Your childhood dream of living in a tree house may soon come true, according to a developer who plans to build a tree hotel at the base of Revelstoke Mountain Resort. But not everyone is happy about the idea, including the resort.
The developers have taken the first step towards actually building the tree hotel: In December, they gained permission from the province to access Revelstoke's water and sewer system.
David Evans and his wife, Shelley, have worked on the concept for two years and are hopeful they can start construction on their 18-acre property as early as fall 2016 or spring 2017, once the snow melts.
"Rather than being in a sort of condo hotel, you've got that [feeling of] being out there in the woods," said Evans.
What is a tree hotel?
Guests will technically not be living in structures supported by branches. Instead, suites or 'treepods' will be built on elevated platforms near trees, giving guests the feeling they are among the trees. There are 25 units planned for the first phase of development. Those units would be serviced by a central lodge at street level with bike and ski lockers.
Evans says he and his wife took inspiration for their project from other tree hotels, like this one in northern Sweden.
Opposition from resort
But the owners of Revelstoke Mountain Resort, Northland Properties Corporation, says the tree hotel would take up resort resources without paying for them, giving the hotel an unfair advantage.
In a letter to the City of Revolstoke, the Northland Properties calls the proposed tree hotel a "parasitic development" that would unfairly benefit from the $200 million worth of infrastructure the resort has already built.
"This would cause an unfair advantage for such parasitic developments."
While the province granted annexation and therefore, water and sewer access for the tree-hotel developers, the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations said the resort's concerns were valid. In a letter to the city, it states:
"The ability of a third-party developer to construct commercial accommodation immediately adjacent to the resort, without having been made to develop costly infrastructure,most certainly provides an unfair competitive advantage."
But Evans says the infrastructure built for the resort belongs to the city and therefore the resort has no reason to oppose the development. He says the tree hotel would, in fact, boost business for the ski hill since vacancies are currently hard to find during peak season.
To listen to the full audio, click the link labelled: Developers hope to bring tree hotel to Revelstoke.