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Spa operators apply for lease in interpretive forest

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A pair of Quebec businessmen have applied to lease approximately 5.5 hectares of Crown land within the Whistler Interpretive Forest for the purpose of building a spa.

Pierre Brisson and Benoit Berthiaume operate Spa Le Scandinave at Mont Tremblant, a health centre offering Finnish saunas, Norwegian steambaths, outdoor Jacuzzis and Swedish massage. The Tremblant facility is right on the Diable River and also advertises swimming and deer observation.

Their Whistler application is within the interpretive forest and right on the west side of the Cheakamus River, between the Westside Main road and the river. Most of the land is within municipal boundaries.

Mike Purcell, general manager of planning and development services for the municipality, said staff have received a copy of the application and are preparing a report for council’s Sept. 4 meeting. Purcell said there was no indication on the application whether overnight accommodation was proposed.

Spa Le Scandinave in Tremblant does not offer overnight accommodation, but it does have meeting rooms and catering services are offered.

Jeremy Higham of B.C. Assets and Land Corporation said the application is in the referral stage, with comments invited from government agencies, local governments, First Nations and user groups, such as mountain bikers.

Higham said he expects a decision on the application would be made in about six months or so. BCAL has a policy that all applications must be dealt with within nine months.

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