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Amenities migration

Understanding and Managing Amenity-led Migration in Mountain Regions

May 15-19, 2008
Banff, Alberta, Canada



                        US Forest Service

Mountain Partnership


Sonoran InstituteCentre for Mountain Studies

    Instatute Montagne



The Banff Centre    

MOUNTAIN AREAS WORLDWIDE are accustomed to welcoming visitors who come to enjoy the lifestyle amenities that such places have to offer. They enjoy the mountains’ natural beauty, recreational opportunities, unique cultures, and return to their homes enriched by their mountain experiences. But what happens when visitors and others, some attracted primarily by new economic activity, come to stay? What happens when they choose to build their dream homes in high amenity mountain communities? These visitors-turned-residents, and other amenity-led migrants, may bring new and different expectations, economic and political clout, educational background and community values to their adopted home towns, as well as increasing pressures on fragile mountain environments. Mountain communities can find themselves struggling to manage an accelerating pace and magnitude of economic, social and environmental change. Communities may find conflict developing between rural values and urban values, full-time residents and weekenders, “old-timers” and “in-comers”.

Understanding and Managing Amenity-Led Migration in Mountain Regions was designed to bring together the current state of knowledge about mountain amenity migration, to gather existing and proposed ideas and strategies for its planning and management and to draft guidelines that will help mountain communities manage for sustainability the changes this phenomenon brings. Concerned citizens, land managers, community administrators, scholars, and political representatives participated.

Conference Objectives

Objective 1 Summarize current research on mountain amenity-led migration. Especially research that helps us to: better understand its societal driving forces; clarify the relationship among amenity migration, second home ownership, tourism, and urban growth and development; better understand the values and behaviour of amenity migrants; and identify gaps in this knowledge base.

Objective 2 Share existing and proposed strategies, policies, methods and tools for managing (and planning for) amenity migration in mountain regions. Use current case studies and other descriptions from a range of affected mountain communities.

Objective 3 Create guidelines for the effective planning and management of amenity-led migration in mountain regions.

Steering Committee

Full list of steering committee members.


Download Full Program (PDF)

The conference began on the evening of Thursday, May 15, with an opening reception and evening keynote addresses that introduced amenity migration and explored this complex phenomenon.

The following three conference days explored three main themes: what drives amenity migration? what are its effects and risks? how can it be measured and managed? Each theme was introduced by plenary addresses from different disciplines and places, then explored in depth through contributed papers from mountain areas around the world.

The conference closed on Sunday, May 18, with an afternoon synthesis of what was learned.


Conference proceedings are available for general purchase for $45 + GST from Proceedings include all conference papers, plenary papers, and complete transcriptions of plenary Q&As and all panel discussions. PDF copies of many conference presentations are available with the speaker biographies. Proceedings from previous conferences are available here.

Survey Results

Results from the conference survey conducted by steering committee member Dr. Raymond Chipeniuk are now available for review. Participants were asked how they define “amenity migration” and “amenity migrant.” The results revealed how different people define the terms in the different ways.

Dates and Venue

May 15-19, 2008
Mountain Culture, The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, Canada

Conference Language

The conference language was English.

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If you are interested future Mountain Communities conferences, please add your name to our e-mail list. Putting your name on that list will ensure that you receive information about all future Mountain Communities programs.

Understanding and Managing Amenity-led Migration in Mountain Regions was a project of Mountain Culture at The Banff Centre, in partnership with the International Amenity Migration Centre (IAMC).

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