Fortress Mountain Ski Resort announced it could open by December 2020. The $4 million project includes a new lodge and chair lift.

“We’re excited, it’s been a long road, but shovels are in the ground and we’re moving forward,” said Chris Chevalier, president of Fortress Mountain.

Located 30 kilometres south of Nakiska Ski Area on Highway 40, the resort has been closed since 2004. The original day lodge at Fortress Mountain Ski Resort has been condemned and will eventually be torn down.

Fortress Ski Resort

The plan includes building a 36,000 square foot day lodge at the base of the resort that will contain tickets, rentals, guest services, public washrooms, lockers, a ski school and a restaurant and bar.

The resort’s longest vertical run will be about 700 metres when avalanche conditions permit, rivaling Sunshine Village’s Delirium Dive.

At full build-out, the resort will have nine lifts across three ridges allowing skiers and snowboarders to access 2,200 acres of skiable terrain.

“The Red Mountains and the Whitewaters and the Castle Mountains, they’re special, and if we can do that, but with our own feel, then I think we’ll be successful,” said Chevalier.

“We were one of the first company’s to be given a check mark that were an eligible business,” said Andy Waddell, Fortress’s chief financial officer.

“Fifty per cent of Albertan ski days are outside the province,” said Waddell. “That’s a huge number of skiers that leave Alberta to ski simply because Alberta’s ski hills are full.”

Albertans will surely be stoked once this classic ski area reopens.

An abandoned ski lift load area is shown at Fortress Mountain Resort in Kananaskis Photo Jim Wells/Postmedia

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