33-year-old who had spent time in a number of mountain towns in Alberta and British Columbia.



Like Banff, Revelstroke is landlocked. It cannot grow out. However, with Intrawest reportedly eyeing the modest ski hill, it may grow up.

But just as everybody in Colorado says they don’t want to be like Aspen or Vail, people in Revelstroke are saying they don’t want to be like Whistler, another Intrawest-influenced town.



“We want to manage development quite carefully and cautiously,” said the city’s director of commercial economic development.

“Sustainable growth’ defined

WHISTLER, B.C. – While there is all manner of vague talk across the West about “sustainable growth,” a psychologist in Whistler has defined it in a very practical way. He has built a 20- by 30-foot greenhouse in which he is growing radishes, kohlrabi and other vegetables.



Taken by what he has seen in just a few short weeks, Stephen Milstein can envision even hotels participating, with greenhouses being erected in parks and other public spaces – all with the aim of producing vegetables that are healthy and make for a kinder, more sustainable Whistler.

The gains? Reduced transportation costs and pollution, explains the Whistler Question (July 17), as well as greater assurances of healthy food, and helping people understand where their food comes from.

Meanwhile, in Aspen, one city councilman says “sustainable growth” should be scrapped as an idea. Terry Paulson says he favors “no growth.”

Banff hotel opts for common

BANFF, Alberta – Banff continues to wrestle with whether it wants to be unique or look like every other place. For now, homogeneity is winning. A Tony Roma’s restaurant, a multinational corroboration famous around the world for its barbecued ribs, is opening in Banff’s historic Mountain Royal Hotel.

“It’s a popular brand in 27 different countries, hotel general manager Bill Rheaume explained to the Rocky Mountain Outlook (July 17). “People are looking for recognized brands, and in order to be competitive, this is our way of doing this.”

Located within a national park, Banff has no room to grow, and commercial build-out is expected in 2006. Town officials and smaller mom-and-pop businesses think that Banff’s future lies in not looking like other places, but like someplace else. Consequently, they are studying how various towns in California’s coastal and wine country have dealt with multinational corporations such as the Gap, McDonald’s, and Starbucks.


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