2003 has been a difficult year for Canadian spas—especially in the Western part of the country. As if SARS, a weak US economy, and problems with Air Canada were not bad enough, forest fires have devastated tens of thousands of acres in British Columbia this summer. Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat & Health Spa, Ainsworth Hot Springs, British Columbia, was closed down for a week in September. Pat Corbett from the Hills Health Ranch in BC said that occupancies in the region were down 40 to 50 percent over the previous year.

The mountainous areas had scant snowfall this winter and no rainfall this summer, creating one of the most devastating fire seasons in decades. Authorities said that half the fires so far had been caused by lightning, while others were the work either of arsonists or campers who had accidentally provoked the blazes. Multiple Stage Six fires threatened several well-known Canadian destination spas. One fire burned 42,000-acres before jumping a containment line into a suburban neighborhood.

Want to help the Canadian Spa Industry? Take a trip to a Canadian Spa this fall or winter. The beauty of the Canadian wilderness combines with down home friendly service is an irresistible combination!