80% of guests are estimated to be new visitors who may not have otherwise traveled to the Port Alberni area.
Vancouver Island has one of the deepest natural snowpacks and relatively easy access to many backcountry destinations. This provides an opportunity to extend its already burgeoning hiking market to include backcountry ski touring. Heated alpine huts provide an attractive shoulder-season destination for backcountry skiers and hikers. However as of 2017, no publicly accessible backcountry hut existed on the Island.
The Alpine Club of Canada’s heated hut on 5040 Peak offers a year-round shelter and backcountry accommodation for up to 12 people per night. Complete with a wood pellet stove, solar powered LED lighting and composting toilet, the 800 square foot cabin provides a base for visitors to launch multiday excursions and explore the rugged area east of Clayoquot Plateuau Provincial Park.
Completed in 2018, the 5040 Alpine Hut (Hišimy̓awiƛ) fills a key tourism infrastructure gap in the region, serving to attract niche backcountry skiing and snowshoeing markets during the winter season. Introducing a new year-round amenity also helps entice hikers and day users during the shoulder seasons, extend visitor stays and create synergies with other tourism offerings in the Sutton Pass area. As a result, the project will generate year-round demand for outdoor equipment and rentals, food, accommodation and professional guiding in gateway communities and businesses.