‘Inception’ movie shoot brings hope for closed Canadian ski area

Posted By: The Ski Channel on July 19, 2010 9:05 am

Summer’s latest blockbuster “Inception” opened this weekend to a boffo $60.4 million after being praised with strong word-of-mouth, largely stemming from director Christopher Nolan’s signature ability to blend jaw-dropping action sequences with classical movie storytelling.

As previously reported, the defunct Canadian ski resort of Fortress Mountain was the back drop for a significant portion of the film’s harrowing snow sequence, which forced several of the film’s actors to undergo a skiing crash course to prepare for their roles.

With the attention the resort has earned from the movie, Fortress locals are hoping that renewed interest and cash may lead to a re-opening.

The ski area is located about an hour outside Calgary, Alberta, and was last operated by the Resorts of the Canadian Rockies group, who currently manages other resorts including: Fernie, Kimberley, Mont Ste Anne and the nearby resort of Nakiska.

Since being sold to the Banff Rail Company in 2005, Fortress Mountain has not operated for reasons largely having to due with unpaid fees and taxes. Presuming the resort netted a good fee for the filming rights, locals are eagerly anticipating any word to whether Fortress may be able to re-open in Winter 2010-11.

A movie shoot to help rectify a struggling attraction would not be unprecedented, as the famed Piz Gloria restaurant located in Switzerland, was the subject of a similar fortune.

The James Bond movie “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” helped the then incomplete rotating-restaurant finish construction. It had  previously run dry of cash, before proceeds earned from the film company’s shoot helped completed the project after filming wrapped. Most importantly, the restaurant turned out to be a successful venture and still operational today.

Fortress Mountain locals are hoping a similar fate lies ahead for their ski resort.