Panorama Mountain Village
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|Panorama Mountain Resort|
|Location||British Columbia, Canada|
|Nearest city||Invermere - 19 km (12 mi)|
|Vertical||1,220 m (4,003 ft)|
|Top elevation||2,380 m (7,808 ft)|
|Base elevation||1,160 m (3,806 ft)|
|Skiable area||2,847 acres (11.5 km2)|
|Longest run||5.5 km (3.4 mi)
(Never Never Land)
|Lift system||9 total
1 gondola (village only),
5 chairlifts, 1 platter
2 magic carpets
|Lift capacity||8,500 per hr|
|Snowfall||479 cm (189 in)|
|Night skiing||Thu-Sat to 8 pm
1 chair, 3 runs
Panorama Mountain Resort is a ski and golf resort in Canada, located in the Purcell Mountains of southeastern British Columbia. Part of the Columbia Valley sub-region of the East Kootenay region, it is a popular tourist destination known for its rolling cliffs and spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains. It is owned by Panorama Mountain Village Inc.
Panorama was founded in 1962 by Guy Messerli, of Invermere, and some friends. The original ski hill consisted of a single rope tow, which ran up the bottom of Old Timer. In 1964, a platter was purchased from Sunshine Village, and installed to replace the rope tow. In 1969, the platter was moved to its present location on the bunny hill, and an extremely long wooden T-Bar was installed that ran up the present Mile 1 quad location.
In 1973, lots were sold near the base of the hill for development to raise money for the hill. Using the funds that they earned from the lots, the Horizon Double Chair was installed in 1975. The Horizon ran about three quarters of the distance of the present Champagne Express lift.
In 1978 the hill was purchased from Messerli and associates by Alan Graham and Cascade Development Group. Graham funded the Toby and Horsethief lodges, completed in 1979, that greatly increased lodging in the area.
In 1979, the Toby Double chair was built, and in 1980 the Sunbird Triple Chair was completed. Both still operate to this day.
In 1984, in the continued effort to make Panorama into a resort, hotels began opening near the base of the hill, and tennis courts were installed.
In March 1985, Panorama hosted two men's World Cup speed events, and the Champagne T-Bar was built to bring skiers to the top of the races. The Champagne T-Bar ran from the top of the Horizon double to where the Champagne Quad Chair runs today.
In 1989, the Old wooden T-Bar was replaced with the Mile 1 Express, and development continued at the hill base. In 1993 the hill was purchased by Intrawest, whose massive pockets would pay for much more development at Panorama, and the Greywolf Golf Course. Also, in 1995 the Summit T-Bar was opened. In 1998, a very innovative lift system called a Pulse Gondola was installed by Doppelmayr Lifts from the lodge on Toby Creek up to the main base area to bring skiers and pedestrians from the lower village and day skier parking lot up to the upper village snow front.
In 2004, the Horizon double chair and Champagne T-Bar were replaced by the Champagne Express, and the Summit T-Bar was replaced by the Summit Quad. Plans currently exist to replace the Sunbird Triple Chair with a quad chair, but that will likely not happen for some time.
In November 2008, the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup returned to the resort with Giant Slalom and Slalom races held on Old Timer and Hay Fever respectively.
On January 28, 2010 Intrawest agreed to sell Panorama Mountain Village to a group of local business people led by Rick Jensen. The group was said to be paying $27.5 million. The deal is due to close in February. The buyer group is made up of 18 people, most of whom own homes in Panorama.
The ski resort is of average size for North America, with 2,847 acres (11.52 km2) of skiable lift-served terrain. This places it somewhere in the top ten in terms of area. It also has one of the largest vertical drops in North America, at 4,000 feet (1,200 m). In terms of continuously skiable vertical drop, it is 5th behind Revelstoke, Whistler Blackcomb, Jackson Hole, and Kicking Horse.
At the bottom of the ski hill there is the Beckie Scott Nordic Center, named for Canadian Olympic gold-medal skier Beckie Scott, which has an extensive range of trails for all levels of difficulty. With approximately 20.5 km of trail for classic and skating and 6.6 km for Classic only. At the center of the Nordic center there is the Hale Hut, which sells a most needed cup of hot chocolate.
It is also home to Greywolf golf course, which winds along the Toby Creek Canyon.
The only way to access Panorama is via a road from the town of Invermere, located approximately 18 km (11 mi) away.