Resort Task Force to investigate tourism development 

Sea to Sky corridor well represented on advisory group

Making good on Premier Gordon Campbell’s challenge to the tourism industry to double revenues in the next decade, the B.C. government has established a 15-member advisory group to aid the B.C. Resort Task Force.

The task force, chaired by Minister Kevin Falcon, was created to find ways that the province, communities, businesses, First Nations and other stakeholders can increase resort development, and maximize tourism potential.

The 15-member advisory group, which was announced Wednesday, includes representatives from the tourism sector, local governments, and First Nations, with knowledge of the marine resort industry, eco-tourism, guest ranches, the ski industry, adventure tourism, heli-skiing, and the growing mountain adventure industry.

The advisory group held their first meeting on Wednesday in Richmond.

The recommendations that the advisory group comes up with will bolster the research that is being conducted by members of the task force, which hopes to present its preliminary findings in February 2004.

Members of the advisory group include:

Whistler municipal administrator and Whistler Resort Association director Jim Godfrey;

Chief Gibby Jacob of the Squamish Nation;

Lee Malleau, the economic development officer for Golden for seven years, during the expansion of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, and the new EDO officer for the town of Squamish;

Darcy Alexander, chairman and president of Tourism Sun Peaks;

Carol Seable, the president and CEO of the Fairmont Hot Springs resort and Wilder Resorts, vice-president and partner of Fairmont Riverside Golf Estates and vice-president of Fairmont Villa Management Company;

Blair Baldwin, owner and operator of Pinnacle Consulting, the owner of an outdoor adventure company based in Kelowna, and a member of various tourism and sport boards;

Patricia E. Cocks, co-owner and operator of Tigh-Na-Mara resort in Parksville;

Jim Greene, the general manager of Red Mountain Resort and director of the Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association;

Craig Murray, the owner and operator of Nimmo Bay Resort on Vancouver Island, a partnership with local First Nations;

Geoff Pearce, a former municipal administrator for Whistler, and clerk-administrator of Langford for the past decade;

Chief Sophie Pierre, the Chief of the St. Mary’s First Nations and a principal founder of the St. Eugene Mission Resort;

Lloyd Weber, a partner and director in Hudson Bay Mountain Adventures, which operates Ski Smithers;

Mike Wiegele, owner of Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing Resort, and the creator of the Canadian Ski Guide Association;

Eddie Wood, the general manager and vice-president of Mount Seymour, the risk management chair for the Canada West Ski Areas Association, and the vice-president and treasurer for the Council of Tourism Associations;

Paul Plocktis, a former general manager of Big White Ski Resort and Silver Star, and the current vice-president of real estate development at both mountains.

For more information on the Resort Task Force, visit the government site at www.cse.gov.bc.ca/ResortTaskForce/.

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