Mountain News 

Top-end health spa checking out Canada

Compiled by Allen Best

CANMORE, Alberta — The Canyon Ranch, a well-known health and leisure spa based in Arizona, is being wooed by developers in Canmore.

Canyon Ranch spas are not just the place for massages, facials and saunas, notes the Rocky Mountain Outlook. If it locates at Three Sisters Mountain Villages, a major new project being developed at Canmore, then Canyon Ranch will have connections to hospitals and universities in Alberta in line with its emphasis on health and wellness.

A facility at Canmore’s Three Sisters Mountain Villages would be at least 20,000 square feet, says Terry Minger, a Colorado-based consultant to the project in Canmore, and a consultant to Whistler in the ’70s and early ’80s. Canyon Ranch has a staff of about 30 doctors and post-graduate researchers at its facilities, and operates as a research institute as well as a wellness centre.

Minger said Canyon Ranch also wants to work with Alberta Health to see where it could fit in with the government’s new focus on health and wellness.

The Three Sisters Mountain Villages project had been planned as primarily a golf and hotel complex, but last year switched its focus to a health and wellness resort.

Minger said other areas, including Whistler and Vancouver, are also trying to woo Canyon Ranch.

Vietnam vet remembers

TELLURIDE, Colo. — This presidential election this year has special reverberations in the mountain towns of the West. Dick Cheney has a home in Jackson Hole, while John Kerry hangs out at Sun Valley. And, it turns out, one of Kerry’s fellow sailors from Vietnam, Jim Russell, has been living in Telluride since the late 1970s.

Russell, a restaurateur, was in the national news in August when he broke his self-imposed silence about Vietnam to defend Kerry’s version of his courageous action when his Swift boat came under attack. A group of Vietnam veterans who have ties to President George W. Bush have questioned both his injuries and also the danger Kerry was in.

"Anyone who doesn’t think that we were being fired upon must have been on a different river," writes Russell in The Telluride Watch, recalling the event of March 13, 1969. "The picture I have in my mind of Kerry bending over from his boat picking some hapless guy out of the river while all hell was breaking loose around us is a picture based on fact, and it cannot be disputed or changed."

Russell descried the version disseminated by "Swift Boats Veterans for the Truth" as an "evil extreme right-wing attack."

Another Swift boat veteran, although he did not serve directly with Kerry, lives in the Vail area. Ted Kenney, a former stockbroker, didn’t take sides in his analysis of the controversy, but did recall how uncomfortable it was being a Vietnam vet for many years after returning state-side.


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