How often have you heard that saying about real estate? Location, Location, Location.
The last few days I have been attending the Banff Western Connection Real Estate Conference and I've been thinking about "The Location". I just love Banff and coming here at all times of the year. I don't get to ski as near as often as I would like, but standing on top of the resorts here and enjoying the landscape is top of my list of things to do. I have been lamenting about the lack of ski time schedule for this trip (none). I have still been able to enjoy one of the jewels of the park and Canada for the matter.... The Banff Springs, Fairmont Hotel.
To promote tourism and passenger ridership the Canadian Pacific Railway established a series of first class resort hotels. The Banff Springs Hotel is a former railway hotel constructed in Scottish Baronial style located in Banff National Park. The original hotel, designed by American architect Bruce Price, was built between spring of 1887 and 1888 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, at the instigation of its President, William Cornelius Van Horne. The hotel was publicly opened on June 1, 1888. Starting in 1911, a wholly new hotel was built in stages to replace the 1888 structure. The new hotel was designed by another American architect, Walter S. Painter. Compared with Price's Shingle style-influenced wooden structure, Painter's new hotel was built of concrete and faced with stone. (source wiki)
As the story goes, the original hotel was built facing the wrong way. Rather than the majestic river valley view it does today the main view was the opposite direction. The original view would have looked something like:
I'm glad they got it right the second time.
I'd be hard pressed to put a price tag on how much it would cost to build that hotel today. The detail, stone and wood through out. Marble and granite floors, walls, counters and then extensive arches, hardwood flooring and of course the land. Reportedly it cost $2.500,000 in 1911. It's been added on and refurbished over the years. Not to mention the staff quarters converted to a hotel wing and subsequently new housing established for the staff.
The old saying "they are not making more land" is so true. They also don't make buildings with locations quite like this anymore either. I think it's a good reminder to reflect on prices form time to time. We get hung up on how "expensive" homes can be today while we forget how "expensive" they used to be. $2.5 Million seems like a bargain today but I'm sure 100 years ago that was indeed a fortune!
We enjoyed our stay in Banff at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. The service is fantastic, rooms clean and comfortable. The location... well it is one of my favourites. I hope you get to Banff and spend time at the Banff Springs.
Your Friend in Real Estate,
Patrick on twitter: @pgalesloot