Our History at the West Coast Wilderness LodgeThe village of Egmont on the Sunshine Coast was settled in the late 1890s by a few families of First Nations and Portuguese ancestry.
Accessible only by boat, the community was built around the fishing and hand-logging industries. As logging underwent a period of major growth between 1920 and 1950, the road into Egmont was finally built in the early 1960s.
In March 1997, Paul and Patti Hansen bought seven acres of land from a German development company and established West Coast Wilderness Lodge.
Egmont was chosen for its close proximity to Vancouver and its pristine wilderness setting; its spectacular scenery includes sites such as Chatterbox Falls, Freil Falls and the Skookumchuck Rapids, as well as several beautiful lakes.
The Hansens' strong background in outdoor recreation and wilderness education led them to design the Lodge as a wilderness retreat which offered schoolchildren and corporate groups the opportunity to learn about and enjoy the beautiful B.C. outdoors.
As Paul likes to say, "Eco-tourism is what we did 20 years ago — we just called it camping. These days all we do is serve better food."
A 7,000 square foot main lodge was built with a dining room, kitchen, offices and lounge, as well as five mini-lodges with accommodation for up to eighty guests. West Coast Wilderness Lodge attracted students from many local and international schools, as well as business groups seeking a wilderness corporate retreat.
As Paul and Patti began considering their goals and plans for the Lodge’s future, they identified that the Lodge was well-positioned for the international eco-tourism market. Boutique remote resorts have become a highly sought-after destination by overseas tourists. The Lodge's close proximity to the Lower Mainland meant it was perfect for corporate retreats, weddings and weekend getaways.
In 2003 the property was re-zoned, existing facilities were remodelled and additional services were added. These include an improved restaurant, front desk, a concierge, and an Adventure Centre that caters to in-house guests and other visitors to the area.
This allowed the Lodge to open up to both international and domestic travellers. As the rooms were enlarged and upgraded into luxury accommodations, occupancy was lowered from 80 to approximately 40 guests.
In 2006 and 2007, the accommodations were remodelled once again with larger bathrooms and the addition of a private balcony for each room. Due to these upgrades, our resort ended 2008 with over 160 international tour providers as partners.
Our fine dining room was recently called “the best water front restaurant dining room in this part of the world” by Pacific Yachting Magazine.
As our business depends on Egmont maintaining its environmental beauty and integrity, West Coast Wilderness Lodge is deeply committed to minimizing our impact on the local wilderness and wildlife of the Sunshine Coast.
For example, landscaping is primarily done with indigenous species of trees, shrubs, and plants, with special emphasis on foreshore flora and fauna. The resort will remain a west coast wilderness area that blends in with the natural rock features that flow throughout the property.
Eco-tourism adventures are our niche and we try to help the Sunshine Coast's economy grow in a sustainable fashion. We have been operating in Egmont for the past ten years; our resort's impact on the community has been very positive so far and it will continue to be.