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NEWS RELEASE · 4th May 2010
M. of Labour Market Devlp.
A new, one-of-a-kind $122-million world-class spa and resort in Vernon boasting crystal fireplaces and a minus 110-degree cold therapy spa is the latest success story for British Columbia's Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), announced Moira Stilwell, Minister of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development.

"Through B.C.'s immigrant programs, we're attracting the investment necessary to succeed in our global economy," said Stilwell. "This new resort is just one of the many investments by PNP candidates that have led to over 2,550 new jobs created for British Columbians since 2002."

Attracted to British Columbia because of its appealing natural features and positive business climate, Austrian immigrant Hans Peter Mayr came to B.C. in 2006 through the business category of the PNP program with a vision to build Sparkling Hills, a world-class resort to attract visitors from around the world to the Okanagan. A long-time executive within the European hospitality sector, Mayr and his business partner Gernot Langes- Swarovski chose Vernon as their site and began construction in 2008, creating up to 350 local jobs on site.

"To work and live someday in the most beautiful and exciting country of the world was a goal many years ago," said Mayr. "With this great provincial immigration program, and exemplary support from Mr. G. Langes- Swarovski, who stands behind the project, we are opening an absolutely unique destination spa, and making a dream come true."

"We are thrilled that Hans Peter selected Vernon as the location for this incredible resort, and look forward to welcoming visitors from around the world when it opens in mid-May," said Vernon Monashee MLA Eric Foster. "The addition of about 130 long-term jobs to operate the resort is making a very positive impact on the community."

Introduced in 2001, British Columbia's PNP offers accelerated immigration for qualified skilled workers, experienced entrepreneurs, and post- secondary graduates and their families, on average reducing wait times to settle in B.C. from up to five years to less than one. Individuals nominated by the province, together with their spouse and dependent children, are eligible to apply for a permanent resident visa from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

From the time business category was introduced in 2002 to March 2010, 571 nominee candidates have been approved, committing over $600 million in new investment and creating 2,550 new jobs.