Written by Laura
It started with the restoration of Fernie’s 1908 schoolhouse, a former place of education for many locals, who attended this high school between the dates of 1909 – 1998. A $30 million dollar restoration of this property transformed the grounds into luxury residences, vacation rentals and a commercial space fit for a spa; the once run down building was rejuvenated into a place of retreat, a 6600 square foot wellness centre comprising of multiple treatment areas, retail space and amenities.
In 2012, Spa 901 was founded by Calgary entrepreneur Shelly MacGregor. One year prior, Shelly visited Fernie for a bike trip, and the opportunity to transform this space was presented to her – she jumped at it. A massage therapist, and owner of multiple wellness businesses in Calgary, Shelly was the perfect fit for this project. In honor of its historic roots key areas of the spa maintained exposed brick wall, original to the 1908 school house, and a large chalk board written ‘Old School Pampering’ was created as the centre piece of the reception area. Combining unique and traditional therapies, the menu was created with relaxation and indulgence in mind.
Three years after it was founded, Spa 901 was purchased by two long-term employees:
Originally from the Crowsnest Pass, Laura moved to Fernie in 2013, when she was hired originally as the Spa Director. Before moving back west to B.C to pursue a mountain lifestyle, Laura spent five years living in downtown Toronto where she built up her management and marketing experience in a role as a regional marketing director. Laura was honored to take on the role of ownership at the spa, seeking to take the experience to new levels. Hired at the same time as Laura, Jessica moved to Fernie from her home in Australia, to experience a winter season in Fernie. With a background working in world-class spas, such as the Hilton, Jessica was quickly promoted to the lead esthetician and spa therapist role at 901. Focused on the training, education and development of the team and service protocols, Jessica is passionate about fostering individual growth in the team and to have the spa become a leader within the industry.
Growing year after year, the team at Spa 901 now consists of 19 passionate employees, combining talents in esthetics, massage therapy, skincare and reflexology. The team strives to provide an exceptional spa experience for guests, through a range of personalized treatments, a high standard of customer service and a warm and welcoming environment. Further renovations and updates continue to be a priority to the owners, including a recent renovation of the manicure and pedicure areas which elevated the look of the space and increased the capacity for services. In the coming year, the Spa 901 team plans to introduce new technologies and maintain focus on providing a place of retreat and relaxation for all guests.