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Fit for a king | The Star





CANMORE, Alta.—Included in the $42 million Frank Kernick spent to build his luxury hotel here amidst the Rocky Mountains was $1,500 for Scottish kilts to dress his construction trades.

Most of Kernick’s construction crew drive pickups with gun wracks in the back window and spend their off hours roaming the rugged Kananaskis Mountain Range surrounding this resort town.

Condo suites at Spring Creek in Canmore.
Condo suites at Spring Creek in Canmore.  (Pat Brennan / Special to the Star)

The town’s elite were turning out for the black-tie gala to officially open the 124-room hotel and Kernick wanted his building trades there, but knew most of them didn’t own a business suit. So he turned them out in Highland Dress.

There were plenty of other kilts at the opening of the 4-star Malcolm Hotel, which is named after Malcolm II, the King of Scotland from 1005 to 1034. He was also commonly known as Canmore — which in Gaelic means big head, head man or big chief.

As Canadian Pacific director Donald Smith was pushing his railway line through the Rockies in 1884 he wanted to create a settlement surrounded by mountains in the Bow River Valley. To salute his own Scottish heritage he named the village Canmore.

A year later Smith drove in the last spike to finish the trans-Canada rail line.

The town sits just outside Banff National Park, one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. Banff, the town site, can’t grow anymore, but the tourists keep coming and Canmore, 25 kilometres east on The TransCanada Highway, handles the overflow.

Plus, this pretty town — like its neighbour — is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and draws three million annual visitors on its own. It has more restaurants/capita than any other town in Canada.

And the new Malcolm Hotel helps reduce the vacation accommodation pressures this town experiences, particularly in summer, although it’s also a winter ski resort, says Dave Rodney, executive director of Canmore Kananaskis Tourism.

“Our hotels and resorts are usually sold out all summer long and into the fall too,” Rodney said.

The Malcolm, built with large timber pieces and stone finishes, sits on the 27-acre milk farm on which Kernick grew up. His grandfather and later his father supplied most of the milk to Canmore residents.

It’s a five-minute walk from the farm to the town’s downtown core and the family eventually realized there is more business in accommodating the town’s growing tourism trade than in milking cows.

The farm became a 27-acre campground on Spring Creek. Canmore sits between Spring Creek and the Bow River.

Frank graduated as an engineer from University of Alberta and built major structures around the province for other developers, including mountain resorts amidst the Kananaskis Mountain Range. Then he started developing his family’s campground as a resort village, which will have 1,000 luxury resort condos when built out.

Kernick plans to add two more hotels to the milk farm. Among the structures he built in Canmore as a construction engineer is the Iron Goat Restaurant, which Kernick owns.

The Iron Goat was the name of the steam locomotive that pulled railway cars full of coal along the south bank of the Bow River serving a dozen coal mines in the area. The last mine closed in 1976.

Canmore is home to more Olympic athletes than any other town in the world. Athletes come from around the world to train at Nordic Centre Provincial Park, which boasts some of the world’s finest facilities for Nordic skiing events and mountain bike competition. It was built for the Calgary-hosted 1988 Winter Olympic Games. The park has a method of preserving winter snow all year and can put snow on its 65 kilometres of cross-country ski trails all year long.

The foothills and mountains in the area are laced with hiking trails, but many are closed in the fall when grizzly bears and black bears come down from the heights to fatten up on the wide variety of berries along the trails.

Canmore is the centre point amidst four of western Canada’s most popular ski resorts — Nakiska, Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise.

No Airbnbs are permitted in Canmore and the average resale house price of $800,000 is highest in Canada, outside of Vancouver and Toronto. Room rates at the Malcolm range from $199 to $549.

Construction of the Malcolm was delayed for six months after Kernick decided it was going to look too modern. He wanted a more traditional, historic looking mountain resort, so construction stopped for six months while he and architect Bill Marshall redesigned the hotel.


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Travel & Escape

Why your hotel mattress feels like heaven (and how to bring that feeling home)





(NC) Choosing the right mattress is a long-term investment in your health and well-being. To make a good choice for your home, take a cue from luxury hotel-room beds, which are designed to support the sound sleep of tens of thousands of guests, 365 nights a year.

“When we’re shopping for a mattress, we do lab testing, identify the best materials, bring in multiple mattress samples and have our associates test them,” explains David Rizzo, who works for Marriott International. “We ask for ratings on comfort level, firmness, body support and movement disruption. It takes 12 to 18 months just to research and select materials.”

Here, he shares his tips to pick the perfect mattress for your best sleep:

Understand your needs. People have different food and exercise preferences, as well as different sleep cycles. So, it’s no surprise that everyone has unique mattress preferences. Not sure whether a firm or a soft mattress is better? Rizzo says the best gauge is to ask yourself, “Do I wake up with aches and pains?” If the answer is no, you’re golden.

Foam versus spring. All mattresses have a core that is made up foam or innersprings or a combination of the two. Today’s foam-core mattresses contain memory foam — a material engineered by NASA to keep astronauts comfortable in their seats. It’s special because it retains or “remembers” its shape, yielding to pressure from the sleeper’s body, then bouncing back once the pressure is removed.

