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Purcell Mountains

The Purcell Mountains are a mountain range in southeastern British Columbia, Canada.[1] They are a subrange of the Columbia Mountains, which includes the Selkirk, Monashee, and Cariboo Mountains. They are located on the west side of the Rocky Mountain Trench in the area of the Columbia Valley, and on the east side of the valley of Kootenay Lake and the Duncan River.[2] The only large settlement in the mountains is the Panorama Ski Resort, though there are small settlements, such as Yahk and Moyie along the Crowsnest Highway, and residential rural areas dependent on the cities of Creston, Kimberley and Cranbrook, which are located adjacent to the range. The Purcells are shown on some United States maps as the Percell Mountains, where their southern limit protrudes into the states of Idaho and Montana, abutting Lake Koocanusa, a reservoir on the Kootenai River.[3] American geographic classifications consider the Percells to be part of the Rocky Mountains but in Canada that terminology is reserved for ranges on the east side of the Rocky Mountain Trench. In the Purcell Mountains, most of the peaks are near or above 10,000 feet in elevation. The movies Alaska (1996) and Alive (1993) were filmed in Vancouver and the Purcell Mountains. Panorama Mountain Village is a ski and golf resort in Canada, located in the Purcell Mountains of southeastern British Columbia. Part of the Columbia Valley sub-region of the East Kootenay region, it is a popular tourist destination known for its rolling cliffs and spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains. It is owned by Panorama Mountain Village Inc.[2]Panorama was founded in 1962 by Guy Messerli, of Invermere, and some friends. The original ski hill consisted of a single rope tow, which ran up the bottom of Old Timer. In 1964, a platter was purchased from Sunshine Village, and installed to replace the rope tow. In 1969, the platter was moved to its present location on the bunny hill, and an extremely long wooden T-Bar was installed that ran up the present Mile 1 quad location. In 1973, lots were sold near the base of the hill for development to raise money for the hill. Using the funds that they earned fr

m the lots, the Horizon Double Chair was installed in 1975. The Horizon ran about three quarters of the distance of the present Champagne Express lift. In 1978 the hill was purchased from Messerli and associates by Alan Graham and Cascade Development Group. Graham funded the Toby and Horsethief lodges, completed in 1979, that greatly increased lodging in the area. In 1979, the Toby Double chair was built, and in 1980 the Sunbird Triple Chair was completed. Both still operate to this day. In 1984, in the continued effort to make Panorama into a resort, hotels began opening near the base of the hill, and tennis courts were installed. In March 1985, Panorama hosted two men's World Cup speed events, and the Champagne T-Bar was built to bring skiers to the top of the races. The Champagne T-Bar ran from the top of the Horizon double to where the Champagne Quad Chair runs today. In 1989, the Old wooden T-Bar was replaced with the Mile 1 Express, and development continued at the hill base. In 1993 the hill was purchased by Intrawest, whose massive pockets would pay for much more development at Panorama, and the Greywolf Golf Course. Also, in 1995 the Summit T-Bar was opened. In 1998, a very innovative lift system called a Pulse Gondola was installed by Doppelmayr Lifts from the lodge on Toby Creek up to the main base area to bring skiers and pedestrians from the lower village and day skier parking lot up to the upper village snow front. In 2004, the Horizon double chair and Champagne T-Bar were replaced by the Champagne Express, and the Summit T-Bar was replaced by the Summit Quad. Plans currently exist to replace the Sunbird Triple Chair with a quad chair, but that will likely not happen for some time. In November 2008, the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup returned to the resort with Giant Slalom and Slalom races held on Old Timer and Hay Fever respectively. On Jan 28, 2010 Intrawest agreed to sell Panorama Mountain Village to a group of local business people led by Rick Jensen. The group was said to be paying $27.5 million. The deal is due to close in February. The buyer group is made up of 18 people, most of whom own homes in Panorama.

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