Schickedanz Bros. and Elk River Developments gathered in Fernie recently to present the public with a picture of the progress the company has made over the past year in bringing their Ghost Rider Resort from vision to reality.

The Ghost Rider development, which is set to evolve over the course of several phases, is centred around an 18-hole championship golf course adjacent to Coal Creek in central Fernie. The subdivision is set to features a host of five-star amenities including a driving range, hotels, spas, an activity center, restaurants and bars, as well as single, multi-family and high-density housing.

Satellite photographs overlaid with renderings of the proposed development phases and other details lined the conference rooms at the Best Western Fernie Mountain Lodge. Displays included a detailed “milestones” report on the key studies that had been done since zoning was approved in July 2002.

Roland Kraemer of Schickedanz Bros., with Mayor Randal Macnair

More than a dozen different studies, ranging from ground water supply to traffic impact to sanitary systems, have been conducted in the past year. One of the largest and most recent completed was the Environmental Inventory and Design Review.

Dave Williamson, of Cascade Environmental Resource Group Ltd. played a key role in assessing the environmental impact of the golf course development. Pointing to a graphic representation on Habitat Balance, Williams explained that over the course of their evaluation, several changes were made to accommodate different environmental features and habitats, resulting in a different design for the course itself.

As of this month, all of the required studies had been submitted to the City of Fernie and other government bodies, and at this stage, the project is on “pause” as comments are pending. Despite the long and sometimes painstaking process of moving the project forward, Roland Kraemer of Schickedanz Bros. was optimistic.

“The completion of this phase is a major step in the process,” said Kraemer in an interview. When asked when Fernie could expect to see construction begin, Kraemer was hopeful that it would be sooner rather than later.

“Our ideal would be to begin building this year,” he said.

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