Lake Louise Ski Area Long-Range Plan

Consultation has concluded

The Lake Louise Ski Area is developing a Long-Range Plan to guide environmental, guest experience and educational initiatives.

Our current plan, nearly four decades old, dates back to 1981. It is time to take another look, revise and update. The new plan focuses on enhancing terrain, facilities and services for all visitors, during all seasons, and will lead to a better visitor experience. It will allow us to continue to protect local sensitive areas and species, while advancing environmental awareness and conservation goals for future generations. Everyone will be able to discover and connect with our unique natural and cultural

The Lake Louise Ski Area is developing a Long-Range Plan to guide environmental, guest experience and educational initiatives.

Our current plan, nearly four decades old, dates back to 1981. It is time to take another look, revise and update. The new plan focuses on enhancing terrain, facilities and services for all visitors, during all seasons, and will lead to a better visitor experience. It will allow us to continue to protect local sensitive areas and species, while advancing environmental awareness and conservation goals for future generations. Everyone will be able to discover and connect with our unique natural and cultural heritage in more memorable and authentic ways.

Lake Louise has been welcoming visitors since the late 1800s. The first ski lodge was built in 1930 and lift access began in 1952. Today, the Lake Louise Ski Area is internationally-renowned for alpine enjoyment, appreciation and education. From recreational enthusiasts, to young, grass roots and international athletes, to people looking to experience breathtaking vistas and nature at its finest, we welcome guests from across Canada and around the world to enjoy the area while respecting local values, the environment and wildlife. Visitors to Banff National Park are important to the provincial and federal economies, while protection of and awareness about precious natural and cultural heritage remains at the fore.

The new Long-Range Plan will direct all new projects during the next 10 to 15 years within the context of all future development at the ski area, as outlined in Parks Canada’s 2015 Lake Louise Ski Area Site Guidelines. It gives a forever blueprint to determine how we can improve upon aspects of the current operations from a visitor experience and environmental perspective, responsibly.

Focus of the Long-Range Plan

In our unique setting in Banff National Park, we are committed to being a world-leading environmental steward and centre for natural and cultural appreciation. That’s why, even with more than 97 percent of Banff National Park already protected from any future development, our plans include a significant leasehold reduction, a suite of other environmental gains and expanding our interpretive programming.

While we do want to upgrade our terrain and infrastructure within a smaller foot print so that people can enjoy our alpine environment meaningfully, any changes will make sure we protect the area’s unique wildlife, wilderness, heritage and Banff National Park Values.

At the direction of Parks Canada, we are putting forward this Long-Range Plan, which must meet with the detailed parameters in the 2015 Lake Louise Ski Area Site Area Guidelines and accompanying Strategic Environmental Assessment. Those documents were drafted by Parks Canada and signed by the CEO of Parks Canada in August 2015.

What’s in our proposal?

From significant environmental gains, to new chairlifts and upgrades to existing chairlifts, to new day lodges and better parking capacity and traffic flow management, our proposed Long-Range Plan is about enhancing our ability to welcome people while protecting our unique culture, wilderness and heritage resources. To do that, we can’t just start making new ski runs and building new facilities without holistic thought. For example, by changing the way we use the land for snow sports, we can develop new terrain in one area and return other parts of the ski area back to wilderness designation.

Our current lease is 2,190 hectares. We are proposing a reduced lease area of 1,162 hectares, plus winter-only Licences of Occupation for West Bowl and Hidden Bowl (374 hectares, combined), as well as operational Licences of Occupation for an additional 130.62 hectares for operational activities such as avalanche control and utilities. The end result would be a reduction of our leasehold by almost half and a 30 per cent reduction of total land available for limited snow sports. Approximately 1,000 hectares of our current lease, or about the size of 800 Canadian football fields of land, will be protected from future development.

Find our more and let us know what you think

Have a look at the topics below to find out more. Detailed information about our proposed plan for information about environmental gains, proposed new chairlifts, ski terrain and lodges, water, wildlife, slope and vegetation management, safety improvements and improved traffic management and parking, along with other important considerations, are available in our full Long-Range Plan and the accompanying Detailed Impact Analysis (DIA), completed by Golder and Associates. Supplemental plans and strategies are all available in our Document Library.


Thank you for your comments – here’s what’s happening next

Thank you for connecting with us to learn more about our proposed Long-Range Plan for the Lake Louise Ski Area.

Whether you took part in one of our open houses (held in April in Lake Louise, Banff and Calgary) or visited this website to discover the details about our proposed plan, we appreciate your willingness to take the time to review our proposals and to offer your comments on a wide range of topics. We have enjoyed hearing the many stories you’ve shared about winter and summer experiences at the resort and your thoughts about the future of the Lake Louise Ski Area.

The proposed Long-Range Plan (LRP) is focused on enhancing terrain, facilities and services for all visitors, during all seasons, and will lead to a better visitor experience. The plan will guide our future activities over the next 10 to 15 years. It will allow us to continue to protect local sensitive areas and species, while advancing environmental awareness and conservation goals for future generations.

Our public comment period closed on June 15, 2019. The feedback we’ve received will assist in our review of the LRP and in Golder's review of the Detailed Impact Analysis. Final versions of those documents will be posted on this website when that process is complete.

We are providing all comments, questions and concerns that we’ve received through this site and our in-person engagement activities, in full, to Parks Canada for consideration in its decision-making process. We will also be producing an engagement summary report, which will be provided to Parks Canada and will be available on this site soon.

Thank you for sharing your stories and comments about your experience at the Lake Louise Ski Area and your thoughts about what you would like to see under our proposed Long Range Plan.

Thank you for your interest in the Lake Louise Ski Area Long-Range Plan!

