Hidden Valley Golf Resort owners feel forgotten 2 years after flood

Hidden Valley Resort was home to a golf course and many cottages, but the 2013 flood destroyed the community and many former cottage owners are still trying to get compensation.
Hidden Valley Resort was destroyed by the 2013 floods. It never re-opened. (Tim Devlin/CBC)

One devastated community during the flood of 2013 was the Hidden Valley Golf Resort and home owners are still fighting for compensation.

Hidden Valley was home to a golf course and 300 houses, but the 2013 flood destroyed the community and many former cottage owners are feeling forgotten. 

The homes in the lush valley sat on land leased from the Siksika Nation near Gleichen, east of Calgary. The lease arrangement only allowed people to live on the property six months of the year, plus weekends and a week at Christmas.

Two years after the flood, the resort remains fenced in by the Siksika Nation and overturned cabins, some flung against trees by the force of the water, are all that can be seen from the road.

About 10 per cent of the people who resided in Hidden Valley qualified for disaster relief, but most were denied because their properties were not deemed to be primary residences. Insurance companies also refused to pay out many of the claims.

Group fights for compensation

Sharin Mackie spent many summers at the resort and hopes the new provincial government will take a different view of the situation. 

"We think that everyone should share in disaster recovery payments. It was a very unfair policy," she said.

Few people received compensation from their insurance company and the Siksika Nation did not share the $93 million in disaster relief funding provided by the province.

The Siksika Nation was devastated by the floods, with about 1,000 people forced out of their homes.

Dick Burgis. who helped run the resort, says he'd like to see it reopen with trailer homes that could be quickly moved in the event of another flood. The valley flooded in 1995, 2005, and in 2013.

He's part of a committee of owners that is examining the role of the insurance companies, the federal and provincial governments and the Siksika Nation.

No one from the  Siksika Nation responded to calls from CBC News.


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