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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Growth management options for tourism-led community development in Squamish: the case of Brohm Ridge Ski Resort Hainsworth, Douglas


At the broadest level the intent of this thesis is to make a contribution to the increasing body of research on planning for sustainable tourism development. At a more refined level, this thesis advocates a growth management approach for tourism planning for sustainable development in rural communities. The community of Squamish, British Columbia will provide the context for this study. As Squamish enters a phase of economic transition, planners and local residents have been evaluating what role tourism might play in enhancing the local economy and in sustaining the community's quality of life. The proposed establishment of a ski resort at Brohm Ridge would easily represent the largest tourism-based development initiative experienced by the community of Squamish. The economic, social and environmental impacts from such a project can be expected to be significant. This thesis explores how a growth management approach could establish a guidance system of proactive incentives and controls for development form and pace in a manner that recognises the importance of conserving the community's social, environmental and economic resources in the pursuit of local development objectives. The Resort Community of Whistler provides the case study for this enquiry. Whistler is widely heralded in the tourism planning literature as a preeminent example of successful tourism growth management planning. The close proximity of Whistler to Squamish also provides a informed context from which to analyse potential development impacts. The findings of this case study analysis were extrapolated and applied to the Squamish context so as to explore potential opportunities for the development of growth management strategies based on the community development objectives identified in the District of Squamish's Tourism Development Plan. It is hoped that this research will suggest an array of opportunities for the community of Squamish, as well as interested resort developers, to promote the establishment of a successful ski resort that will contribute to broader community development objectives in a sustainable manner.

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