Valemount Open for Business. Businesses changing hands, and new ones coming in

Dianne St. Jean
"Mountains of Opportunity" has been the registered trademark of the Village since 2002 (renewed in 2017) and is a fitting, almost prophetic slogan for Valemount.
"Mountains of Opportunity" has been the registered trademark of the Village since 2002 (renewed in 2017) and is a fitting, almost prophetic slogan for Valemount.

If there is still any doubt that Valemount is on the verge of growth just take a look around at what’s happening in town. As speculation of progress turns into reality people are coming in to not only investigate, but also invest in Valemount.

And, it appears, Valemount is open for business.
A number of existing businesses have already been acquired by new owners, and totally new companies are also coming in.

This is all spawned not just by speculation but actual observation that innovation and commerce are moving things forward; and, while the prospect of the ski hill is one of the main motivating factors, it certainly isn’t the only one.

The promise of geothermal development has huge implications for industry here on many levels, and while the progress may seem slow, things are moving ahead.

Other developments, such as the Fowler subdivision and recently announced convenience store and service station on 17th Avenue that will join the ranks of the upgraded Shell Station and new Esso Station along Highway 5, all add to the fever.

As the sign at the entrance to the Village Office building says, “Mountains of Opportunity” – indeed.

Here are some of the players:

TRG (Third Rock Geomatics) Surveyors

TRG Ltd. is located at the blue building at 1418 Bruce Place.
TRG Ltd. is located at the blue building at 1418 Bruce Place.

TRG (Third Rock Geomatics) Ltd., a professional land surveying and geomatics company, is setting roots in Valemount as experienced surveyors are needed for ongoing and upcoming development projects here and in the surrounding area.

Geomatics is gathering, analyzing, interpreting, measuring, distributing and using geo-spacial information.

The TRG team includes Mark Sutter, Jeffrey Olsen, and Richard Williams.

Sutter is licensed as a land surveyor in Alberta. He has a lot of experience in major projects from energy, power and large infrastructure, and managed an office out of Calgary.

Olsen is a licensed engineer in Alberta and is both a BC and Alberta land surveyor. He also has an MBA.

Says Olsen of co-worker Richard Williams, a Certified Survey Technologist, “His best qualities are that he has a lot of variation to his experience - energy, power, infrastructure, high precision and industrial work. He is the ‘supreme technologist’.”

The team is equipped with RTK GPS. They also have UAV (drones) and laser scanning and conventional survey equipment.

“We recognize that Valemount is growing,” says Olsen. “From a service perspective we see opportunity with urban development, subdivisions, etc.”

Currently they are working with Shawn and Diane Fowler on their subdivision, but of course, invite new developments.

But it’s not just business that attracts the team. All are outdoorsmen and like what the community and area have to offer.

“That’s just an added bonus,” they comment, adding that they want to be part of the community and therefore are looking for enough work to support that vision.

TRG Ltd. has established an office in Valemount at 1418 Bruce Place, next to The Valley Sentinel.


Moose Pub leased to new Valemount resident and businessman

Left to right: Charles Kosmadia, Jay Lee, Arun Patel
Left to right: Charles Kosmadia, Jay Lee, Arun Patel

Jay Lee moved to Valemount from Saskatoon where he still owns an Esso service station.

As with most investors to the area, he was attracted by both opportunity and the beauty of Valemount.

“It is a very beautiful town,” says Lee. “Every day I enjoy the mountains that I see.”

Lee first purchased the Yellowhead Motel on 5th Avenue last May (2017) and will also now be leasing the Moose Pub as of Feb. 1.

He also plans to open a liquor store (LRS) on the premises in the near future, hopefully by the beginning of June.

There is no need for customers to worry about losing their favourites on the menu. The menu, the chefs and the employees all remain the same.

“It will be the same good food and service,” says Charles Kosmadia, who has owned the Pub since December of 1993. 


Improvements by new owner continue at Premier Mountain Lodge

Above: Alex Lam, new owner of the 
Premier Mountain Lodge Hotel.
Above: Alex Lam, new owner of the Premier Mountain Lodge Hotel.

Last fall (2017) Alex Lam, a businessman also from Saskatchewan, joined the ranks of incoming entrepreneurs to Valemount, purchasing the Premier Mountain Lodge at Karas Drive along Highway 5.

As most residents have noticed, Lam has since been diligently working on renovating all the rooms.

Like others, Lam recognized the value and opportunities that Valemount has to offer.

Lam stated that he wants to recreate the Hotel by giving it an entirely new image that Valemount can be proud of. 


Robson Valley Internet Corp. becomes Monashee Communications

Sean Jigolyk and business partner Robert Chapman took over ownership of Robson Valley Internet Corp. on November 9, renaming it Monashee Communications.

Jigolyk is a Senior Project Program Manager in the Construction – IT – Telecom – Broadcast Industry (CINCI, Victoria) with 20 years experience - from conceptual design to project completion, and Chapman is Founder and Operations Manager from Sienna Networks (Terrace). Carl Davey, who was working with Robson Valley Internet, continues on with Monashee Communications.

So how did this deal come about? On an overnight stop in McBride Jigolyk spotted a ‘for sale’ notice for Robson Valley Internet Corp., and he and Chapman decided to take the plunge.

During the first week they were already working on generators and equipment that needed power up at 5 Mile, one of their main sites. They were back at the beginning of January for some business development and to look at the network. This week they got the microwave equipment installed at their tower at Horsey Creek and will have completed 5 Mile and the office they have in town. By the end of March they hope to have tripled speed.

Their office is at 1215 – 5th Avenue.

To those investing in Valemount – welcome!

(If you would like your business featured in an upcoming article, contact The Valley Sentinel and we’ll be happy to introduce you to our community readers.)