If you are thirsting for daring new heights, a new attraction in the Fraser Valley has just what the adrenaline doctor ordered.
Adjacent to the stunning Bridal Veil Falls and the Trans Canada Highway, the Cascade Skyline Gondola Project (CSGP) aims to create an awe-inspiring, "world-class" paragliding centre.
Cascade Skyline Gondola Project Paragliding and West Coast Soaring Club (WCSC) collaborated to review the current sites that have been historically used at Bridal Falls and the upper Codiene Ridge where the WCSC has tenures in place.
The collaboration determined that there is a "real opportunity to create a national/international centre for paragliding given the quality of the site and soaring conditions," explains a news release.
With the lift access, it would be unique in Canada being adjacent to a large metropolitan centre and outstanding valley and mountain terrain for "long flights and incredible views."
Throughout Europe, there are many large centres, one of the largest being Olu Deniz, Turkey.
James Elliott, President of WCSC, said that the CSGP "members will realize improved access and safety to one of our most popular sites as a result, all while preserving the area’s natural beauty."
Plans include improving and expanding the landing zone as well as the adjacent parking, upgrading and improving the launch at approximately 1500m with an expanded take-off area and proper surfacing to enable safer launching and more pilots. Additional facilities are also planned to enhance the spectator experience.
The total budget "could reach $50,000 depending on final plans."
Cascade Skyline Gondola Project
The base area of the gondola project will feature the proposed Sto’lo Cultural and Interpretive Centre that will "showcase the history, sacred stories, culture and artifacts of the area’s First Nations, on whose traditional lands the Cascade Skyline Gondola attraction is set."
The experience is described as an electric eight-passenger two-stage gondola ride that soars over 1200 metres skyward in a mere 15 minutes to the "dramatic Summit day lodge/restaurant/theatre and extensive viewing decks."
Construction of the CSGP is expected to bring 500 jobs and generate over $8 million in tax revenue. In the first five years of operation, the members project that the attraction will yield $29 million in total tax revenue throughout the Fraser Valley Regional District. Additionally, "induced and indirect tourism spending is forecast to surpass $80 million and create 2,500 jobs."
The Cheam First Nation is an equity partner in the project which is a cornerstone of their economic development strategy. The project is now going through the regulatory process with approval anticipated by mid-2021 and opening in the spring of 2023.