Dan Matthews and his company Ecoasis Developments LLP have purchased Bear Mountain. Matthews

Bear Mountain finds a new owner [Updated]

Bear Mountain is set to enter into a new chapter of its so-far storied history after finding a buyer in B.C.-based Ecoasis Developments LLP.

Bear Mountain is set to enter into a new chapter of its so-far storied history after finding a buyer in B.C.-based Ecoasis Developments LLP.

Vancouver Island-born Dan Matthews’ development company has built communities in Hawaii and Whistler and is a founding member of the Canadian Green Building Council.

It has now purchased Bear Mountain for an undisclosed amount and will be taking over operations, while keeping on all staff already employed at the resort.

Bear Mountain had been on the market since May. It had been in the control of HSBC bank since 2010, after original owner Len Berrie, owing $250 million, was removed as CEO.

Matthews, who lives in the Uplands, has family history in Langford extending back 90 years. His mother was born in Langford, and his grandfather, Frank Wilfert, has a road named after him in Colwood. He said he’s trying to dig up more information on his family’s history in the area.

“It didn’t really resonate or become relevant to me until we started looking at Bear Mountain,” Matthews said. “It wouldn’t be the driver of us purchasing a resort, simply because of roots and location, but it certainly does make it more special and it underpins my resolve to make it a success.”

Matthews said Bear Mountain has everything he looks for in a resort worthy of investment.

“One of our primary drivers for being interested (was) the urban vibrancy of Langford and the natural beauty and amenities that the Highlands offer,” Matthews said. “Without one or the other, to us it’s a lot less interesting.”

Matthews also praised prior owners Bear Mountain Holdings and its CEO Gary Cowan for the work they put into the resort, which has resulted in many awards won by the hotel and golf courses.

Looking forward, Matthews said he plans to consult with all stakeholders, including the residents, golfers, staff, municipalities and the surrounding community at large, over the next three to six months over the direction Bear Mountain should take.

He said he agrees with the prior owners that the current zoning is not sustainable and will be looking at options. As to whether or not he will continue with the previous owner’s plans to remove nine holes of golf from the resort, Matthews said no decisions have been made either way.

“Changes are required, for sure,” Matthews said. “I could never set anything in stone without engaging with the communities, before we move forward.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Esquimalt explores creating portage beach for choppy Gorge waters

The portage beach would add safety to the Victoria Waterways Loop

Decline of Canadian manufacturing hurts men, according to new study

A five per cent drop in manufacturing drops the weekly wages of men by at least 6.9 per cent

Number of U-Hauls entering Victoria plummeted in 2019

Data compiled from two million one-way U-Haul transactions

Organizers seek input for long-awaited Oaklands community garden

Oswald Park Community Garden Design Workshop coming up on Jan. 19

Six months to Francophone Games, 600 volunteers needed

Online applications open on Jan. 14

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

How to beat Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year

Multiple factors can play a role in seasonal depression, says Fraser Health psychiatrist

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read