NEWS
11/12/2015 14:18 EST | Updated 11/12/2016 00:12 EST

Hemlock Resort's $1.5B all-season expansion plan gets approval

A $1.5 billion plan to create an all-season tourist destination at Hemlock Resort in the Fraser Valley has been approved by the B.C. government.

The resort, north of Chilliwack, was bought in 2006 by the Langley-based Berezan Group, and the new five-phase plan is based on a collaboration between the developer, the province and the local Sts'ailes Band.

The plan will see the resort's footprint increase from 350 hectares to more than 6,000 acres, and will see an additional 20,000 bed units and 23 lifts added over 60 years.

The plan also includes waterfront development on Harrison Lake, to include a marina and a First Nations-themed village.

Phase 1 will cost $500 million and an estimated 1,153 full-time jobs will be created.

Berezan Group and the Sts'ailes Band will implement a forestry licensing plan that will maintain resource management of the area as the resort is developed.

The mountain resort was one of many in B.C. that suffered from a lack of snow last year, and was forced to cancel the ski season in February.

The 2013/14 season was also badly affected, only saved by a late dump of snow that allowed it to open in January 2014.