Photos & Imagery
March 8, 2011
For Immediate Release
Squamish, BC: Already a world-class rock climbing destination, Squamish could become the home of a new National Climbing Centre as part of a proposal by The Kingswood Group to develop its Scott Crescent site on Highway 99.
If the National Climbing Centre goes ahead, it will be unique in Canada. It will form the heart of a mixed-use development at the gateway to Squamish, next to the iconic Stawamus Chief, the granite monolith that towers 700 metres above the waters of Howe Sound, attracting climbers from around the world.
Kingswood proposes to build the National Climbing Centre and work with the community to establish the community-based not-for-profit society that will be responsible for its administration.
In conversations and meetings with local climbers as well as tourism officials, educators and retailers, the NCC is described as featuring an indoor climbing wall, offices for local, provincial or national climbing organizations, climbing related research and educational programs, and a base camp for outdoor climbers and guides.
“The National Climbing Centre puts the focus on Squamish’s abundance of natural advantages. It can be the catalyst that leads the community to solidify its reputation as the Outdoor Recreational Capital of Canada,” said John Moonen, spokesman for the proposal. "The Centre and the proposed mixed-use development clearly embrace the objectives of the Official Community Plan (OCP). In particular, this proposed development will create a dynamic focal point for the area further elevating Squamish as a world-class tourist destination for recreational travellers."
A number of meetings in Squamish have provided an opportunity for the local community to provide feedback on the early plans for the National Climbing Centre and to add their own suggestions. Many of these ideas have been incorporated into the concept and submitted as part of a rezoning application for the site at Highway 99 and Scott Crescent. The plan also includes a retail component that will focus on climbing and outdoor recreation as well as housing designed to be compatible with the OCP, which incorporates the site into downtown Squamish.
Among those consulted by Kingswood is international climber and Squamish rock guide Will Stanhope. “The Climbing Center is shaping up to be a state-of-the-art facility,” he commented. “When complete, the NCC will accommodate the most chalk-splattered rock veteran to the fresh-faced beginner. I am excited that climbers like me were consulted by the project team, giving us an opportunity to help usher in a facility that meshes community, climbing and adventure.”
According to John Moonen, the benefits of the development will be felt by the entire community. “A waterfront walkway and commuter trail network will link Smoke Bluffs Park and downtown Squamish,” he said. “It will open up the waterfront for everyone to enjoy, providing an inviting new gateway for visitors."
Local business representatives also applaud the NCC proposal. “Through its consultation with local stakeholder groups, The Kingswood Group has come up with an incredible concept which will assist in creating a world class tourism industry in Squamish and let the world know that we’re open for business,” said Jeff Levine, owner of Sea to Sky Adventure Company in Squamish. “The NCC will allow both tourists and recreational enthusiasts to learn, practice and set out on incredible adventures.”
Said George Chang, owner of Squamish businesses Pause Café & Karin’s Kitchen Corner: “Adding another tourist attraction to Squamish – such as a National Climbing Centre – which will be visible and accessible from the highway and our downtown will be terrific bonus to this area encouraging new people to stop, shop and play in Squamish.”