Golfers and invited guests had their first look at a new “master renovation plan” for the Sechelt Golf and Country Club on Aug. 29, before a special tournament to celebrate the club’s 20 years on the Coast.
Bob Heaslip, planning consultant for the project, explained the multi-million dollar renovation plan would take five to seven years to complete and would include a high-end hotel, spa and extensive improvements to the greens and clubhouse.
The Sechelt Golf and Country Club was purchased by Chinese investor Owen Wang in March of this year and at that time he promised the improvements, saying he planned to invest upwards of $20 million.
“It is a huge project,” Heaslip told the crowd of more than 200 gathered for the presentation. “But we’ve laid it out, we’ve worked diligently on the business side to make sure that you get a first-class facility.”
He announced that the hotel would be built by the Lamborghini Group, which has built high-end hotels in Asia and Europe.
“This is their first one in Canada and British Columbia, so you should be pretty proud that they’re excited enough to see what can be done in this community,” Heaslip said.
The hotel will have two, four-storey towers and is planned to be built in two phases. Once enough units are sold, more will be built, although Heaslip wasn’t sure what sales model would be offered.
“We haven’t looked at that yet. I suspect that it will be less a Whistler model and more a standard sales model, but we still have to work out the business plan and see where that takes us,” he said in response to a question from an audience member.
Heaslip added the presentation was meant to be an overview of the plans and that more detailed drawings and information would come forward at an open house to be held sometime in October.
“You’ll see an ad in the paper for that,” he said.
Architect Karl Gustavson gave an overview of improvements planned for the clubhouse including a new pro shop, change rooms, front entry area, receiving area and side golf cart access.
Plans also call for the restaurant to be renovated and the clubhouse to be connected to the hotel via a covered walkway.
“So at the end of the day really it’s going to be a spectacular experience coming to the facility, whether you’re a golfer or you’re coming as a resort patron,” Gustavson said.
Wayne Carleton, golf course architect for the project, talked about the planned upgrades to the greens and watercourses that are expected to take three to five years to complete.
Planned changes include adding more forward and back tees, improving the driving range, enhancing the ponds and getting an adequate amount of water for irrigation to the site.
“Probably the number one issue with this golf course is water,” Carleton noted. “The long-term plan is to bring effluent water to the golf course for irrigation. That’s very, very important. Hopefully that will happen in the years to come because anything we want to do at the golf course revolves around water.”
Wang and his team are currently in discussions with the District of Sechelt about using some of the treated effluent water from Sechelt’s new wastewater treatment plant for the golf course.
Plans for the Lamborghini hotel also have to go through Sechelt council and Heaslip said Wang and the project team’s “hope is to get to council for a public hearing by the end of October.”
© Coast Reporter