Starwood Announces Franchise Agreement

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, announces a franchise agreement for Bear Mountain, British Columbia, Canada’s, signature hotel accommodations, the 65-room “Fairways” and 91-room “Clubhouse” to be collectively known as The Westin Bear Mountain Victoria Resort & Spa. The Fairways phase of the resort opened in December 2004 and the Clubhouse phase is scheduled to open in May 2006. The primary investor and CEO, Len Barrie, is a former NHL player and is joined in partnership by a group of current and former NHL stars, headed by Mike Vernon and including such notables as Ray Whitney, Rob Niedermayer, Ryan Smyth, Greg Adams and Rob Blake.
Bear Mountain Resort is one of the largest resort developments in Western Canada, covering 1,200 acres or almost two square miles, with the potential of over 2,500 residences. The multi-dimensional resort and residential development, located 20 minutes from downtown Victoria will be anchored by a village center and signature Westin Bear Mountain Victoria Resort & Spa. The resort is home to a Jack and SteveNicklaus co-designed 18-hole golf course, with a second Nicklaus-designed course projected to be open in 2007.

“We are delighted to bring to Victoria one of the most recognizable names in hospitality, the upper-upscale Westin brand, which is a perfect match with Vancouver Island’s reputation as one of the top tourism destinations in the world,” said Sue Brush, Westin Hotels & Resorts’ senior vice president. ‘This magnificent resort is a wonderful addition to Westin’s northwest portfolio hotels in Seattle, Vancouver and Whistler.”

“We are creating a lifestyle destination on Vancouver Island that will attract people from around the world,” says Barrie. “We chose Westin because of its internationally recognizable name and reputation for outstanding hospitality experiences. It is another great addition to the phenomenal product being created at Bear Mountain Resort.”

Phase I of The Westin Bear Mountain Victoria is the Fairways Building which offers 65 suites ranging from deluxe hotel rooms to luxury one and two bedroom accommodations. All suites offer sweeping views of the rugged wilderness and the sculpted beauty of the world-class Jack and Steve Nicklaus co-designed Bear Mountain Resort golf course, set among the vibrant community of Bear Mountain Village.

The suites at the Fairways Building are spacious and meticulously designed, celebrating Victoria’s West Coast lifestyle and the earthy influences of the surrounding terrain. Each of the suite selections features a premium interior design package, created exclusively for Bear Mountain Resort and offering the signature services, design and products that guests have come to know from Westin including Westin’s signature Heavenly Beds(R) and Heavenly Bath(R).

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Phase II of The Westin Bear Mountain Victoria will be the160,000-square-foot Clubhouse, a magnificently appointed and designed building that will serve as the center of the resort which is due to be completed in May 2006. The experience will begin as guests step into a towering West Coast timber beamed lobby with a fireplace and two-story waterfall.

The top three stories of the Clubhouse will feature 91 luxurious rooms comprised of deluxe guest rooms and one and two bedroom suites, ranging in size from 465 to 2,490 square feet. A full-service food and beverage experience will include fine dining, lounge and casual restaurant artfully divided by three massive fireplaces and all offering exquisite fairway and mountaintop views.

The Clubhouse will feature a 4,600-square-foot ballroom and additional meeting space, with terrace and state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment. There will be men’s and ladies’ elegantly appointed private lounges, games room and change rooms, with showers, saunas and steam rooms.

Along with world-class golf, The Westin Bear Mountain Victoria Resort & Spa will include the soon-to-be-open Mountainside Athletic Club (MAC). The MAC will be the first facility on Vancouver Island to offer state-of-the-art Paramount Fitness equipment, and it will provide body composition testing and specialty programs for golfers, runners, swimmers and tri-athletes, along with a ladies’ only gym and indoor/outdoor heated pool.

Completing the more than 13,000 square feet dedicated to wellness at the resort will be the Sante Spa at Bear Mountain Resort. A full-service European medical day spa concept created in Calgary Alberta, Sante Spa at Bear Mountain Resort is affiliated with the Institute de Sante, a member of Spa Canada and led by Dr. Wendy Smeltzer, BSc, MD, CCFP, FCFP. The Sante Spa will offer guests a full range of spa and aesthetic therapies, as well as the latest in spa technologies and medical skin care treatments.

The ten to fifteen year plans for the resort includes additional hotels, cabins and Bear Mountain Village, which will be the center of the community. In true West Coast style, the main street of the village will provide a focal point for a relaxed cottage-country lifestyle with markets, an amphitheatre, coffee shops, pubs and restaurants. Natural open spaces, landscaped parks, pedestrian walkways and bicycle routes will lead to neighboring parks.
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