Fortress Ski Resort has the highest base elevation of any ski resort in Canada and even hosted events for the Calgary Winter Games but was unceremoniously shutdown with only two weeks notice in 2004 after the company that owned it decided to pull the plug due to declining tourism. Then in 2007 ghost resort lost its lease with Alberta Province after failing to fix an unsafe bridge, not maintaining the buildings properly and failing to pay rent and taxes according to The New York Times.
Since the resort’s closure it has been featured of several big budget movies including the ski scene from “Inception” as a proxy for Alaska in “The Bourne Legacy” and for the mountainous shootout from “The Revenant.” Eventually the resort reopened for cat skiing only but has recently announced a plan to start spinning lifts again as soon as December 2020. The Rock Mountain Outlook reports the resort received approval from Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) to start a $4 million project to replace its potable water system and refurbish a sewer line (a major first step to reopening).
If they get approval from the AEP they plan to begin construction on a new 36,000 square foot day lodge and lift system this summer. The resort currently has approximately $40 million of existing infrastructure already in place:
“We’re excited, it’s been a long road, but shovels are in the ground and we’re moving forward.” -President of Fortress Mountain Chris Chevalier
If the plan comes to full fruition the the resort will have nine lifts across three ridges allowing skiers and snowboarders to access 2,200 acres of skiable terrain funded by investors primarily from Calgary who are passionate about seeing the resort coming back online.
There’s no telling whether or not Fortress Mountain will reopen by December 2020 but with government’s approval of first steps the prospects of a renaissance look promising:
“We’re excited. It’s been a long time coming.” –Chris Chevalier
We will be sure to stay on top of latest news about Fortress Mountain and update this story as developments are made public.
This is an excellent behind the scenes look at Fortress’s role in Inception:
p.s. there is a fantastic facebook group called Friendly Fortress Mountain 89-90 seasons where you can find tons of pictures like this: