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Thread: Lawsuits leave lodge in Glacier National Park 'derelict'

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    Default Lawsuits leave lodge in Glacier National Park 'derelict'

    Lawsuits leave lodge in Glacier National Park 'derelict'
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...lict-1.3677278

    When Alicia Fox drove through B.C.'s historic Rogers Pass this summer, she was amazed by the stunning mountains that frame the Trans-Canada Highway. But it was the ugly sight of a massive old lodge in the heart of Glacier National Park that caused the tourist from Manitoba to stop. "It was really sad seeing such an iconic place look so derelict in the middle of this beautiful pass," said Fox as she peeked into the half-boarded-up windows of the Glacier Park Lodge's main dining room.

    The distinctive teal-roofed lodge with its two restaurants and service station have served as landmarks for more than 50 years, after the Trans-Canada was completed through Rogers Pass in southeastern British Columbia in 1962. The property was a regular stop for tourists who could peer up at the Illecillewaet Glacier while having a meal, or sleep at the moderately priced lodge.

    It was also the only place within 150 kilometres where highway travellers could stop for food or fuel, or to wait out a road closure in one of Canada's most active avalanche zones. But four years ago, Parks Canada decided not to renew its lease on the land, and the owners shut it down
    A series of lawsuits involving Parks Canada and the lodge's previous and most recent owners means the property in the heart of Canada's second-oldest national park is stuck in limbo.
    “You have to dream big. If we want to be a little city, we dream small. If we want to be a big city, we dream big, and this is a big idea.” - Mayor Stephen Mandel, 02/22/2012

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    Looks like the end is becoming for the lodge.

    Parks Canada to tear down derelict lodge in Glacier National Park

    Parks Canada has announced now that it is fully responsible for the Glacier Park Lodge in Rogers Pass, B.C., it will be tearing down the 54-year-old structure because of deterioration in the four years since it was last open.

    "Next steps will be to remove the buildings, remediate the sites and draft plans for any redevelopment in the area to meet visitor needs as well as improve the ecological condition of the site," said an official statement.

    "Any potential redevelopment will involve public engagement and consider present and future summer and winter services, visitor safety, and cultural and natural resource management requirements."

    The distinctive teal-roof lodge once had two restaurants, a gas station and rooms for up to 50 people. Located in the heart of Glacier National Park, it was the only stop for food or fuel in the 150 kilometres between the B.C. towns of Revelstoke and Golden.

    However, Parks Canada decided not to renew the lease on the land four years ago, and the owners shut it down. In the years since, buildings were put into receivership and boarded up, while a series of lawsuits involving Parks Canada and past owners kept its future in limbo.
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...park-1.3813258

  3. #3

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    Boondoggle. Lease it out, let private dollars rejuvenate it.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Landfilling a lot of material there. Oh, no, of course not, I was mistaken.

    Of course they'd haul it all to Calgary to recycle it all. The metal roofing, the insulation, the drywall...

    Then there's the rebuild, the trees that have to be cut down, the drywall that has to be imported, the new insulation that has to be made...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz
    Boondoggle. Lease it out, let private dollars rejuvenate it.


    Uh, have you been by there lately? Both the lodge and the gas station have been boarded up for close to 5 years, and it would appear left to the elements with no heating or any other maintenance. There has been a ton of vandalism as well, by the looks of it, and the buildings aren't even closed in anymore with numerous broken windows. It's probably just a stroke of luck that the damn things haven't been burned to the ground. They're uninhabitable and the only realistic option is a tear down. Hopefully some sort of basic hostel that caters to the ski-touring/mountaineering community goes up in it's place. There's no need for a tourist trap there, but the lodge was well used by that community, and that community has been growing significantly over the past decade.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz
    Boondoggle. Lease it out, let private dollars rejuvenate it.


    Uh, have you been by there lately? Both the lodge and the gas station have been boarded up for close to 5 years, and it would appear left to the elements with no heating or any other maintenance. They're uninhabitable and the only realistic option is a tear down. Hopefully some sort of basic hostel that caters to the ski-touring/mountaineering community goes up in it's place. There's no need for a tourist trap there, but the lodge was well used by that community, and that community has been growing significantly over the past decade.

    So he was right on, in terms of the boondoggle remark. Maybe they should just naturalize the site and leave it at that. No more development there if they are serious about the environment.


    The good old environmental and financial economics of maintain vs replace become apparent.

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    There is a visitor's center there that will remain. It's obvious that you guys don't know the first thing about the site or it's uses.

