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Resort History

Over 65 years!


  • 1946 Fairholme Bungalows is built on Tunnel Mountain
  • 1968 the name is changed to Douglas Fir Resort
  • 1985 the indoor waterpark opens

Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies V469-3014. Fonds: George Noble V469/M533.

Our History

With the completion of the Banff-Jasper Highway in 1939, and in anticipation of a large increase in motor traffic, the provincial government established the Alberta Government Travel Bureau. Tourism development slowed during World War II, and with the world back at peace, a new building boom began. In late 1945, the National Park Bureau of Canada advertised a call for applications for the development of several bungalow camps in the park, with four sites identified, one being on Tunnel Mountain Road. One of the developments, leased in 1946, was named Fairholme Bungalows, as the site overlooked the spectacular Fairholme Range to the east. Several bungalows, 11 in total, were built varying in size to accommodate two to eight people. All the cabins had a stone fireplace. The season was from early May to the October Thanksgiving weekend.

In an annual tourism publication, The Travellers’ Digest, a full page ad featured Fairholme Bungalows.

Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies V469-2953. Fonds: George Noble V469/M533.

Overlooking Fairholme Range, The Million-Dollar View. Situated one mile from the village centre, on Tunnel Mountain, where you get that much-talked of “million-dollar view”, this new Bungalow Camp offers everything you could wish for in fine accommodation. Bungalows under the pines, where restful sleep is assured. Each Bungalow has large living room — with a big stone fireplace, equipped with Heatolator, a chesterfield, easy chairs. Alcove bedrooms — sleepy time beds, snuggle-down blankets. A smart little kitchen with electric range, dishes and all you need to do your own cooking. A bathroom with shower, toilet and basin completes the set-up. Bungalows vary in size, to accommodate from two to eight people, and rates from $7.50 per day for two, $8.00 to $10.00 for four, and $11.00 to $12.00 for six or more. You couldn’t find a more comfortable Bungalow Camp anywhere in the Canadian Rockies, and The Travellers’ Digest is pleased to have it on their list of “preferred accommodations”. For reservations: Write, wire or telephone Staples-Kelly Bungalows, Banff, Alberta, Phone 117-R-2.”

Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies V469-3013. Fonds: George Noble V469/M533.

Fairholme to Douglas Fir

In 1968 the name of the resort changed to Douglas Fir Chalets, named after the stately Douglas fir trees in the area.

Eighteen A-frame chalets were built, and the resort was opened for the winter. The cabins had animal names, for example Chalet Bear, Chalet Eagle, Chalet Cougar, Chalet Raven, Chalet Wolf, Chalet Beaver, Chalet Caribou, Chalet Elk, and Chalet HoHo (a mythological bird from Native American art and traditions). The carvings on the chalets also came from Native American art and traditions.

In the early 1980s nine of the A-frames were replaced with 16 fourplex units. A main lodge building was added with an executive suite, small studio units, a pool and an indoor waterpark. With two giant waterslides, kiddy pool and a whirlpool, steam rooms and a fully equipped exercise room, the resort became well known as an all-season family resort.

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