Often it’s the dramatic natural beauty and restorative peace and quiet that draw people to the Columbia Basin initially, and keep them coming back year after year. And that’s what attracted Rick Chartraw here as well, a few years after he retired from a 10-year hockey career that included four Stanley Cup wins with the Montreal Canadiens.

Chartraw laughs about not much enjoying Canada’s winters and choosing, for the past 15 years, to spend them in Australia. But he spends the beautiful Canadian summers at Kinbasket Lake Resort, about 40 minutes northwest of Golden.

Chartraw bought the resort property in 2002 and immediately needed to invest heavily in repairs and upgrades to infrastructure. The entire water-pipe and electrical systems needed to be replaced in all 10 buildings on the property, and the buildings themselves needed to be renovated and refurbished. When the mortgage came up for renewal, Chartraw approached the Trust for financing.

“The Trust came out and looked at what we do,” Chartraw says. “Our needs aligned with their support of business and recreational opportunities in the Columbia Basin, so the Trust put together some financing and it’s worked out quite well.”

Thanks to the Trust’s support and the hard work of Chartraw and his employees, the resort’s occupancy has grown from about 300 summer visitors in 2002 to an average of over 3,000.

The resort’s biggest attractions are its peacefulness and the lake itself. “It’s the absolutely perfect place for kids—the playground looks like an anthill full of children,” Chartraw says. “We rent out canoes and kayaks and pedal boats, and those are busy all summer out on the lake.”

Many visitors stay for multiple nights.

“We see in the neighbourhood of 14,000 to 16,000 overnight stays here in a little over 12 weeks.”

And those happy visitors return home restored and refreshed and looking forward to another visit to the beautiful Columbia Basin.