Jason Burt and Veronique Roy, owners of Snow Valley Lodging, are celebrating the completion of their new Tiny Home Hotel.
This six-unit complex is, they believe, the first of its kind in Canada.
The idea began when the couple started to consider upgrades to the lodge, located off Highway 3 at 1041 7th Avenue in Fernie.
The couple decided to replace what was then an RV Park extension of the lodge, and convert the space on the highway into a modern, one-of-a-kind tiny home hotel. Five years after the shovel first hit the ground, the units are complete.
“We got creative and pioneered this adventure of ours that we’ve been on for a number of years,” said Burt.
Before the renovation phase began, the couple considered many options for the space including multi-dwelling units and an apartment complex, but settled on the tiny home hotel, wrapped around an outdoor social plaza.
“The concept formed from the Lodge’s need for a social gathering point, and our need to extend ourselves in a business sense to cater to certain groups that we couldn’t cater to with the facilities we currently had,” explained Burt.
(The outdoor social space at the new Tiny Home Hotel in Fernie. Photo courtesy of Snow Valley Lodging/Kristine Weiss)
In addition to the six units, which are identical with the exception of style, is a common room and outdoor plaza with chairs, tables, hanging lights and a fire pit which turns on at the touch of a button.
Each tiny home is 220 square feet in size with the social space, full kitchen, and bathroom on the main floor, and a queen bed in a loft above. Each also features an extra pull-out bed.
The homes can be rented year-round ranging in price from $189 to $229 a night.
Burt explained that after they removed the RV lot, it then required rezoning by the City of Fernie. This approval to build their new complex, he believes, is also one of the first in the country and sets an example for other municipalities.
Look back: Tiny homes project in Fernie clears first hurdle
A large motivation to covert to a tiny home hotel stemmed from the couple’s dream of one day living in one. Currently a young family, the couple said a tiny home may be in their future, somewhere down the line. With four young ones, the family has joked about each taking a unit for themselves.
“Everybody I think has an interest; could I possibly downsize and live in one?” said Burt.
Going into it, the couple did not anticipate that they would be among the first in Canada, if not the first, to launch a tiny home hotel.
“(We) tried to see what others had done, to be honest, and there was no footprint there to be found,” he said.
Burt said the concept has taken off in the United States but hasn’t made its way to Canada, until now.
When you’re inside one of the units, Burt says you feel like you could be anywhere; the middle of the woods, on a lakefront or up on the mountains. A tiny, minimalistic home, he said, gives you the freedom to potentially live in these remote places with relative ease. Cost of operation is also a fraction of a regular North American style home. In addition to this, the couple said it promotes a healthy lifestyle.
“It gets you out,” said Burt. “Because of course, small spaces, as cozy as they are, I think you connect and reconnect with the outdoors a bit more.”
The official opening of Snow Valley Lodging’s Tiny Home Hotel will take place today from 11:30 – 1:30.
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