A round of important announcements was made at the 108 Mile Golf Resort on May 21, not just for new developments at the resort but the community as a whole.
“Today is going to go down in history as one of those magic moments in the history of the great 108. We’re going to look back on this to say it’s another turning point,” said Pat Corbett, the president of Corbett Resort Management and the MC of the event.
Around $13.6 million of capital projects have been completed or committed in the 108 Mile Ranch area since the 2017 wildfires, with plans for a further $9 million in projects committed for the future.
Scotty’s Power Digging is building a 36-unit expansion of senior housing on the 10 existing units already in 108 Mile Ranch.
“During the fires, we witnessed a great amount of community support and we were very thankful for all the good neighbours and businesses that did their part. Over the last two years of the recovery period of Gustafson Lake Fire, we’ve seen a lot of rebuilding, especially where the fire hit it [108 Mile Ranch] harder. We’ve also seen a lot of growth within the community. We’ve seen business owners opening and expanding…New community members step forward with their small businesses and with that, we’ve also seen a growth in demand.
However, we’ve also seen growth in the need for care and housing for seniors. With that, we decided to build a new senior housing project called Parkview Manor,” said Cameron Lang, son of Scotty’s Power Digging’s owner, Scott.
Lang added that they have seen a lot of strain and lack of availability in the existing facilities in the area.
“We plan to provide support for seniors to live independently as long as possible and to bridge the gap between assisted and independent living.”
According to the younger Lang, the project carries a projected budget of $6 million.
The official groundbreaking of the project will be part of the 108 Mile Ranch’s 50th Anniversary celebrations on June 21-23.
Another major announcement was South Cariboo Regional Airport’s general manager, Nick Christianson, announcing they applied for a $6.2 million grant. The money will go to a total rebuild of the airport.
Christianson said $5.2 will come from the federal government, while $500,000 will come from the Cariboo Regional District and Community Works each.
He also mentioned the airport’s role during the 2017 wildfires, saying they had as many as 25 helicopters, fixed-wing and Medevac aircraft operating around the clock. He mentioned the backup power system they installed prior to the fires was essential to the operation during that time, adding “we would have been in real trouble” without it.
“It was something out of a movie. It looked like a war zone at times,” Christianson said about the airport during the time.
The decision to rebuild came after the airport did a study on the facility in 2018 and realized it was time for a major overhaul.
“This is the 50th anniversary of the 108 Mile Airport and it’s starting to show age, so it’s time for a major change.”
Al Richmond, the area’s Cariboo Regional District representative, also had some news.
“108 residents have invested in this community as well,” he said. “The completion of the $3.1 million water treatment plant, which was delayed during the fires of 2017, is one investment. Since 2017, we have invested over $500,000 in firefighting equipment and over $500,000 in fuel treatment in the Walker Valley to provide a fuel break for our community.”
His biggest news was the commitment by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to resurface 16 kilometres of road in 108 Mile Ranch at a cost of $2 million.
The golf resort had big news of its own.
“The 108 Golf Resort is proud to say we are partnering with Sitka Log Homes going into our design phase of the new clubhouse and conference centre,” said Andrew Cuthbertson, the resort’s general manager.
Costing about $3 million, the building will be about 10,000 square feet.
Cuthbertson added the resort has spent $1 million on new mattresses, flat-screen TVs, and linens for the resort. They have also added a new fleet of golf carts.
The general manager also paid homage to the resort’s owners.
“Back in July of 2017, they purchased the resort and within a week the Gustafson Fire broke out. With being in this community for only a week, they donated their rooms, labour and food to every first responder that was here.”
Richmond said he was pleased with the investment of the Lie Family in the resort, mentioning the community has been waiting with eagerness for news on the convention centre.
“It’s 50 years since the 108 was created, and 50 years later we’re back and we’ve got bigger and better announcements,” he said. “We’ll build on the foundation that was created 50 years ago. So we’re back.”