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Jasper National Park of Canada

Marmot Basin Ski Area Site Guidelines for Development and Use

2.0 Current Situation

Economic, ecological and ski area operational context are key factors that need to be considered in ski area planning.

2.1 Economic Considerations

The main economic considerations are:

  • Marmot Basin's visitation has fluctuated over the last 16 years, ranging from a low of 110,000 skier visits in 1992/93 to a high of 256,000 in 2001/02. Over the last several years visitation has been increasing, nearing the peak of 2001/02. From 2003/04 to 2006/07 overall skier visits to Alberta ski areas has remained relatively flat. The expansion of existing resorts and potential development of new resorts in British Columbia are increasing Marmot Basin's competition. The ski area is concerned about its long-term economic viability.
  • The ski areas of Banff and Jasper national parks are recognised as the cornerstone of winter tourism in the mountain national parks, and are significant contributors to the winter tourism economy of the Province as a whole. Marmot is important to the winter economy of the Town of Jasper.

2.2 Ecological Considerations

The main ecological considerations are:

  • Caribou - Woodland caribou range in Jasper includes a portion of the ski area leasehold. The Whistlers Creek area has been identified as important caribou habitat. Woodland Caribou are listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA ) as "threatened".
  • Grizzly bear - The grizzly bear is listed as a species of special concern under SARA . Marmot Basin is located in grizzly bear habitat.
  • Mountain Goats - Goat observations at the ski area have declined from previous years. A potentially important summer lick is located in the Whistlers Creek area.
  • Vegetation - There are potential changes to vegetation structure (i.e. composition, patterns across the landscape and characteristics) as a result of ski area operations.
  • Water usage - Water for the ski area is drawn from a sub-surface source that is replenished from snowmelt and rain. There is a limited understanding of the hydrology of this area and whether it is adequate to meet all ski hill needs (potable water, waste water, snow making etc.)

2.3 Ski Area Construction and Development Considerations

The operational considerations are:

  • The ski area seeks to be in a better position to respond to evolving customer needs, changing markets and emerging industry standards to help maintain a quality visitor experience without harming ecological integrity.

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