Mi Casa es su Casa

Cal­gary fam­ily finds cabin-on-the-lake re­treat in La Casa Cot­tage Re­sort

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - CLAIRE YOUNG

Acabin at the lake means a life­time of mem­o­ries. Cal­gary cou­ple Jeff and Rae­lene MacKen­zie wanted a spe­cial place to build a wealth of fun with their twin boys, Ai­dan and Evan.

When they hap­pened on La Casa Cot­tage Re­sort on the west side of Lake Okana­gan in Bri­tish Columbia six years ago, they bought a cabin “on im­pulse.”

“When I was a kid, we used to go to the same re­sort year af­ter year,” says Jeff MacKen­zie, a fi­nan­cial plan­ner in his 40s. “Those are some of my fond­est mem­o­ries. I think that’s cer­tainly the case with our kids. Go­ing to the same re­sort ev­ery year is like hav­ing a sec­ond neigh­bour­hood.

“We know ev­ery­body; we know the kids of the other own­ers; we get together for bar­be­cues. We meet lots of new peo­ple, too, be­cause there are al­ways guests and renters. It’s a very fam­i­ly­ori­ented re­sort, so it’s a lot of fun for the kids.”

La Casa is prov­ing a pop­u­lar draw for Cal­gary fam­i­lies, says Pa­tri­cia Cec­coni, La Casa sales direc­tor.

“Be­tween 55 to 60 per cent of buy­ers over the years have been from Al­berta and a good por­tion of that from Cal­gary,” Cec­coni says.

“Cal­gary fam­i­lies ab­so­lutely love the Okana­gan. It’s a great place to come. We also get a few peo­ple who may want to re­tire to the Okana­gan in the next five to 10 years and want to get their foot in the door to test the wa­ters.”

The re­sort has about 470 lots, of which 23 are avail­able, rang­ing from $49,000 to $124,000.

Own­ers can build cot­tages up to 1,076 square feet of to­tal liv­ing space — decks and garages don’t count in the square footage.

The re­main­ing lots are in a va­ri­ety of lo­ca­tions, in­clud­ing three closer to the wa­ter. Most are at the top of the re­sort in the third and fi­nal phase, which backs onto Crown for­est.

“What’s nice about that area is that it’s much more peace­ful and quiet,” Cec­coni says. “There’s noth­ing but the for­est be­hind you, and you’ve got this gor­geous view (of the lake) in front of you.”

The MacKen­zies bought about six years ago, when their boys were four years old.

“We were look­ing for a place that was warmer than Cal­gary, near a lake be­cause my wife loves wa­ter, and with lots of stuff for kids to do,” says MacKen­zie.

There are plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties at La Casa to keep kids oc­cu­pied, with a large park, vol­ley­ball courts, mini golf, two pools and wa­ter tram­po­lines in the lake.

“The kids love all of it. On a long week­end, we’ll hit ev­ery­thing twice,” MacKen­zie says. “As (the boys) get older, we’ll prob­a­bly get a boat, too. There’s a siz­able ma­rina with quite a few slips.”

The MacKen­zies bought a Barcelona model, a three-bed­room, 1,100 square-foot cot­tage that can

Csleep eight, for a price in the low-$300,000s. It’s large enough for their needs, and more. They of­ten rent out the cot­tage dur­ing the weeks they aren’t us­ing it.

“It hap­pens to be a way of keep­ing it filled when we’re not out there,” says MacKen­zie. “We’ve gen­er­ally had very good guests. If you have some­one us­ing it, it off­sets some of the costs.”

Be­cause the re­sort is still devel­op­ing, there are new things to look for­ward to ev­ery visit.

“What I like about it is it is still a grow­ing re­sort,” MacKen­zie says.

“Last year they put sun­decks

Visit our web­site for more pho­tos. down at the lake, which makes it a lot more re­lax­ing to watch the kids.”

Mostly, though, the fam­ily sees La Casa as a great place to spend time together, he says.

“We love go­ing some­place where the kids al­ways have some­thing fun to do. They have lots of peo­ple to play with and we’ve got good friends. It’s nice to be able to get the kids together and the adults and have a glass of wine on the deck. It’s a very re­laxed place to be.”

The Waterfront cabin has a breath­tak­ing view of Lake Okana­gan.

Re­sort res­i­dents can have fun on Lake Okana­gan.

The view of Lake Okana­gan from the re­sort.

The La Casa Cot­tage Re­sort’s Waterfront cabin’s liv­ing area.

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