On a bright bluebird day in Sun Peaks, developers, politicians and Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR) celebrated the completion of Village Walk, a luxury townhome development steps from the village stroll.
“It’s a pretty damn good looking project,” A&T developer Frank Quinn said to the crowd on Dec. 15. A&T Project Developments is also building Echo Landing, currently under construction, and Elevation, projected to go on sale in 2019.
The project is one of many that made 2018 one of, if not the largest, year for development in the community’s history.
“It was a very big year in terms of total development in Sun Peaks,” said Darcy Alexander, general manager of SPR. “We had three or four real estate projects in various phases of work, staff housing, Village Walk, Echo Landing, and new project development on top of that like the guys in Peaks West down on the Burfield side and The Burfield across the street.
“IT WAS PROBABLY OVER $75 MILLION IN DEVELOPMENT ON THE MOUNTAIN THIS YEAR WHICH IS MAYBE THE BIGGEST YEAR WE’VE EVER HAD.”
Another large investment was the new Orient chairlift at $4 million. Other investment concentrated in the West Village by other developers exceeded $10 million.
It was the largest year for Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality (SPMRM) which sold $158,000 in building permits, representing over $30 million in development.
Rob Bremner, SPMRM’s chief administrative officer, said it’s the largest year they’ve had since inception.
“We didn’t predict this year,” he said. “Next year I think we’re fairly optimistic. It’s one of those ones you just never know.”
The significant growth has led to an increased impact on local infrastructure which the municipality has been working to handle. SPMRM took over water and wastewater utilities in an effort to keep rates lower for taxpayers by applying for grants and creating a development cost charge bylaw.
The provincial government rejected the first DCC bylaw put forward by council in the fall but it has since been submitted with the suggested changes and Bremner is hopeful it will be approved in early 2019.
“We see periods of growth then we’re stable. We’ve been growing like crazy here for a few years.”
The construction making SPMRM busier than ever is also adding more beds to the community, something that’s been a key goal for SPR since 2017.
Alexander said they began setting the goal of 2,000 new beds in five years in 2016 and jumped in fully the next year.
“Right now the demand that we have in the marketplace exceeds our ability to house people on the mountain,” he said. “Right now we have in the neighbourhood of 8,000 (beds).”
This year of work has put them on track to reaching the goal.
Village Walk, a $14 million project, created 217 bed units for Sun Peaks. According to Quinn more than half of the beds in Sun Peaks have been built by A&T and their companies in 15 projects since 1996.
“We’ve been very lucky to play that role and make that contribution to this fantastic resort,” Quinn said. “They (SPR) have done a phenomenal job, you just look around on a day like today and feel so lucky to be here.”