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.
  • Comments on lift configurations...

    by skierBen, 5 months ago

    Lake Louise Long Term Plan

     

    I have skied Lake Louise 50 times and Sunshine village 500 days and I have over 500 backcountry skis in the Rockies.   I have also taught young kids to ski at Lake Louise so I know the challenges of getting around the hill with beginner or intermediate skiers. 

     

    West Bowl Versus Hidden Bowl

     

    West Bowl faces south and southwest which means that it is hit with the hot late afternoon sun. It is also windward being that the prevailing winds are out of the southwest.  There is also lots of cliff... Continue reading

  • Great times at Lake Louise Ski Area

    by Tobyw, 5 months ago

    Hello Lake Louise Ski Area community and stakeholders -

    Where I’m coming from:

    I support the Long Range Plan (LRP) as proposed by Lake Louise Ski Area (LLSA) that I read on their web site today,

    The LRP balances the spectrum of opinions on the future direction of LLSA and provides a well explained set of changes, with reasons, LLSA would implement over the next ten to fifteen years.

    I like all the changes listed.

    My stories and experiences about the Lake Louise Ski Area:

    My first ski visit was with aski club from work in the spring in the... Continue reading

  • Been skiing Lake Louise since Mid 1970's.

    by Gord Deck, 5 months ago

    I have been an avid winter user at Lake Louise for a long time and have seen many changes over the years.  Attending the public meetings about the new vision for the area has excited me tremendously.  I am totally in favour of the new changes that were presented and look forward to seeing them come to reality.  Having done some skiing in Europe and the US coming home and spending time at Louise always brings a big smile.  Too many stories to remember and tell but I can say one thing, every day spend during the winter has always... Continue reading

  • Our family’s love for the outdoors

    by rsantrock, 5 months ago

    Our family has a love for the outdoors and Lake Louise is a big part of this! Our family of five ski and snow board during the winter and Lake Louise is our go to ski resort. We love the varied terrain and the magnificent views. 

     Reading the LRP we are really looking forward to what Lake Louise will have to offer in the future. There is a good balance of looking after the environment and the wildlife as well as ensuring visitors are able to enjoy the facility. We are in favor of the LRP being approved. 

     My biggest... Continue reading

  • The Mountain Experience

    by andrewboothman, 5 months ago

            Visiting a ski hill in Banff National Park is a great way to get the "Mountain Experience".  There is nothing quite like standing on top of a mountain. In the winter the snow, the cold, the bright sunshine, all combine to make a magical moment. Unfortunately a park can only take so many people  and that is why ski hills belong in a National Park. They can concentrate a large number of  people in a relatively small area, leaving most  of the park to nature.

    I really like  the LRP that has been proposed. It seems very balanced. Taking out... Continue reading

  • Is the LRP enough?

    by CDM, 6 months ago

    I completely support Lake Louise's LRP given the constraints it must operate under being located within a federally regulated national park.  My concern is with the constraints.  Lake Louise does not exist in isolation.  It must compete with neighbouring resorts in BC that can offer ski in/ski out accommodations, cat skiing, heli-skiing, or all of the above.   According to the Canada West Ski Areas Association, skier visits have gone up in BC but stagnated in Alberta over the last ten years or more.  Alberta's three largest resorts are located in federally regulated national parks which severely limits their ability... Continue reading

  • Looking Forward to the Future

    by Daniel.barritt, 6 months ago

    Having a season's pass as both a skier and snowboarder, I think the proposed plan is a wonderful way to attract new people to enjoy the beautiful scenery and terrain that Lake Louise has to offer. Not to mention a sustained family-loved experience for generations to come. I do agree that the summit platter offers a sense of accomplishment when you get to the top but it deters friends and myself away from the lift altogether because of the pain and discomfort experienced. I think the chairlift would transform a "one-time thing" into a connected part of the Lake Louise... Continue reading

  • Bow Valley Kids Experience

    6 months ago
    Magnusandmaxattemple

    This is the second year our children have been involved with Bow Valley Kids and I cannot say enough about what an amazing program this is. My husband and I have been snowboarding at Lake Louise for decades, but in the last few years have been seeing the hill through new eyes. Our boys, now 5 and 8, are already avid snowboarders and mountain enthusiasts. I would love to be able to take all of the credit for this, but much of the credit goes out to Lake Louise ski resort and the Bow Valley program. For our family, our... Continue reading

  • Olympic Dreams at Lake Louise

    6 months ago
    Brady leman

    The Lake Louise Ski Area has been a part of my life for longer than I can actually remember.  My parents met while working at the resort in the early 80’s. Years later, my father Chris was the head coach of the Lake Louise Ski Club.  I would tag along with the ski team even though I was only three or four years old. 

    Some of my earliest memories on skis are at Lake Louise, hitting the “Leap Frog” jump and learning to do 360’s. Hiking over to boomerang for some fresh powder turns and learning to ride the poma... Continue reading

  • No to the sunmit chair!

    by Zachswc, 6 months ago

    Hi there my name is Zach and I have been a seasons pass holder for the last 5 years and have skied at Louise for the last 15, I love Louise because of the terrain it offers and quite abit less busy than sunshine so it makes it worth driving the extra half an hour from Calgary. I was looking over the new lift situation and everything looks great the only thing that I wasn’t too happy about was the summit chair, one of my favourite memories as a kid was facing that summit platter head on and taking that... Continue reading