Developers work with municipality and resort for West Village growth

This spring work will begin on a parking lot for 100 to 150 cars at the base of the Burfield Chairlift. SPIN Photo.

The West Village will receive more enhancements as projects like Peaks West continue and Burfield West breaks ground.

Peaks West’ developer Darcy Franklin confirmed a number of leases are being signed for commercial spaces on the ground floor of phase one of the project.

Franklin said a pharmacy, taphouse style food and beverage, take out food, a market, office space and a health and wellness business space will fill the approximately 12,000 square feet.

He said he carefully selected tenants to ensure a good mix of businesses he believes will succeed and provide convenient one stop shopping.

Just down the road at Burfield West, more than 2,500 square feet of commercial space and 11 residential units will be added when the project is complete.

Because of the growth developers are working with Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) and Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR) to improve infrastructure.

This spring work will begin on a parking lot for 100 to 150 cars at the base of the Burfield Chairlift, accessed by Alpine Road.

Darcy Alexander, general manager for SPR, said the lot is about one acre on the east side of the chairlift and should provide parking for day skiers, those accessing commercial space and staff accommodation.

With Black Bear Lodge staff housing complete and another building planned to be ready for next winter more staff parking was needed, he said.

Peaks West will also add more than 60 parking spots to service commercial spaces.

Alexander added the timing works well as they can use fill from various projects around the resort to create the lot.

Pedestrians are another focus, with a valley trail extension in the works connecting the trail on both sides of Sun Peaks Road. It will create a loop which will follow the creek behind The Burfield and Burfield West, and cross Sun Peaks Road at the skier crossing at the base of the Burfield Chairlift before heading back up the mountain along Alpine Road in front of Peaks West and connecting with the valley trail in front of Sun Peaks Fire Rescue.

Alexander confirmed the single lane bridge on Alpine Road will likely stay as is until at least next year.

The Burfield and Burfield West developer Ash Hanna said he’s pleased to do his part in constructing the trail and believes it shows the resort is more than just the village core.

“A network of walkways expands so the whole of the West Village can start to see the first real elements of infrastructure.”

With expectations of increased pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the area, especially should a proposal for a gas station and cannabis retail move ahead at the intersection of Alpine Road and Sun Peaks Road, SPMRM is also considering traffic calming measures. A traffic light or roundabout are the top choices for the intersection, but SPMRM Mayor Al Raine said he leans heavily toward the roundabout despite an estimated cost of over $1 million due to the slope of the road.

“I hope council will look at what is the arrival experience when you come to Sun Peaks,” Raine said. “I suspect we need a traffic circle…I hope to avoid lights. Big city people come here to visit and those people appreciate not having lights.”

Either way, emergency lights will likely be added to indicate when emergency vehicles leave Sun Peaks Fire Rescue.

Both developers currently dominating the West VIllage were both supportive of the parking, trail and road upgrades.

“I think what they’re proposing is great,” Franklin said. “To tie everything together with the valley trail, I think it’s an excellent idea…Traffic control needs to happen, Peaks West won’t generate an increase in traffic it will just change traffic patterns.”

Hanna added in addition to things like the traffic circle he’d like to see SPMRM and SPR address items like adding more shuttle stops in the area and making the entrance to the resort visually appealing and welcoming.

“I’ve invested a lot of money and it’s nice to think the community supports that,” Hanna said. “Everybody in that area has invested, anyone who buys has a vested interest in making it work.”