Author: 800 CHAB News

The Temple Gardens Mineral Spa celebrated its 10th anniversary Saturday night in Moose Jaw.

Employees, shareholders and the general public were all invited to attend an evening outdoor celebration event, held in conjunction with the annual downtown Sidewalk Days activities and a Multi-plex fundraising rally. 

The Temple Gardens Mineral Spa and CEO Deb Thorn acknowledged the many people and organizations that helped make the dream a reality. 

The anniversary event showcased local favorites, Moose Jaw Mix, and ever-popular Saskatchewan Express in scaled-down versions of their shows.  The large, outdoor stage had to be dismantled when rain started coming down around 6 pm.

Temple Gardens presented the Government of Canada (Western Economic Diversification) and the City of Moose Jaw (Industrial Development Corporation) with symbolic cheques to acknowledge the re-payment of its two interest-free loans, as promised ten years ago.  The loans totalled over $2.1 million.

The Multi-plex fund-raising barbeque was held in conjunction with Temple Gardens anniversary event.  Final totals aren't in yet but, it's safe to say at least several thousand dollars was raised and goes towards the proposed Multi-plex project in Moose Jaw.

Following  is some background on the history of our spa.

In 1989 the City of Moose Jaw joined forces with Sask Water to drill a $1.1 million geo-thermal well, tapping into ancient seabeds lying deep below the city. Half a decade later, Temple Gardens Mineral Spa opened its doors for business on June 3rd, 1996, with 69 hotel rooms and 53 employees. 

Within the first year of operations, the spa resort facility had achieved its current Canada Select  4 ½ star rating. Today the hotel has 179 hotel rooms, after expanding in 1998 and 2002, and now employs over 200 people.  Temple Gardens attracts people from around the world, with the majority of its 200,000 annual visitors coming from Saskatchewan (60%), Alberta (15%), and Manitoba (13%).  Hundreds of flags of the world are proudly displayed in the Spa pool area, representing the home states of our many visitors. This was the vision of the Founding Directors, who in the early 1990's dreamed of building a tourist destination that would attract visitors from around the world.

Temple Gardens is unique because of its geo-thermal mineral-rich therapeutic waters. It has been  named one of Canada's top spas three times.  The Company has also received numerous tourism and business awards, including Sask Tourism Business of the Year, Sask Tourism Customer Service Excellence Award, Sask Chamber of Commerce ABEX Marketing and New Venture Awards, and the 2003 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.  The Company credits its success to the hard work of its employees, and to the support of its many tourism partners along with the 35,000 people of Moose Jaw who have helped to market the Spa to the world. 

Temple Gardens Mineral Spa would not have been possible without the partnership of three levels of government and investment by over 1,000 founding shareholders who purchased shares at $1.00 each through a 1995 Public Share Offering. The economic spin-off from the Spa is significant: Since opening in 1996, Temple Gardens has generated over $61 million in gross sales, and currently boasts nearly $11 million in sales annually.  Between 1996 and 2006, the Spa paid $23 million in wages and salaries to its employees. Thousands of man-hours in construction jobs were also created as a result of $30 million required to build the Spa, Hotel, Parkade and Casino over the course of the past decade. In ten years Temple Gardens also contributed a quarter of a million dollars to the city in municipal surtaxes on its power and gas utility bills, themselves totaling $2.9 million.

In 1995 the City of Moose Jaw was faced with the problem of dealing with the vacant and dilapidated Harwood Hotel, which at the time was in receivership and $600,000 in tax arrears.  Naysayers of the day complained about the waving of back-taxes on the derelict hotel property, as well as the property tax phase-ins that Temple Gardens received from the City of Moose Jaw.  These tax concessions allowed the Company to survive in its difficult early years, and later to expand its hotel.  Today few would argue that the City's initial tax concessions have been paid back in aces:  Between 1996 and 2005, Temple Gardens paid $2 million into the City's property tax coffers with another $449,076 and $525,000 to be paid during the calendar years 2006 and 2007, respectively.  Looking ahead to the next decade, the Spa is expected to generate over $5 million in property tax revenues.

Temple Gardens believes in giving back to its community.  Throughout the past decade, Temple Gardens has continued to demonstrate its strong commitment to community through its extensive promotional programs, providing gift certificates for raffles and silent auctions to raise money to help community organizations,  youth and those most in need.  Since 2002, the Company has donated $348,000 through this donation program.  This does not include the $5,000 cash donation to the 2005 Saskatchewan Summer Games, $20,000 cash donation to Moose Jaw's Relay for Life in the past two years, and $75,000 cash donation to the new Cultural Centre.

More recently news of a possible acquisition of the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa has sparked investment interest.  As the Spa celebrates its tenth anniversary, it is with more than a little amazement that shareholders consider the prospect that their company may become part of one listed on the stock exchange! This is even more amazing considering the fact that it all started when the founding directors each put $25 "into the hat" to build this incredible community dream. In the decades that lie ahead, Temple Gardens will continue to expand on its founders' "dream", and to help our community build other important civic projects, with the goal of creating many more successful entrepreneurial businesses in our great city of Moose Jaw.

The "Founding Directors" of TGMS included (1996): 

Deb Thorn, President and Chair
George Farrow, 
Rod Van Slyck
Gerry Noren
Bill Jameson
Brent Boechler
Ken Julian
Don MacDonald
Sandy Moysey
Jim Thorn
Murray Mucha
Bill Green
Ron Bader, Honorary Founding Director
Dennis Benson, Honorary Founding Director
Grant McWilliams, Honorary Founding Director
Ray Boughen, Honary Founding Director

1996 Mortgages held by the Royal Bank of Canada: (thanks to Barry Book and Wilbur Feader of the Royal Bank)

The "2006 Board of Directors":

*Brent Boechler, Chairman of the Board
*Deb Thorn, President and Chief Executive Officer
*Rod Van Slyck
Keith Schick
*Bill Jameson
Wayne Sannes
Ken Cornea
Sandy Boughen
Myles McMorris
Randy Beattie
*Bill Green

* also founding directors

2006 Mortgage - held by Conexus Credit Union: (thanks to Harvey Granatier and Stan Hanoski)

Temple Gardens acknowledges its business partnerships, and the contribution made by:  Crescent Venture Capital Corporation (1995) and Harvard Developments (2002).