8 Sanjay Nepal Resdnts support in Valemount

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Residents’ support to proposed mountain resort in Valemount, British Columbia Sanjay K. Nepal Texas A&M University


2003 Speech from the Throne: “ BC’s four season resorts are an enormous economic asset and represent a major opportunity for British Columbians throughout our heartlands… …government is establishing the BC Resort Task Force to bring together all the resources and assets of government with First Nations and Resort Communities across BC… …will develop new programs to ensure our resort potential is fully met and fully recognized around the world.”


Study relevance Expansion of tourism in peripheral areas Decline of traditional economic activities Tourism entrepreneurs searching for new investment locations Government policies


Theoretical context Measuring resident attitudes - one of the major topics of tourism research Most research conducted in the context of developed economies or mass tourism destinations Social exchange theory Doxey’s index of irritation Butler’s destination life-cycle model


Doxey’s Irridex Model Five levels of index of tourist irritation: Euphoria Apathy Irritation Antagonism Final


Destination Life Cycle Six stages of destination development: Exploration Involvement Development Consolidation Stagnation Rejuvenation/Decline Source: Butler (1980) In Pearce 1995


Factors influencing resident attitudes toward tourism Community concerns Level of satisfaction with current development Community Attachment Socio-economic and demographic characteristics Type and scale of tourism development Resident Attitudes


Valemount Study

GOAL : Diversification of the local economy: 

GOAL : Diversification of the local economy Diversification process started with Strong Communities in the 90s First Strategy Plan 1994, Revised Strategy Plan 1999-2000 Local residents strongly support diversification efforts Excellent location on Hwy 5 and Yellowhead Highway Strong hospitality infrastructure: 12 Hotels/Motels, 434 rooms, 8 restaurants, 1 pub and 1 bar Strong small businesses in tourism sector: rafting, canoeing, snowmobiling, backcountry outfitters, heli-skiing, heli-hiking

Some recent economic development projects: 

Some recent economic development projects Gateway Community Pilot Project Interpretive Centre Airport Expansion Cariboo Grill $1.5M (completed in 2000) Best Western Expansion $3M (completed in 2001) Holiday Inn $5M (completed in 2001) Canoe Mountain Projects $165M (Valemount Hot Springs and Canoe Mountain Gondola)

Resort Development: 

Resort Development

Valemount Hot Springs: 

Valemount Hot Springs


Building and Infrastructure: 1 Lodge with 100 rooms 1 Day Lodge - Campground - RV Park 1 18-hole-Golf Course 120 Single Family Units 40 Duplexes Location: North – East of Canoe Mountain Operations: Year round Amenities: Spa – Hot Springs – Swimming Pools – Wellness Centre – Tennis Courts


Initial investment for Hot Springs Development $ 70M Direct Benefits Payroll: $1,815,000 per year Employment: 65 Full Time Equivalent Jobs Average Wage per Hour: $14.38 aver. $12.04 low $19.25 high

Canoe Mountain Gondola Project : 

Canoe Mountain Gondola Project Lift Profile metres feet Bottom Elevation 839 2,797 Top Elevation 2,200 7,333 Vertical Rise 1,361 4,537 Horizontal Length 4,812 16,040


Type: Eight Passenger Gondola Capacity: 600 persons per hour Operations: Jun – Sep (10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p. Visitation: 80,000 in the first year, 870 a day, 87 per hour Adult Ticket: Introductory $16.00 Ride Time: 18 minutes one way Parking Lot Capacity: 160 cars, 8 Buses, 8 R. V. (720 Visitors)

Proposed Base Development: 

Proposed Base Development Sunrise International Inc. (Spruce Grove, Alberta) Hotel (124 rooms) 120 Condos, 210 residential units 2 18-hole- Golf Course Initial Investment $80M

Expected Benefits for the Province: 

Expected Benefits for the Province


Study methods Mailed one-page flyer to all households Advertisements on local newspapers and TV Town hall meeting – 35 participants 85 household questionnaire interviews (18 % sample) 7 page Questionnaire (38 questions, close and open-ended) Data analysis – descriptive


45 % male, 55 % female 56 percent middle age (40-59 years old) 46 percent secondary education 90 percent born Canadian Median household income CAD $45,000 15 % full-time employment in forestry, 10% service 21 % indicated someone in the family or relatives employed in tourism Results are comparable to the Industrial Adjustment Survey of 546 households Respondents’ background


Residents’ level of attachment to the community 78 % own their property 54 % have lived more than 15 years, 90% have lived for more than 5 years 54 % have immediate relatives in the area 40 % percent are frequent volunteers at community events, 22 % have never volunteered Weighted index of resident attachment to the community: Property ownership x length of residency x number of relatives x frequency of volunteering


Satisfaction from current services and facilities Industrial Adjustment Survey findings indicate that health care, education, and declining income are residents’ main concerns. Index of resident satisfaction with current services and facilities


Satisfaction with tourism development


Acceptable level of tourism development in the future


Implications of more tourism development Diversity of tourism products 49% Increased quality of tourism products 78% Diminishing access to outdoor recreation opportunities 25% Increase in local business opportunities 88% Local arts/crafts development potential 68% Increase in quality health care 56% Increased cost of living 55%


Environmental concerns For 78 % residents natural beauty is a key factor in choosing to be a resident 43 % are hopeful tourism will not damage the environment 54 % are hopeful increased number of tourists will not spoil the rural character


Satisfaction with current economic status of Valemount is negatively correlated to proposed tourism development (corr coeff. -0.43) Resident attitudes and gender are not related; however, more female respondents are positive towards tourism than male Residents who are engaged in tourism and hospitality business, and those who have family members or relatives employed in tourism tend to have more favorable attitudes toward tourism development Level of resident satisfaction with current economic and social opportunities is negatively correlated to tourism attitudes (corr coeff. -0.56) Resident attitudes – influencing factors


Community attachment and resident attitudes about tourism are negatively correlated Residents’ concerns for the environment had no influence on their support for tourism development Resident attitudes – influencing factors


Conclusion Valemount survey findings are generally comparable to other studies. Demographic variables were not good predictors of attitude. Community attachment and level of satisfaction with current economic and social opportunities are the main predictors of resident attitudes Overall, residents are “euphoric” about tourism development in Valemount Study helps to detect changes in resident attitudes in the future

Future challenges: 

Future challenges Maintaining current Village atmosphere and quality of life Maintaining public recreational amenities in the face of increasing backcountry tourism use Maintaining environmental quality and aesthetics Integrating the Resorts into the Community Avoiding the “seasonal resort community syndrome”

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