Diamond in the Fluff – Powder King

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Just before a sun is born, gravity starts pulling all the pieces together. That’s where Powder King Mountain Resort is at right now, says Jim Salisbury, the ski hill’s owner and general manager.

“We’re in the infancy of development of the resort,” he says. “And we’re picking up traction.”

Powder King sits right on Hwy 97 in Pine Pass, two hours north of Prince George where the Alaska Highway cuts through the northern Rocky Mountains of B.C. It’s known for its legendary snow—12.5 metres in an average year—and lack of lift lines on its two chairlifts servicing 365 hectares of inbounds terrain.

“There’s a lot of mountain to ride already,” says Salisbury. “What we need is more people to come here. What we need is a hotel and further development and growth.”

It’s happening. When the resort bought nearby Azouzetta Lake Lodge in 2015, it added more year-round accommodation options. Over the last couple of years, activity in the 60-cabin village at the hill’s base picked up with lot sales, homes changing hands and the completion of a new condo building. The resort will use $1-million in COVID-oriented tourism funding from the provincial government to expand and upgrade the day lodge. During the summer, Shaw laid a fibre optic, high-speed internet cable through Pine Pass, freeing the resort from satellite. Finally, mobile phone service will come next year when Rogers installs towers in the area.

Add the shift to remote working, a recently updated master plan that includes summer developments and population growth in the northern half of B.C., and Powder King’s attraction is growing brighter, says Salisbury.

“We hope all the excitement is enough to attract the attention of a major investment partner who can help take the resort to the next level,” he says. “Powder King is on the verge of becoming a rock star.”

from Dec/Jan 2022 issue

Ryan Stuart
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