History of Kimberley, British Columbia

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Home > British Columbia > Ski Resorts > Kimberley > History    [ bookmark this page ]

Page Title: History of Kimberley, British Columbia
Page Synopsis: An overview of the history of Kimberley, British Columbia and how it evolved from a mining town to a destination resort.



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History of Kimberley, British Columbia

From Mining Town to Destination Resort

The East Kootenays in British Columbia have held travelers in awe by the diverse beauty of the Canadian Rockies and the Purcell Mountains for over a century. Nowhere is this variety of scenery and activities more accessible than in Kimberley, British Columbia.

As modern day travelers make their way to Kimberley they are stirring up the same old dust as the early explorers did while establishing the Crowsnest Route and the Sinclair Pass. While the nature of travel has immensely improved, the rugged beauty and undisturbed surroundings remain.

The East Kootenays enjoy a rich and flavorful history. The region was inundated with explorers in the late 1800’s as a result of the Caribou and Klondike Gold rushes. Although the majority of travelers were seeking their fortune in gold, many explorers had the foresight to seek mineral wealth of any kind. In 1892, Pat Sullivan, John Cleaver, E.C. Smith, and Walter C. Blurchett discovered lead deposits across the North Star Mountain, which led to the Sullivan Mine and Mark Creek Crossing. In 1896 this site was named Kimberley after the famous Diamond Mines in Kimberley, South Africa.

Although the mines were in operation for over 100 years, in the 1970’s Kimberley residents and business owners began to realize that the mineral deposits would not last forever, and came up with several ideas to promote a secondary industry in the area; tourism. In 1973 the community adopted a Bavarian alpine theme and the famous pedestrian Platzl was built and filled with shops and restaurants.

The Kimberley Ski and Summer Resort began as a ski club in the early 1930’s by developing small facilities for ski jumping and cross-country skiing. With the growth in skiing the club moved to the North Star Mountain in the late 1940’s and the first facilities consisted of a lodge and portable rope tow. The lodge was later destroyed by fire, after which time the base area was relocated to the present day location. A new lodge was built and a new rope tow was installed.

In 1998, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies purchased the existing recreational facilities at the Kimberley Alpine Resort. The purchase of Kimberley included the ski area, golf course, campground and much of the land surrounding the resort. A resort master plan was created and the vision for the new Kimberley Alpine Resort was born.

In developing the vision for the village and resort, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies have kept a strong tie to the heritage that originally developed the region. A critical element of the development is to preserve as much of the natural vegetation as possible, especially the towering spruce and pines.

The architectural character of the village reflects the natural setting of the region. The predominant building materials and finishes are that of rough-hewn timber, log, rock and steel, the same materials that the settlers used a century ago. This defines a character that will stand the test of time while portraying a respect for the environment and for history.

KIMBERLEY AWARDS

• “It’s a tremendous opportunity because of the snow and the mountains. There’s no place like it in the world.” – National Post (October 1999)
• “There’s more to Kimberley than what meets the eye. It’s what you don’t see that matters. Powder, glades, bumps, steeps, trees, or natural half pipes. Kimberley Alpine Resort has it all.” - Powder Magazine (December 1999)
• Trickle Creek Golf Resort– Voted Top 10 for Value and Quality – Golf Digest (1999)
• Trickle Creek Golf Resort– 4.5 stars out of 5 for Places to Play - Golf Digest (2000-2001)
• Trickle Creek Golf Resort – Voted B.C.’s Best – Acura World of Golf on TSN (2000)
• Trickle Creek Residence in by Marriott – Highest Guest Satisfaction Score – Guest Satisfaction Survey, General Managers Conference Louisiana (February, 2003)
• Trickle Creek Residence in by Marriott – Highest Guest Intent to
Return – Guest Satisfaction Survey, General Managers Conference, Louisiana (February, 2003)
• Trickle Creek Golf Resort – Bronze Award for Best Resort Course in Annual Golfers’ Choice Awards – SCORE Magazine (July 2003)





Home > British Columbia > Ski Resorts > Kimberley > History    [ bookmark this page ]

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