Calgary Rocky Mountains History - Tourism Boom
In 1940, the Icefields Parkway opens to connect Banff and Jasper, though a large forest fire near Saskatchewan Crossing forced the highway to be closed for a while. in 1952, commercial snowmobile rides begin on the Columbia Glacier. In 1956, The Trans-Canada Highway is completed through to Yoho, making travel by road from other parts of Canada a little less of an adventure. In 1970, The Yellowhead Highway officially opens, connecting Edmonton, Jasper and points west. In 1977, the Alberta Government establishes Kananaskis Country, east of Banff National Park.
In 1980, the Sunshine Village gondola begins winter operation, saving skiers a cat ride up the mountain. In 1985, the National Parks celebrate their Centennial and Banff National Park becomes a World Heritage Site. Banff’s Cave & Basin Hot Springs reopens after 10 years of renovations.
Calgary hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1988, with Nakiska on Mount Allan (in Kananskis Country) the site for downhill skiing. Canmore hosts the nordic skiing events at the Canmore Nordic Centre. This event drew world attention to the scenery in the Canadian Rockies.
In 1989, a new visitor centre opens in Field and a new wing is completed for Chateau Lake Louise. The next year Banff becomes a self-governing community and regular passenger train service through the Rockies is discontinued (re-established a few years later, but only between Calgary and Calgary). Over the next few years, 1994 the Mount Norquay Ski Area is expanded and Sunshine Village adds the Goats Eye chairlift.
Because of growth restrictions placed on Banff inside the national parks, Canmore begins to see a tourism boom. In 1996, the Three Sisters development begins in Canmore. To the west, significant development also happens in the BC communities of Radium, Golden and Revelstoke.
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