New lake resort will put water sports first

An all-new resort is coming to the Columbia Valley, and construction has already kicked off.

  • Sep. 6, 2011 6:00 a.m.
Developer and water sports enthusiast Jon Martin stands near the not-yet-completed Heritage Lake

Developer and water sports enthusiast Jon Martin stands near the not-yet-completed Heritage Lake

An all-new resort is coming to the Columbia Valley, and construction has already kicked off.

The Fairmont Beach Resort and Waterski Park will be situated just south of Fairmont, in a secluded, forested area, providing a natural, private spot for resort guests.

The area will feature two lakes, Heritage Lake and Legacy Lake. Both will be groomed for private use, specifically water-skiing, and marked swim-friendly areas.

Heritage Lake will boast 15 cabin lots and 25 RV lots, while Legacy Lake will have 10, larger cabin lot properties.

The resort was the brainchild of Jon Martin, who has spent the last 10 years searching for an ideal location for such a project.

“I’ve always had a love for water-skiing and water sports,” said Martin. “Over the years, I’ve been travelling to little lakes, sort of in the middle of nowhere, because it’s a challenge to find flat, quiet water.”

Martin was first introduced to water-skiing through an uncle, whom he would visit for family reunions.

But it wasn’t until Martin was in his 30s that he really got into the challenging activity, and was able to do some competitive water-skiing as well.

The love of the sport and finding an ideal location to do it has played a large role in the resort project.

“I always had it in my mind, and when I heard about private lakes, I’ve been looking around for the last 10 years for a good location,” said Martin.

While the Columbia Valley has several lake and waterbed areas, the most popular being Lake Windermere, these locations do not always have ideal water-skiing elements (such as susceptibility to wind) and can be too heavily populated with boats to allow for safe water sports.

“Lake Windermere is so busy,” Martin explained. “Of course you’d like to go out on the boat during the day, but it’s so busy, so we would go out in the boat by seven in the morning and there are still half of the day-time boats out there.”

The resort area stretches to 104 acres, but despite all this space, the project’s layout puts more emphasis on natural, forested surroundings and more minimal housing lots.

The total of 50 cabin and RV lots could have easily been expanded upon with the given land room, but Martin said that was not part of the plan.

“The more people you put there, the more it becomes a public lake,” explained Martin.

“That would defeat the purpose of having it then. The environment of the lakes we wanted to create and control. We want it to be natural.”

The cabin lots are also meant to add to the “natural” feel of the resort location.

The cabins themselves, drafted by Karoleena, will be cozy and not too large, but fitted with modern, top-of-the-line conveniences and systems, and suitable for families.

To keep multiple boats off the lake at a time to optimize a water-skiing environment, a resort boat is available for guests to book times for and use on Heritage Lake.

Legacy Lake will allow for personal boating, with dock stations set up for guests, but assigned times will likely be in play for this lake as well to keep skiing conditions at their best for everyone.

Both of the lakes are being dug out with relative simplicity, thanks to a collection of water nestled under the soil of the land.

Test holes were dug throughout April to check for ground water, with plenty available to simply uncover to create the lakes.

The moved earth will then be deposited along the north edge of the property to create a berm that will wrap around part of the property, and create isolation between the lake and the train track that runs nearby.

The berm will also serve as a means of protection, fitted with proper structural blockers, in case of overflow from Dutch Creek.

The resort has already begun to generate buzz as well, with five of the larger lots on Legacy Lake already spoken for, according to Martin, and other interested individuals inquiring about lot prices.

Currently the lots are being marked at $79,000 and up, but this is not yet an official cost and a disclosure, according to Martin.

Further pricing details will be confirmed as the project progresses.

Completion of Heritage Lake is anticipated for the summer of 2012.

Now that the resort’s construction has finally broken ground, with Cranbrook company Fiorentino Bros. Contracting Ltd. on-site for construction, the dream is coming true for Martin.

“Some days I’m out on-site and I just shake my head,” said Martin.

“I can’t believe it’s actually happening.”