‘I couldn’t believe it’: Local ski hill owner discovers crew sent to dig holes on his property

Stony Mountain Ski Area’s owner discovered some unwelcome guests on his ski hill.

On Tuesday morning, Gary Dewar, owner of the ski hill, was getting ready to leave home when he heard some loud noises.

“I looked out and a huge, big backhoe was pulling onto the ski hill, driving up on top,” Dewar told CTV News on Wednesday. “I couldn’t believe it.”

He said he ran outside and stopped the backhoe from digging holes in his ski hill. Dewar said that was when he learned the construction crew, Southwood Ventures, was told to dig holes by an engineering firm.

In a statement to CTV News, Southwood Ventures said on March 17 it was hired by a consulting engineer firm to excavate holes to see if the land was developable.

It said on Tuesday, it met the consultant at Stony Mountain Ski Area who showed the crew where to begin digging. Southwood Ventures said it was unaware the owner did not know about it until Dewar came out and stopped the dig.

“Nowadays with communication and that – that mistake shouldn’t have been made,” Dewar said.

The statement from Southwood Ventures said in part, “we were under the impression the consultant knew who the landowner was and that everything was lined up accordingly. Clearly, it was not.”

The RM of Rockwood said this was a miscommunication between a potential developer and the consulting engineer firm.

“The developer had not yet had communication with the property owner to ask if there was an interest in possible sale of the property,” an emailed statement from the RM of Rockwood said.

The RM said there are no development plans for Dewar’s land but Stony Mountain is seeing development interest.

Dewar said he has owned the ski area for more than three decades and was considering retiring – but hadn’t spoken to anyone

Now, he’s left with a big mess.

“I’m disappointed, but I am over it now,” he said. “I am sure they’ll come back and clean this up.” 

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