Parks Canada says no to gondola proposed from Banff townsite to Mount Norquay

BANFF, Alta. — Parks Canada has rejected a proposed gondola to take skiers and hikers from Banff townsite to the summit at the Mount Norquay ski resort.

The agency was considering a proposal by Liricon Capital, which owns Mount Norquay, to redevelop lands both inside the Alberta mountain town and at the ski area in the national park.

Officials with Parks Canada said they carefully reviewed a feasibility study and other materials related to that proposal, which was submitted in 2018.

“There will not be further consideration of the proposed gondola, nor the proposed Grizzly Pavilion and boardwalks, which would be located on lands outside the Mount Norquay leasehold,” the agency said in a written statement to The Canadian Press.

“These components of the feasibility study do not conform with the agency’s policies on limits to development and ski area management in Banff National Park.”

They said it would also negatively affect public use of the Mount Norquay access road.

The statement said Banff National Park’s management plan and the Parks Canada ski area management guidelines were developed with extensive public input and based on the best-available science and research.

“It is Parks Canada’s position that its policies on limits to development are fundamental to protecting the ecological integrity of Banff National Park and to ensure that this treasured place is preserved now and for future generations.

“Parks Canada is not willing to alter its policies to accommodate this proposal.”

Liricon also wanted to develop land to allow passenger rail from Calgary to Banff.

In the statement, Parks Canada said the potential for train service would be subject to a separate review.

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