Dec 1, 2003 | Marmot, Winter 2003

Measured Growth… A strategy For Success on Mount Washington

When Harry Measure left his native Trail-Rossland area in the early 1970s, he knew that one day, he would be back in the mountains. Now Measure, the principal in Harry Measure & Associates in Whistler, spends a lot of time in the mountains – not so much skiing as developing.

“Even back then I knew I wanted to design ski resorts,” Measure said from his home in Whistler, B.C.

Measure is a development planner with a long list of resort, recreation and tourism-based projects to his credit. He worked on Mount Washington Alpine Resort’s master plan during the Local Area Plan process in 2000 and 2001, bringing the build-out cap from 750 units to 2,200.

“In the past I worked on the design for Raven Lodge and we’ve got quite a few things on the go now as well,” he said. The proposed Olympic training centre is one such project. While his achievements range from golf and country clubs to waterfront resorts and resort master plans, Measure’s first love is for the towering, snow-choked slopes of B.C.

“I grew up in the Trail-Rossland area,” he said. “I grew up as a ski racer and coach at Red Mountain. I’ve been working in this industry since the late ‘70s, designing ski resorts … I grew up skiing there; skiing was firmly ingrained in the culture and has been since the 1890s. I was an only child and the Rossland Ski Team was my only family.
“When I left Trail-Rossland it was to stay in the mountains and work as an architect,” he explained.

To achieve his long-term professional goals to be an architect and resort planner, Measure acquired an interdisciplinary education in fine arts, geography and architecture in five different countries: Canada, the United States, India, Nepal and Italy.

Along the way he earned a Master of Arts Degree in Urban and Architectural History, and a Master’s in Environmental Design. Measure has also taught at the graduate level in university: architectural history and theory in the University of Calgary’s Department of Canadian Studies and in the Graduate Faculty of Environmental Design.

A Web site in Fernie, B.C. extolling Measure’s design work at Delich’s General Store, mentions that he has a “Master’s degree in Victorian mining town themes.”

“Oh yes, that’s my other career,” he said, chuckling. “I view resort industries and mining towns as the industry of the future.”

Ironically, Measure is not an official architect in B.C. He is licensed to work as a consulting architect in places like Alaska and Australia, but hasn’t gone through the official process in his native country. Instead, he is known here as a development planner.

Measure’s project experience includes engineering, planning, construction and architecture-related projects in resort and non-resort contexts. He served as Development Co-ordinator at Sunshine Village Mountain Resort expansion near Banff, Alberta, and was the Development Planner and Design Panel Co-ordinator for the Resort Municipality of Whistler from 1990-94. He formed Harry Measure and Associates in 2000.

For the past few years Measure has worked on projects with smaller resorts, mainly because they haven’t lost their charm. Mount Washington is one such gem.

“With Mount Washington, I think it’s got a very bright future,” he said. The 25-year-old Resort is targeting the boutique market in a small but effective way, at the family level, and has no intention of becoming too big, like some other resort areas in the west. “Larger resorts are quite anonymous,” he said.

Development at Mount Washington will respond to market demand, he said, predicting a new building will be built every year. But rather than haphazard development, Mount Washington will grow in such a way as to protect purchasers’ interests while at the same time improving environmental practices, he said.

“Eventually, I’d like to live out there …maybe on the waterfront. We already have a place on the hill.”

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