We review content before posting it publicly; however, all comments and questions that we receive through this site will be provided in full to Parks Canada for consideration in its decision-making process, regardless of whether the content is posted or not. 

If you would also like to provide feedback directly to Parks Canada, you may send comments to pc.lakelouise-opinion.pc@canada.ca


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
  • Improving on a World Class Facility

    by MThomson, 5 months ago

    A born and raised Calgarian, I've been skiing at Lake Louise since I was 4 or 5.  Starting in the Nancy Greene programs and now skiing recreationally it has always been a favourite place to visit winter and summer.  Over the years I've developed a love of the outdoors and and appreciation for the beautiful backyard we are so fortunate to have access to. 

    With two young children, I'm excited to introduce them not just to skiing, but to hiking and wildlife and conservation. With the current facilities, it's been hard to bring young kids up as the daycare often... Continue reading

  • Celebrating 50 years+

    by Ken Read, 5 months ago
    Img 3386

    Our family has a five-decade love affair with Lake Louise. In 1968, the Read family moved to Calgary and our parents, John & Dee Read, promptly put their children - Janet, Ron, Ken and Jim - into the programs of the Lake Louise Ski Club. Under the watchful eye of then Head Coach, Mike Wiegele, our journey began.

    Through the past 50 years, all members of our family and the subsequent generations have learned to love the Canadian Rockies, and celebrate how fortunate we are to have such a special place where we can rejuvenate, learn, grow and share our... Continue reading

  • My Own Backyard

    by Dean Trimble, 5 months ago

    Just 2 hours from Calgary my family is able to escape the realities of urban life to a place which brings peace to the people.

    I was born in Calgary in 1964 and have been hiking and skiing in Banff National Park ever since. LLSA is safe and easily accessible for people to find peace from their everyday lives. Whether it be local Bow Valley and Calgary residents or the visitor from Asia. The ability to engage with nature and the environment in a safe manor is crucial for the long-term preservation of that nature. Without engagement there ultimately will... Continue reading

  • Connecting with nature

    by dhoward, 5 months ago

    Born and raised in the city, Nature is an abstraction you learn about at school and on TV. To gain a true, lifelong appreciation for the awesomeness of Nature, its splendor, its power and indeed its fragility you need to have physical engagement. It must be part of your way of life, something inside of you.

    Lake Louise is where I discovered this connection. I have skied at Louise for the past forty years, first as a son and now as a father. Visiting Banff National Park to ski at Louise gives us a greater appreciation for our environment and... Continue reading

  • My Favourite Place to Ski

    by GlennDavies, 5 months ago

    I like the variety of runs available. During a day, I can ski a different run every run if I chose.

    I would like to see better grooming on the man-made snow as it usually gets icy before noon. I am retired and usually ski mid-week, but if I ski a weekend, then Whisky Jack is very crowded for getting my ski gear on. I will NOT get changed in a parking lot in the snow.

    I like the long range plans for the area, but wonder with all the capital costs involved, what is the time frame for the... Continue reading

  • A safe place to enjoy Banff National Park

    by Charlotte, 5 months ago

    I’m an Alberta girl. I grew up skiing and hiking in the Bow valley. I wanted to raise my children with an appreciation for the majesty of the Rocky Mountains, the natural world and the wildlife that inhabits it. It’s hard to ignore the beauty that surrounds us when you take in the view from a top of Summit platter.

    Since 2007, the Lake Louise ski area community has embraced us. My children have skied competitively at the Lake Louise Ski Area since they were five years old. They’ve spent their entire childhood skiing this terrain and hiking the surrounding... Continue reading

  • Home away from home

    by zukiwskin, 5 months ago
    Ski photo

    Since moving to Calgary in 2008, Lake Louise has been my home away from home. I joined the volunteer ski patrol and have been a member for 10 years. I met my wife on the patrol and we have made countless memories together at the ski hill. About five years back, we started camping in the parks campground. This allowed us to come out on Friday nights and really enjoy the whole weekend. We got a dog, and brought her along. Now we have started a family. Our daughter was camping at Louise, within one month of being born. Louise... Continue reading

  • Ski Friend

    5 months ago
    Shelley h image 2

    I have been a Ski Friend for 12 years.

    As ambassadors to the hill, we greet the guests in the morning, offer directions from the signs at the top of the lifts and offer complimentary tours. Our guests travel from all around the world to experience our beautiful ski resort and often tell us that they have heard of Ski Friends in the yellow jackets.

    Twice a day, we gather at the base by the main lodge to coordinate our tours to the variety of abilities. Some of our guests want an orientation to the hill, some are interested in... Continue reading

  • Work and Play in the Mountains

    5 months ago
    Laurie harvey

    I work in mountain programming here at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, so my world is 100 per cent mountain, all of the time.

    Every two years, I take a group of strategic marketing partners on a two-day retreat. We spend two nights at Skoki Lodge. Many of these partners come from major urban centres across the United States. It’s a unique and valuable experience for them to be in the mountains and unplugged from communications. Walking and talking along the trails provides time and space for creativity and clarity of thought. We always finish that sponsorship retreat with... Continue reading

  • My Happy Place

    5 months ago
    Davina

    The Lake Louise Ski Resort has been a place of incredible moments for me over the last eight and a half years. Every day that I’m on the mountain, in summer or winter, I have a goose-bump experience. I’ve shared laughter, euphoria and stillness with friends and during solo outings. The two best memories are the following:

    A powder morning with my best friends. We were lucky to reach the top of Paradise Chair as they were opening the way over to Crow Bowl. We pushed up the incline and I remember taking just one moment before dropping in. The... Continue reading