The view at Sunshine Village, where the slopes are open for the earliest start on the season in more than 30 years. Sunday, November 6th, 2016. (Kendra Scurfield - Sunshine Village)
People heading to Banff to hit the slopes may have had to park on an access road in the past to get to Sunshine Village during busy times. But that could be off limits come next season, as Parks Canada hopes to ban people from stopping there.
The proposal is said to address safety concerns, but Sunshine Village chief operating officer Dave Riley said the move was a shock and it would be an unfair ban, considering overflow parking on local roads happens all over Alberta’s mountain destinations.
“We have been parking on the road during peak times for more than 35 years and we have a perfect safety record. We’ve never had anyone injured,” Riley said. “Parks Canada is also indemnified and covered by our insurance policy.”
Riley said workers manage the roughly 500 spaces available on the road, where people can only park on one side, sight lines remain open and there are designated areas for bus stops. He added, Sunshine has been meeting with Parks Canada to talk about the issue, but wasn’t expecting a timeline to restrict parking starting next year.
“We proposed several reasonable parking expansion solutions to Parks Canada over the past 20 years and all of them have been turned down. So we continue to work with them, but they have to work with us.”
Sunshine’s existing parking lot has 1,600 spots. It’s identified three sites on its property where it can build more.