HicksBiz Blog

Category: Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous things in your life

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge: You'd never know it, but the grand old lady of the Rockies has been completely refurbished and restored

I love subtle change. Not the big, bold, brash look-at-me, look-how-trendy-I-am, change only for the sake of change. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (JPL as it's known to the locals), located just outside the Jasper townsite in Canada's Jasper National Park, is among the most classic and iconic hotel architecture in North America.  The main lodge dates back to 1923, then was rebuilt after a major fire in 1953. Around it, on a huge manicured 700-acre wilderness campus, are guest cabins of all sizes and shapes - 446 units in all. But absolutely central to JPL's wilderness beauty is the keeping of all its cabins to the same classic visual exterior and interior themes - verandahs, browns and greens, cottage-like.  To photograph any cabin in isolation is to know immediately that it is a Jasper Park Lodge cabin.  Over the last five to seven years, 90% of Jasper Park Lodge has been updated, renovated and refurbished.  But it hasn't been made a big deal.  While attending the annual &n ... Read the rest of entry »

Edmonton chiropractors and physiotherapists recommended by readers of my Facebook page

A week ago (July 10, 2015) on Facebook, I complained of back pain that had gone on since early April, and asked if anybody would recommend a good chiropractor.  Well the suggestions poured in.  In the interests of sharing information, here’s a list of chiropractors, physiotherapists and a few other suggestions that were recommended by those who read the Facebook post. Please do not consider this list to be any kind of endorsement from myself or Hicksbiz.com. It is merely a passing on of names of chiropractic doctors and physiotherapists as recommended by other Edmontonians from their own personal experience. This list will not be expanded. I don't want to it to become less credible through undetected manipulation.  Thanks to more visits with my physiotherapist Albert Chan at the Kinsmen Physiotherapy Clinic, and following his stretching instructions daily, I am relieved to find my own strained back is slowly beginning to heal. Chiropractors  - in alphabetical order by last name: ... Read the rest of entry »

Riding the rails to Winnipeg: A pleasant blast from the past on VIA Rail

Riding the train (VIA Rail) in Western Canada You took the train to Winnipeg, many ask with arched eyebrow. I can't blame them. It's a bit odd. Why would anybody from Edmonton head to Winnipeg in July for a holiday, given the Okanagan, the rest of the B.C. interior and the west coast is closer by? And why would you take the train? Because we've headed to B.C. for summer holidays dozens upon dozens of times. We have friends and relatives in Winnipeg. It's a terribly underrated city with a lovely riverfront downtown promenade, culminating in The Forks - think Granville Island in Vancouver. A town alive with culture, new sports arenas and excellent restaurants.  We had never taken taken the VIA Rail Canadian before - the train(s) that run from Toronto to Vancouver and back three times a week during the summer, with stops in Jasper, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Winnipeg. Taking the train was something different. It beats driving across the prairies (boring). The cost, in econo ... Read the rest of entry »

How Alberta's Ski Resorts fuel winter vacation towns: Hicks on Biz column originally published in Edmonton Sun, Jan. 19, 2013

How does a ski resort make any money?Marmot Basin in Jasper is weather dependent, yet the bills have to be paid no matter how many skiers are on the hill.It's labour intensive.Capital re-investment is a must, if only to meet customer expectations. New ski lifts can cost up to $8 million a pop.Other than holidays, it's about weekends, for five months of the year.Ninety per cent of Marmot Basin's skiers (including snowboarders) come from Edmonton and northern Alberta. If it's -20C with slippery roads, only the diehards will show up. Jasper's best day ever was 5,007 skiers. Its every-day average would be an estimated 1,500 skiers.Being in a national park, Marmot has stringent environmental standards. There are no on-site chalet real-estate plays as Parks Canada owns the land. Marmot is not allowed to open in summer.A day's lift pass costs $80. But discounts abound, i.e. Jasper-in-January festival ski packages, running until Jan. 27. The average lift ticket price works out to $45 to $50.Marmot Basin is a private ... Read the rest of entry »