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    There should probably be a gas station and hotel/motel up there considering the frequency of road closures in the area. It sucks that the reasoning for Parks Canada tearing it down is that it has fallen into disrepair as a direct result of Parks Canada not renewing the lease. It really is an icon along that stretch. If it is just a tear down and empty lot for years it will be massively disappointing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L
    It sucks that the reasoning for Parks Canada tearing it down is that it has fallen into disrepair as a direct result of Parks Canada not renewing the lease.


    Again, the story is far more complicated and convoluted than that. The original owner sold the place to a new owner years before the lease wasn't renewed. The new owner ran the place in to the ground, defaulted on their loans or purchase agreement with the other owner, and they've had it tied up in legal cases ever since. Along the way Parks Canada decided to not renew the lease given how poorly the place had been operated. This is all contained in the link in the top post in this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    There is a visitor's center there that will remain. It's obvious that you guys don't know the first thing about the site or it's uses.
    Why do you say that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L
    It sucks that the reasoning for Parks Canada tearing it down is that it has fallen into disrepair as a direct result of Parks Canada not renewing the lease.


    Again, the story is far more complicated and convoluted than that. The original owner sold the place to a new owner years before the lease wasn't renewed. The new owner ran the place in to the ground, defaulted on their loans or purchase agreement with the other owner, and they've had it tied up in legal cases ever since. Along the way Parks Canada decided to not renew the lease given how poorly the place had been operated. This is all contained in the link in the top post in this thread.
    ..and the subsequent damage, post closure, sealed the fate of the building. This is all contained in the quote and link in post #2. See paragraphs 1 and 5 quoted in that post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC
    Why do you say that?


    Because you said "Maybe they should just naturalize the site and leave it at that." Again, there is a Parks Canada visitor centre sitting between the lodge and gas station there that isn't going anywhere. A rest stop is needed there pretty much no matter what, given the lack of them between Golden and Revelstoke, if not a full-on gas station. Presently there are temporary construction-style bathrooms, and signage saying "VISITOR CENTER AND BATHROOMS ARE OPEN" because the abandoned lodge and gas station make the entire place look derelict. There are also numerous highway maintenance warehouses and aggregate piles along that stretch (and perhaps other uses as well, I'm not entirely sure, but there's numerous other structures on the East side of the highway). None of that is going anywhere either. The site will not be getting "naturalized", because there is existing infrastructure there that will continue to be operated by Parks Canada. Your comments indicate that you are unaware of these other facilities/structures.

    Here's a link on Google Maps to the area:
    https://www.google.ca/maps/@51.3007077,-117.5203752,1952m/data=!3m1!1e3

    Only about a quarter of the disturbed land is the lodge and gas station

    Given the huge amount of use the area receives year round for mountaineering, hiking and skiing, it make eminent sense for Parks Canada to rebuild a smaller hostel-style lodge there. Whether it's actually built and operated by Parks Canada or put out to tender to private operators remains to be seen. The place operated fine for decades until incompetent ownership bought it, and the demand hasn't gone away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L
    It sucks that the reasoning for Parks Canada tearing it down is that it has fallen into disrepair as a direct result of Parks Canada not renewing the lease.


    Again, the story is far more complicated and convoluted than that. The original owner sold the place to a new owner years before the lease wasn't renewed. The new owner ran the place in to the ground, defaulted on their loans or purchase agreement with the other owner, and they've had it tied up in legal cases ever since. Along the way Parks Canada decided to not renew the lease given how poorly the place had been operated. This is all contained in the link in the top post in this thread.
    ..and the subsequent damage, post closure, sealed the fate of the building. This is all contained in the quote and link in post #2. See paragraphs 1 and 5 quoted in that post.
    What is your point, KC? Alex's post inaccurately stated that the sole reason for the damage to the lodge and it needing to be torn down fell at Parks Canada's feet. That is incorrect. Parks Canada likely had no choice but to not renew the lease given that the new ownership was running the place in to the ground. And most of the backstory about ownership changes etc was NOT contained in Kitlope's post, but rather the original post.

    Further info here: http://www.revelstokereview.com/news/397654881.html

    It would appear that the gas station had been closed in 2009, well before the lease was terminated. The legal battle between the old and new owners began in 2011, again, before the lease was terminated. It also mentions that the lease was originally slated to terminate in 2010, but they extended it on a month to month basis, likely to let the two different owners settle their differences and get their crap together. Finally in 2012 Parks Canada pulled the plug after the new owners continued to violate the terms of their lease. It is inaccurate and unfair to pin the blame for this on Parks Canada.
    Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 26-10-2016 at 02:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L
    It sucks that the reasoning for Parks Canada tearing it down is that it has fallen into disrepair as a direct result of Parks Canada not renewing the lease.


