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Resort status unknown

City and developer keeping quiet

Cheryl Robinson
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (July 04/03) - The status of the $25 million Sihka resort is being kept under wraps.

The developer and the city will not comment on the development. A press release promised a week ago has still not been issued.

A sales agreement for Twin Pine Hill has been reached, but is also being kept confidential at the request of the developer, Yellowknife River Resorts Inc.

"I am disappointed the agreement is not going to be made public. At this point I'm not sure what they have to hide," said Councillor Kevin O'Reilly.

"The public deserves to know how the city has sold that piece of property."

O'Reilly said he isn't happy with how fast the process is moving and said he is disturbed council still hasn't seen a final plan that shows where the resort and connecting road will be placed.

"The road alignment on the map so far goes right overtop of the viewpoints," he said.

During a public forum in May, O'Reilly said the city didn't have any money set aside for proposed walking trails and viewpoints in the nature reserve around the hotel.

Recently YRR announced they will split the cost of the trails with the city, but O'Reilly said he's not impressed.

"I don't see it as a huge deal. The kind of protection the city has set up will not protect the viewpoints or trails anyway," he said.

The design standards for Twin Pine Hill says that any conflict between the hotel construction and the trails will result in the re-location of trails and viewpoints.

A representative from the resort developer did not attend the May public consultation.

Darrell Beaulieu, spokesman for Yellowknife River Resorts, said "the timing wasn't right."

He promised the company will hold its own hearings, but no date has been set.