Felipé Lobo Special to the Citizen
A familiar sight for generations of Cowichan Valley residents will soon be radically altered.
Promising to “forever rejuvenate” the valley’s economy, a group of investors have announced a shocking $4.01-billion project designed to turn Mount Prevost into a luxury playground for the rich and famous.
Reached via Skype in Monte Carlo, project spokesman Jacques Strappe said: “I know it may come as a shock to longtime residents. But they will eventually get used to the new skyline and the benefits to the community will be vast.”
Included in the project — dubbed ‘The Lixy’ — are a series of luxury homes, a championship golf course, a gondola ride, giant cabaret, amusement park with water slides and a replica of the old Glass Castle. Prices for the homes are said to begin at $50 million.
Leaked documents obtained by the Citizen this week indicate the proponents plan to obliterate one of the mountain’s familiar ‘humps’ to create a special helicopter landing pad. With a nod toward local history, the other peak will be also be smoothed off, and serve as the new home to the world’s largest hockey stick. Strappe said it would be festooned with colourful floodlights, serving as both a potential tourist attraction as well as a guide to help with night landings for helicopters used by more reclusive celebrities.
“For sure, we know some people will be a little miffed at blowing up the top of Mount Prevost, as well as all the work it will take to build the new homes,” admitted Strappe. “But the around-the-clock blasting for the project will only take about two years… three years tops. And the stick will be like your own Hollywood sign.”
Only the luxury homeowners and their families and on-site workers will be allowed inside the gated community, meaning the mountain will be off-limits to other valley residents. Farmland surrounding the area will be expropriated to build the golf course and a landing strip for private jets, with current landowners offered a once-per-year gondola ride in return. An agreement has also been reached to divert water from the Cowichan River specifically for the project, meaning nearby residents will see their taxes increase 35 per cent as outside water is shipped in for their homes.
“Of course, that’s a bit of an inconvenience,” said Strappe. “But the world belongs to the rich and famous. Common people don’t need their own cheap water. Just think of all the jobs that will be created for servants. And tourists will come from all over the world to drive by and point at some of the houses.”
Local politicians had a somewhat lukewarm response to the project.
“Getting something of this magnitude through the zillion levels of unnecessary bureaucracy required in this area with our redundant local governments was difficult,” said North Duncan mayor Kent Highfever. “Keeping it under wraps was even tougher, but they did promise us a gondola ride.”
After hearing the announcement, protest groups began to immediately mobilize.
“They can’t do this,” said Ima Whyner of the local chapter for We Automatically Hate Everything. “We haven’t figured out why yet, but we’re against it. It all seems so unbelievable at this point.”