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Nita Lake Lodge set for a strong winter season

Lodge is in good financial standing, says COO



Despite confusion at last week's council meeting, the chief operating officer of Nita Lake Lodge Corporation clarified the hotel is in good financial standing.

Nita Lake Lodge was busy with functions and weddings this summer, said Charlene Turner, and the hotel is also already fully booked out for the Olympic period.

Turner said the corporation is entering into a settlement agreement with the municipality because the hotel has not been able to secure the financing needed to construct the 22 outstanding units of employee housing. Nita Lake Lodge Corp. is contributing $950,000 cash to the municipality's employee housing fund in the settlement.

The municipality and the corporation have been negotiating the arrangement for months, she said.

"We approached the municipality about how we could meet the needs of both sides, knowing we weren't able to secure the financing to actually do the construction but acknowledging that there is a certain amount we could do and we are prepared to turn the land over to the municipality," Turner said this week from within the boutique hotel located between Nita Lake and Alpha Lake in Creekside.

"The cash payment into the employee housing fund I think was something that was able to work for both sides, and we are hoping that will continue to go through."

Turner also clarified the land involved in the settlement - located at 1451 Alta Lake Road - is assessed for property taxes at $551,000. During last week's public council meeting, municipal staff members Bill Barratt and Bill Brown estimated the property was worth approximately $60,000 because of the resident restriction on it.

The Nita Lake Lodge first opened its doors in January 2008 and Turner said the corporation has been happy with their business levels over the past year and a half.

"Obviously you can be busier - with the global economy right now everybody is slower than they want to be - but we are very happy with the number of weddings and functions that are happening here," said Turner.

For example, she said, the hotel has hosted three weddings in the past four weeks, including a wedding that was held on the Nita Lake dock.

The Jordan's Crossing restaurant is also open for both breakfast and dinner.

And Turner added the Loka Wellness and Yoga centre will be opening with full spa, gym, yoga and Pilates facilities at the end of September. The centre will be run by Mitch and Tina Powis, and Turner said more details will be released about the addition in the upcoming weeks.

Nita Lake Lodge Corporation's management changed this spring when the previous operators, Boutique Hotels and Resorts of British Columbia (BHRBC), stepped down.