MLA Martin Long offers Member statement on Marmot Basin

Read the full statement below (taken from the Alberta Hansard)

Marmot Basin

December 3, 2020

Mr. Long: Mr. Speaker, spending an invigorating day or weekend at Marmot Basin is a favourite activity of many Albertans and, typically, many domestic and international travellers. 

Marmot Basin’s story began in the 1920s, when Swiss adventurer Joe Weiss first guided cross-country skiers into Marmot Basin via Whistlers Creek. However, it was not just the Swiss but also the Scots that had a hand in how Marmot would turn out. The first tow rope was built in 1961 out of spare parts from an old British Army truck by Toby Rayner, who was an early pioneer in Marmot’s development. Rayner’s tow rope would not have been possible without earlier pioneers, however, such as the British Army’s Scottish Lovat Scout Regiment. The scout regiment used the old forest track for training operations during the Second World War, utilizing snowmobiles and snowcats for transportation into the basin. They were the ones who left behind the truck Rayner salvaged to build his tow rope. After that, Rayner succeeded in getting a licence from Parks Canada in 1964, which would mark the official opening of the basin. 

Now Marmot Basin is a world-renowned ski resort with 91 named runs that are spread across four mountain faces with 3,000 feet of vertical drop. Marmot hosts an average of 2 million people per year. The economic impact and employment opportunities this provides to the town of Jasper, the region, and our province are vital for the continued success of our tourism sector and for the future of the region. Alberta ski hills provide a GDP contribution of $450 million to our province, and Marmot is a significant portion of that. Marmot Basin officially kicked off its winter 2020 launch on November 12 and has ensured that following COVID protocols is a top priority. After last year’s shortened ski season they are looking forward to hosting visitors from across the province and showing them all they have to offer. 

I want to encourage all Albertans to consider making Marmot Basin in Jasper your destination to unwind and make memories this year. The warm hospitality and cool mountain air will make your trip worth the while.

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