    Again, the story is far more complicated and convoluted than that. The original owner sold the place to a new owner years before the lease wasn't renewed. The new owner ran the place in to the ground, defaulted on their loans or purchase agreement with the other owner, and they've had it tied up in legal cases ever since. Along the way Parks Canada decided to not renew the lease given how poorly the place had been operated. This is all contained in the link in the top post in this thread.
    ..and the subsequent damage, post closure, sealed the fate of the building. This is all contained in the quote and link in post #2. See paragraphs 1 and 5 quoted in that post.
    What is your point, KC? Alex's post inaccurately stated that the sole reason for the damage to the lodge and it needing to be torn down fell at Parks Canada's feet. That is incorrect. Parks Canada likely had no choice but to not renew the lease given that the new ownership was running the place in to the ground. And most of the backstory about ownership changes etc was NOT contained in Kitlope's post, but rather the original post.

    Further info here: http://www.revelstokereview.com/news/397654881.html

    It would appear that the gas station had been closed in 2009, well before the lease was terminated. The legal battle between the old and new owners began in 2011, again, before the lease was terminated. It also mentions that the lease was originally slated to terminate in 2010, but they extended it on a month to month basis, likely to let the two different owners settle their differences and get their crap together. Finally in 2012 Parks Canada pulled the plug after the new owners continued to violate the terms of their lease. It is inaccurate and unfair to pin the blame for this on Parks Canada.
    My apologies. I did put it all on Parks Canada there. After re-reading it does look like Parks Canada couldn't really do anything until after the dispute was settled, so they weren't able to maintain the lodge between shutdown and present. I'd say it's unfair to pin the blame solely on Parks Canada, but surely some of it rests there due to years of allowing the neglect to take place prior to termination of the lease.

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    Or extend the lease so at a minimum the poor service could continue, the building is hopefully maintained, the pipes don't freeze, etc. (I do wonder why this vacant building isn't still totally viable for restarting operations.)

    A quote from the first article in the fist post:

    "But four years ago, Parks Canada decided not to renew its lease on the land, and the owners shut it down.

    Officials have not explained why the lease wasn't renewed."

  16. #16

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    Marcel, could the government have changed out the lease operator to prevent it from being boarded up? Was it the glacial pace of bureaucracy, the lawsuits, or something else that let it get to this point? To an uninformed person like myself on this topic, it's easy to ask "couldn't they have done more, earlier?"
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Parks Canada appeared to be trying to work with the new owners until the situation became untenable both legally and environmentally. I doubt they could have just booted the existing operators, as technically the buildings were their property, even if the land wasn't. They likely couldn't just seize the buildings while their ownership was in dispute between the two ownership groups. But without being a lawyer privy to all of the information, it's impossible to say what was and wasn't possible. But what we do know is that new ownership took over the buildings in 2008, failed to negotiate a long term renewal of their lease with Parks Canada (most likely because of their incompetence, by all evidence), closed the gas station in 2009, had leaks from said gas station either before or after that point, Parks Canada extended their lease on a month to month basis after the original terminated in 2010, the old owners who had financed the new owners called in their loan in 2011, and eventually in 2012 Parks Canada terminated the lease entirely.

    I really don't see how more time would have done any good, as KC seems to think. The new owners had 4+ years to get their crap together, and didn't. Once things started blowing up between the two ownership groups in 2011, Parks Canada got caught in the middle and the only question was going to be how exposed taxpayers were going to be for the eventual cleanup. The day the boards went up in 2012 is the day that the building's fate was sealed.

    Quote Originally Posted by KC
    (I do wonder why this vacant building isn't still totally viable for restarting operations.)


    You wonder why a 70 year old wood building located in a high alpine environment that has been left to rot for 4 years with no maintenance, heat or even a sealed building envelope is not "totally viable for restarting operations"? You wonder about some really simple things, KC.
    Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 26-10-2016 at 05:36 PM.

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    As a mathematician friend of mine would phrase it, "viable, for some value of 'viable'", a value that seems reasonable until one actually looks at how to get to it. That "how" would be pretty well outside what taxpayers or private interests would accept though.
    I feel in no way entitled to your opinion...

