The Weekender Effect

Hyperdevelopment in Mountain Towns — Updated Edition

ISBN 9781771606103
Softcover | Publication Date: May 23, 2023
Book Dimensions: 4.5 in. x 7 in.
136 Pages

About the Book

A passionate plea for considered development in mountain towns and for the preservation of local values, cultures and landscapes.

As cities continue to grow at unprecedented rates, more and more people are looking for peaceful weekend retreats in mountain or rural communities. More often than not, these retreats are found in and around resorts or places of natural beauty. As a result, what once were small towns are fast becoming mini-cities, complete with expensive housing, fast food, traffic snarls and environmental damage, all with little or no thought for the importance of local history, local people, and local culture.

This updated edition of The Weekender Effect looks at how things have changed, grown, and morphed in numerous mountain communities in North America. Offering suggestions for residents, tourists, and planners who love mountain places, Robert Sandford tackles some of the issues facing small communities on the edge of the Anthropocene and looks forward to a future when the “commodification of place” is no longer the driving factor in human geography.

About the Author(s)

Robert William Sandford is the EPCOR Chair for Water and Climate Security at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment, and Health. He is the co-author of the UN’s Water in the World We Want report on post-2015 global sustainable development goals relating to water. He is also the author of some 30 books on the history, heritage, and landscape of the Canadian Rockies, including Water, Weather and the Mountain West, Restoring the Flow: Confronting the World's Water Woes, Ethical Water: Learning to Value What Matters Most, Cold Matters: The State and Fate of Canada’s Fresh Water, Saving Lake Winnipeg, Flood Forecast: Climate Risk and Resiliency in Canada, Storm Warning: Water and Climate Security in a Changing World, North America in the Anthropocene, Our Vanishing Glaciers: The Snows of Yesteryear and the Future Climate of the Mountain West, The Weekender Effect: Hyperdevelopment in Mountain Towns – Updated Edition, and The Weekender Effect II: Fallout. He is also a co-author of The Columbia River Treaty: A Primer, The Climate Nexus: Water, Food, Energy and Biodiversity in a Changing World, and The Hard Work of Hope: Climate Change in the Age of Trump. Robert lives in Canmore, Alberta.


“Robert Sandford writes passionately, insightfully and alarmingly about the scope and scale of development pressures in Rocky Mountain towns that are subject to uber-tourism. Through displacement, crowding and overpricing, original residents are in danger of being overrun by the “weekenders.” Robert details how everything changes in proportion to the number of people who seek out the unique quality of a place, irrevocably affecting the original values, virtues and attractions of that place. The Weekender Effect contains some useful philosophical thoughts from which others might benefit.” —Lorne Fitch, retired provincial Fish and Wildlife biologist, former adjunct professor at the University of Calgary, author of Streams of Consequence: Dispatches from the Conservation World