Ski resort to appeal order from province

Fortress Mountain ski resort plans to appeal a provincial order to stop selling season's passes because the hill might not be open by December.

Fortress Mountain ski resort plans to appeal a provincial order to stop selling season's passes.

Zrinko Amerl, one of the owners of the Kananaskis resort, said comments from the province that the ski hill might not be able to offer all the services it has advertisedare unfair.

"We are committed to get the resort running and operational for our patrons as soon as we can in December," he said.

"We have done a brand new fire alarm system, we have put [in] a whole bunch of new units, we have done a whole bunch of cleaning and remediation. … We are making it into a modern, new lodge."

The resort is no longer advertising Dec. 1 as the tentative opening date, has stopped selling ski passes and will refund any purchases, he said.

The province issued a consumer alert because people who buy passes might not have access to services advertised by the resort owners, said Wilson Smith, a spokesman with Alberta Government Services.

"We wanted to protect consumers and that's why we have taken these actions," he said.

Health and safety violations

Smith said the order was based on health and safety violations uncovered by other government agencies and past unresolved complaints from consumers.

Under the terms of the order, the resort's owner, Banff Rail Co., must immediately:

  • Cease advertising services that it cannot currently provide.
  • Change its website to accurately describe the facility and the services that exist.
  • Stop selling ski passes for the 2006-07 and 2007-08 ski seasons.

The company has 30 days to appeal. Breaching an order from the department could mean a maximum fine of $100,000, two years in jail or both.

Adult season passes at Fortress start at $349.