The Weekender Effect II
About the Book
A pandemic-inspired sequel to the original The Weekender Effect, looking at the current and future challenges facing mountain communities.
The pandemic, and the rapid introduction of technologies in its wake that enabled many to work from home, have put spectacular pressure on mountain and other resort communities that were already under siege by outside and foreign speculators and increasingly overwhelmed by owners of second and even third homes. Unmanageable development pressures and the explosion in property values fuelled by low interest rates and high incomes are undermining the very character of many communities and, by making where they live unaffordable, driving out the very locals who over decades established the charm, character, and sense of place and of belonging that now make their communities so attractive to weekenders and visitors alike.
Swelling populations, out-of-control tourism, and associated recreational and other pressures are also pressing hard against ecological limits in these places just when, in the absence of effective global climate action, the threatening effects and dangerous impacts of climate change appear to have arrived 20 to 30 years earlier than projected.
Fortunately, in the midst of this perfect storm of change there remains much that communities can do to maintain their identity. Major breakthroughs in science continue to unravel our society’s mechanistic world view and point the way to reconciliation with one another and restoration of hope for the future. The sequel to an earlier book on the same concerns, The Weekender Effect II: Fallout is a passionate plea for considered development in these precious communities and for the necessary protection and restoration of landscapes and positive transformation of local values, identity, and sense of place, here and everywhere.
“In a sort of mea culpa to his earlier book The Weekender Effect, Robert Sandford writes about what some of the newer arrivals – “weekenders” and others – have brought to his community, enriching it at the same time as the sheer weight of tourism development erases much of the amenity value that brought him to the town called Canmore in the first place. He is resolute in his condemnation of the real-estate escalation that has put such places beyond the means of most and eaten up the space that was part of the charm of the town. Among rich metaphors about personal epiphanies and accidents on glaciers, what readers will find is that Robert writes emotionally about the “sense of place” and how that can be lost in a siege-like atmosphere of hyper-tourism development. He provides an articulate and thought-provoking discussion about just how much tourism is enough.” —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