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Our history

Canada’s FIRST Timeshare Resort

We wish to acknowledge that the land on which we gather is within the traditional unceded shared territory of the Ktunaxa and Secwepemc peoples and the chosen home of the Metis peoples of B.C.

“There are two histories in the Columbia Valley….the written and the unwritten”  – Alfred Joseph, Elder, ?akisq’nuk First Nation.  Each resident of the Valley has their own story… each visitor has their own experience… each moment in time carves a memory in the history of this incredible destination.

Come stay with us and create your own story… and become a part of ours.

The recorded history of Fairmont Hot Springs begins in the early 1800’s, when explorers discovered the ‘land of smoking waters’, where the warm springs were soothing, and where there was a lack of sulphur and its distinctive smell (common to many hot springs).

The first homesteader in the Fairmont Hot Springs area was George Geary, an Englishman, who came to the area in 1887 and homesteaded a vast tract of land that included the hot springs. In 1888 he turned his holdings over to Sam Brewer, who came to Canada from the United States. Geary’s home still stands at the south end of the Mountainside Golf Course.

Sam Brewer operated a stopping place for stage coaches running through the valley. His house still stands at the entrance to the resort, and today is the family home of one of Lloyd Wilder’s sons.
The name Fairmont Hot Springs was given to the area by Mrs. John Galbraith, wife of a ferry operator, at Galbraith’s Landing near Fort Steele. Fort Steele, north of Cranbrook, was once a North West Mounted Police fort. It has now been reconstructed and restored, and is well worth visiting.

In the early 1900’s, W. Heap Holland, a manufacturer from Manchester, England, came to the area. Intrigued by the flowing hot waters, he purchased the property from Sam Brewer and operated it as a ranch and resort. Upon his death, his son took over as absentee owner with a manager in residence.
In 1957, brothers Earl and Lloyd Wilder, moved from Saskatchewan, and purchased the Fairmont Hot Springs property with a group of investors.

In 1965, Lloyd purchased Earl’s share to become the sole owner. He immediately began major expansion which resulted in the transformation of the area into the internationally recognized destination resort you see today. This transformation has taken over 40 years, and has been achieved with the loyalty and dedication of a very committed group of employees.

The first facility to be added was a 9-hole golf course which opened in 1965, then in 1968, the first phase of the existing Fairmont Lodge was completed.  Also in 1965, the Ski Hill was opened and in this year, the pool area was enlarged, providing a 10,000 square foot tri-pool complex.

Another 9 holes were added to the golf course in 1972 to make it the  most attractive and challenging course in the East Kootenay area.  For visitors to Fairmont in the late fall and early spring, it is possible to golf and ski on the same day.

The first of two international exchange organizations were created in 1974, providing Timeshare owners with an opportunity to exchange their Timeshare interval between resorts and between owners.  Fairmont Resort was selected as the only resort to represent Canada in the World’s Fair held in Knoxville, Tennessee, May through October 1982.

The building of the Fairmont Vacation Villas commenced in 1979 which provided luxurious villas situated in the center of the golf course and were available for purchase on a time-sharing basis.  Lloyd Wilder pioneered this time share concept in Canada with the development of the Fairmont Villas.

A Recreation Centre, complete with a swimming pool, hot tubs, fitness centre and 3 indoor and 2 outdoor courts, was completed in 1983, which provides exclusive use to the timeshare owners.

Click on the link below to read a ‘circa 1980″ publishing we have found

The Condominium