Residents and travellers who have been anxiously awaiting the opening of Nita Lake Lodge will have to hang on a bit longer.
Sonya Hwang, spokesperson for the lodge, explained that while their initial plan was to begin receiving guests at the end of December, delays with construction and permits have forced them to push the opening date back to Jan. 11.
“It’s just basic construction and the timing,” she said. “With any construction project, you have a rough idea of when you might be ready, but you don’t know for sure.”
Hwang explained that they had always anticipated December might not be a realistic goal, so they were “conservative” and didn’t take any reservations. But she says they have begun booking guests for the new opening date.
This certainly hasn’t been the first delay in the project.
According to the Tourism Whistler website, the lodge was initially scheduled to open in the summer of 2006.
Although it’s opening a bit later than anticipated, the lodge hasn’t had problems finding staff.
“We’ve been getting some great response in terms of looking for employees,” said Hwang.
Their HR department has been using a “speed-dating” interview process, where senior staff members from each department come out to meet job seekers, which Hwang says has been very successful.
“It’s actually a really interesting format, and they’re doing some really innovative things in terms of trying to attract staff.”
The lodge recently announced the appointment of Liza Walli as Manager of Employee Experience. Walli introduced the “speed dating” recruiting fair and will be integral to the implementation of the lodge’s human resources strategy.
Prior to joining Nita Lake Lodge Walli was Employee Experience Manager for Whistler-Blackcomb, where she oversaw a 10-person team to fill 3,800 roles in 10 operating divisions.
Despite delays in opening the lodge, Hwang says they are pleased with the end result.
“It looks gorgeous. It’s a really, really gorgeous property. Because it’s set on the lake, it really gives it a very different feel than anything else.”
When it is finally complete, the boutique lodge will feature 77 studios, one and two bedroom suites, each complete with a floor to ceiling basalt rock fireplace, 40-inch Plasma TV, heated stone floor, geothermal heating and air conditioning, and oversized bathroom with soaker tub and separate shower. There will also be two dining areas: Jordan’s Crossing, a new high-end restaurant with a lakeside patio, and JC’s Café and Deli.
But not all facilities will be open by Jan. 11; one side of the hotel, which contains a retail area and the Station Spa, won’t be ready until March.
A grand opening event, allowing residents to see the new lodge, will take place in the spring.