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    With any luck a new, modern build will be economical and will be able to incorporate some degree of historical nod. Even if that just means a front lobby with some stone and a peaked teal roof.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    With any luck a new, modern build will be economical and will be able to incorporate some degree of historical nod. Even if that just means a front lobby with some stone and a peaked teal roof.
    I wouldn't tie the next architect's hands like that. If it were and addition, yes, but not a new build.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    With any luck a new, modern build will be economical and will be able to incorporate some degree of historical nod. Even if that just means a front lobby with some stone and a peaked teal roof.
    Are you putting up the capital? I wouldn't, project has already failed once. Let it go back to nature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    With any luck a new, modern build will be economical and will be able to incorporate some degree of historical nod. Even if that just means a front lobby with some stone and a peaked teal roof.
    Are you putting up the capital? I wouldn't, project has already failed once. Let it go back to nature.
    I would if I could. It won't go back to nature though. Closest it'll get to that is a Parks Canada equipment lot or something like the area across the highway.

    As for the architecture, I'm just hoping or something that doesn't forget the history. Wishful thinking.

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    It's very sad. I used to stop there a lot and stayed in the hotel a lot of times. I blame the government. Had they not been the landlord here it would have never come to this. Boondoggle is correct. It could be rescued if someone had the wherewithal. JT, help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    With any luck a new, modern build will be economical and will be able to incorporate some degree of historical nod. Even if that just means a front lobby with some stone and a peaked teal roof.
    Are you putting up the capital? I wouldn't, project has already failed once. Let it go back to nature.
    One strike and you're out? It 'survived' for decades so I'm not sure it can't be successful going forward. It could attract international environmentalists and journalists with the site's ability to conveniently show "climate change" in action while offering the other nearby attractions of Banff and Jasper National Parks and Calgary. That might make it more successful than ever. Though I imagine that sort of clientele would demand higher-end accommodation since it would be an expense account item.

    Maybe a JPL cabin style hotel could work using portables, allowing them to easily add/subtract rooms and thus control costs. Even rustic styled park models might work very well with EF (Environmentally Friendly) servicing of course.


    http://parkmodels.com/wp-content/upl...05/Slider1.jpg

    Eco-cottage resorts
    http://parkmodels.com

    Interiors
    http://cdn2.tinyhousefor.us/wp-conte.../2015/05/4.jpg
    Last edited by KC; 18-11-2016 at 07:25 AM.

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    This was updated on Apr 1, 2017
    Excerpt:

    “Glacier Park Lodge

    Parks Canada is pleased to announce that we are now solely responsible for the properties of the Glacier Park Lodge hotel and service station located in Rogers Pass. Parks Canada’s immediate priorities are to secure the properties and mitigate the health and safety risks at the sites.

    Parks Canada recognizes the contribution Glacier Park Lodge made to the experiences of visitors to Glacier National Park over the years. The area around Rogers Pass is an integral part of Canada’s national transportation corridor, and offers access to world class hiking, backcountry skiing and breathtaking scenery for any traveller. Glacier Park Lodge was a valuable part of these experiences for many years.

    While a full evaluation of the sites will take place in the coming months, we do know that the structures are....”

    https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/glacier/info/plan/gpl

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    I can't believe they let them deteriorate so much they need to be torn down. My gut feeling is this is more a political decision that they want to tear them down and do not want to fix some areas which need repair (roof leaks causing rot and so forth).

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance View Post
    I can't believe they let them deteriorate so much they need to be torn down. My gut feeling is this is more a political decision that they want to tear them down and do not want to fix some areas which need repair (roof leaks causing rot and so forth).
    It’s interesting. An old friend of the family once stated that you should never cut down a mature tree without a lot of consideration because there was no going back.


    So similarly, don’t let a large structure fall into disrepair and to fail without a lot of consideration as to whether it could be replaced with anything near as grand. However, maybe it should never have been there in the first place so the agenda was to erase its presence. That’s totally fine if that’s the best use for the land.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sundance
    I can't believe they let them deteriorate so much they need to be torn down. My gut feeling is this is more a political decision that they want to tear them down and do not want to fix some areas which need repair (roof leaks causing rot and so forth).


    I hope by "they" you are referring to the previous owners, and not Parks Canada. It's a long, sordid story, but Parks Canada is not to blame for the condition of those buildings.

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    Both really the previous owners who let it start to deteriorate and, Parks Canada is currently responsible and are the ones wanting to tear down the lodge and gas station.

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