Crystal Mountain snow, a large snowfield in central Alberta, has long been a popular tourist attraction.
But it’s about to become a thing of the past.
Crystal Mountain Snow, a snowfield near Crystal Mountain, Alberta, is expected to be cleared to make way for a massive ice-skating rink and a ski resort.
The site was part of a $2 billion expansion to the Snow Mountain Resort in 2007.
But the Snow Tower Resort, also located in Crystal Mountain’s area, is set to be demolished to make room for a new resort.
(CBC News)”I was really excited to see it cleared up,” said Chris Schmoes, owner of Crystal Mountain Ski Resort in Edmonton.
“But then you go through the snow and see the massive hole in the ground and you think, ‘What’s going to happen to it?'”
The Snow Tower is set for demolition.
Schmoms hope to reopen the resort by the end of the year.
Crystal is just the latest to be torn down for ski slopes and ski-lanes.
(YouTube)A spokesperson for Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) told CBC News the province has removed more than 5,000 hectares of snow from its landscape since 2011.
The province estimates it will have to remove more than 13,000 more hectares of area for the snow to melt away.
“If the [resort] is going to remain in Crystal, it has to be safe for skiers and snowboarders,” said Scott Pritchard, a spokesperson for the agency.
“The Snow Mountain Snow Park is one of the last remaining areas in the province that are safe for snowboarding.”
The resort opened in 2011 and has hosted a handful of snowboarding events in the past few years.
The facility is also a popular destination for sightseers, skiers, skiedays and ice-crafters.
The resort was originally built to accommodate the Canadian Olympic team.
But when that team retired in 2015, Crystal Mountain closed.
In the meantime, it hosted an ice-cream parlor.
The Snowmountain Resort is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2020, according to the Alberta Department of Environment and Sustainability.
(AEDC/Canadian Press)The province estimates the Snow Mountains area will be cleared of snow by the time it’s finished.
It said the project will have a total economic impact of $2.6 billion, and the province expects to have at least 1,000 jobs.
But, for Schmoses, the construction could mean the end for Crystal Mountain.
“It’s been such a beautiful place, and now it’s gone,” he said.
“There’s nothing there.”