Three Sisters golf course nixed over lack of demand
Environmental group hopes new plans will include more space for animals
A second golf course will not be built as part of a Three Sisters development near Canmore because golfing is on the decline, a spokesperson for the current landowners tells CBC News.
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The proposed course, some of which was already roughed in, was to be built directly northwest of the existing Stewart Creek Golf Club.
A change of ownership, though, has the current owners citing a drop in interest in the sport as the reason for a rethink.
"The math didn't make any sense," Chris Ollenberger said.
"I think that's not quite specific just to this golf course but is actually a North American phenomenon where lots of golf courses are closing due to a decline in demand for the sport as a general, so this is an opportunity to re-envision what can we do with this space with the citizens of Canmore."
Ollenberger of QuantumPlace Developments speaks for the current property owners.
He says 2015 research from the National Golf Foundation shows 158 facilities in Canada have closed within the last 10 years.
Alberta has seen 26 closures in that period, Ollenberger said.
But a change of course could open up a world of possibilities for the space, which is southeast of Canmore and west of the Trans-Canada Highway.
"There's the opportunity now to expand those resort core plans and make it part of the resort core. You can expand some affordable housing, you can expand some market housing, you can expand some employee housing," said Ollenberger.
That's music to the ears of an environmental organization following the project.
The Alberta Wilderness Association has never been a fan of Three Sisters proposal.
Sean Nichols with the group is pleased there won't be another golf course but he hopes the new plan includes more room for animals.
"There is a wildlife corridor that runs right through that area where they were proposing to build the golf course and we certainly had concerns over any development that would encroach into that wildlife corridor," Nichols said.
Three Sisters will consult with the public and a new plan will be presented to Canmore town council later this year.