An innerspring mattress has an encased array of springs with individual coils that are connected by a single helical wire. This wire creates continuous movement across the coil that minimizes disruption if the mattress is disturbed, such as by a restless sleeper. According to Rizzo, the innerspring is “bouncier.”

Temperature preference. Consider how warm or cool you like to sleep, and factor in the construction of the mattress to find one with a temperature that suits you. The air space engineered into an innerspring mattress promotes ventilation, which some people find keeps them pleasantly cool. To accomplish the same purpose with a foam mattress (or the foam layer of an innerspring) it may be infused with metal, usually silver or copper, to help dissipate heat and humidity.

Need to test out the right mattress for your needs? Find the right fit during your next trip by booking your stay at

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Travel & Escape

How to make the most of summer travel





(NC) One of the best parts of our short Canadian summers is the opportunity to enjoy them a little bit extra on long weekends. If you need ideas, check out these creative things to do whether you decide to stay in town or go away.

Do a dinner crawl. Pub crawls are fun for couples, friends and also families with older kids. For an exciting twist that stretches your dollars and lets you taste food from several spots before you get too full, try a dinner crawl. Eat apps at one restaurant, mains at another and dessert at another.

Go on a mini getaway. You don’t need to go very far to enjoy a vacation – exploring a Canadian city over a summer weekend is great way to treat yourself to a holiday. Whether it’s checking out the museums in Toronto or the parks in Vancouver, there’s something for everyone. For upgraded benefits, special experiences and the best rates guaranteed, join Marriott Bonvoy and book direct on

Host a potluck. Perfect whether you’re staying at home or going to your cottage, gather friends and family together for some food and fun. A potluck is an easy and affordable way to host a big get-together and lets everyone try something new and swap recipes. Make the festivities extra special with a fireworks potluck, too – ask everyone to bring some fireworks or sparklers and put on a light show. Just be sure to follow local regulations for consumer fireworks.

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Travel & Escape

Lottoland: Here’s why Canadians love it!





Lotteries have been in existence for many centuries now and it’s an open secret that most people enjoy playing a good lottery.

Asides from gauging your own luck, the thrill of playing, the anticipation of the results and the big wins every now and then is something most people look forward to. Since 1982, the lottery has been in Canada, but now there is a way to play both the Lotto and other international lotteries from Canada, all from the comfort of your home.

With Lottoland, all you need to do is register and get access to numerous international lotteries right from their website. The easy-to-use interface has all the information you need, and great amount of care has been taken to ensure that the online experience is similar—and even better—than if players were to visit each location personally.

The Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries are hitting record highs with their prize money, in what the organizers claim to be the largest jackpot in the history of the world. However, the U.S. has gambling laws that are state controlled and buying your ticket through an online broker can be considered gambling.

“No one except the lottery or their licensed retailers can sell a lottery ticket. No one. Not even us. No one. No, not even that website. Or that one,” Powerball’s website says.

Therefore, to stand a chance to win the $1.5 billion-dollar lottery jackpot it means you have to purchase your lottery tickets directly from a licensed retailer such as Lottoland.

Since 2013, Lottoland has been operating in Canada, rapidly growing in popularity amongst Canadians. Due to its easy of use and instant access to lotteries that were previously considered inaccessible—as Canadians had to travel all the way to the U.S. to purchase tickets in the past—Lottoland has attracted lots of visitors.

Currently, there about 8-million players on Lottoland, a figure that points to the reliability of the website.

One of the core values of Lottoland is transparency and that’s why a quick search on the website would show you a list of all of their winners. Recently, a Lottoland customer was awarded a world-record fee of $137 million CND.

Also, due to the incredibly slim chances of winning the grand prize not everyone would take home mega-dollar winnings, but there are substantial winnings every day.

Securing your information online is usually one important factor when registering on any platform and as the site explains, “Lottoland works very hard to verify your information.”

The site has a multi-verification process that will ensure that you confirm your identity and age before giving you a pay-out. However, in the rare case that a player has immediate luck and wins a lottery before completing the verification process, Lottoland will hold on to the winnings until they complete your verification.

While this might seem like a tedious process, it is very important as these safety features would ensure that your information wasn’t stolen and ultimately your winning routed to another account.

Lottoland is licensed with the National Supervisory Bodies For Lotteries in several countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Sweden, Ireland and Australia—where it is called a wagering license. Typically, most gaming companies don’t establish insurance companies as it entails that their activities have to be transparent and the must be highly reputable in the industry.

Nonetheless, Lottoland has no issues meeting up to these standards as they have established themselves as the only gaming sector company who has its own insurance company—an added advantage for new and existing users.

Lotteries aren’t the only games Canadians enjoy playing and Lottoland recognizes this by providing players with other types of gaming. As an industry leader, video designers of online games often make them their first choice when it comes to publishing their works.

Online games such as slots, blackjack, video poker, baccarat, keno, scratchoffs, roulette and many others are always on offer at the Lottoland Casino. There’s also the option of playing with a live dealer and a total of over 100 games.

Lottoland has received numerous rave reviews from its growing list of satisfied customer and their responsive customer service agents are always available to answer any questions users may have, along with solving challenges they may have encountered.

More and more Canadians are trooping to Lottoland in droves due to the unique experience of going to a casino without having to leave the comfort of their homes.

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