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Come Hell or High Water

"Gordon Bell"

"It's very important that you really stick with it because, there are lots of ups and downs. So you have to decide that you're going to stick with it come hell or high water."

That's the advice of Gordon Bell the man, who with his family, has built "The 3 Valley Gap Resort" near Revelstoke, B.C.

It's a dream come true for Gordon and Ethel Bell. Back in the 50's Gordon was a young entrepreneur building houses in Regina. He built the small seven unit motel at 3 Valley Gap because he fell in love with the area the moment he saw it. It's located in one of the most spectacular scenic spots in B.C., surrounded by mountains, tumbling waterfalls, a sparkling mountain fed lake, and a lovely beach where hardy folks can challenge the lake's icy waters. It is truly a paradise location.

Today Gordon has transformed those seven small motel units into a modern bustling 117 unit motel with gas bar, restaurant, dining rooms, banquet

centre, indoor swimming pool, gift shop ... you name it!

The main attraction is a genuine, reconstructed frontier town that you just have to see to believe. Tourists come from all over the world for the nightly outdoor barbeque and authentic cowboy entertainment.

Being located in an isolated area has created many problems. None of which has ever fazed this most ingenious achiever. Like the time a few years ago when B.C. Hydro wanted 450 thousand dollars to run a power line to accommodate Gordon's increasing demands. Of course there would be substantial monthly Hydro bills as well. So instead, Gordon built his own hydro generating system by running 8000 feet of submarine cable under the lake, three and a half miles of overhead power line up a mountain to a dam he'd built. He installed turbines and generators and now produces all of the electricity required. In fact, he can produce a surplus amount which he's negotiating to sell to B.C. Hydro. They require it to accommodate nearby homes that are springing up. Although there is ample water in the lake, Gordon ran 1000 feet of pipeline to a natural spring high on a mountain. Gravity provides 80 lbs. of pressure thus eliminating the need for water pumps.

Spend an hour talking with Gordon Bell and you quickly understand why he is a success. People look at Gordon today and envy his achievements. But they shouldn't. Everything he has he's worked dam hard for and earned honestly.

"Money was terribly hard to borrow for this project. Back thirty years ago the bank rate was 5%. We had to pay 12%. Not because there wasn't any money around, it was because nobody but us believed in this project."

The Gordon Bell story is one I enjoy telling because it confirms my belief that there is no land on earth more spectacular or magnificent than Canada, and there is no country in the world that offers more opportunity

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