The old Rona building south of Willow Point has gotten much more than a makeover recently.
While the outside of the building at 2780 South Island Highway has undergone a large transformation, the changes inside are just as big.
The complex is now home to Urban Dance Connection, Willow Point Storage, O.C. Detailing, Campbell River Hot Tubs Ltd., Sage Spa, Willow Medical Aesthetics and Generations Laser.
Urban Dance Connection, Willow Point Storage and O.C. Detailing
Urban Dance Connection owner Heather Larkam and her husband purchased the complex last summer.
“Everyone thought we were crazy when we said we’ll be open in November,” Larkam said with a laugh. “It’s been wonderful. There’s been a lot of challenges as we go but they’re all really positive things. In the long run, it’s just been nice to be back in Willow Point and it’s opened up a lot of avenues for kids to ride their bike to dance. A lot of people live down here. So the challenges seem less compared to the benefits.”
Larkam has had the dance studio for almost 14 years now. She started it in Willow Point and it was originally named Salice Point Dance Academy. The dance studio expanded quickly and moved up to Dogwood Street and was there for about 12 years.
With this move, Urban Dance Connection was able to expand. The dance studio, which is now about 15,000 square feet, opened in its new location Nov. 15.
Larkam says the changes everyone can see as they drive by are just the beginning.
“There’s a lot more we want to do,” she said. “There’s going to be landscaping coming up and just little things like that and we’re just going to chip away at it as we go and hopefully this is our first big adventure with this sort of stuff.
“It’s been cool because even as a family, we have four kids from 16 all the way down to four, so it’s kind of leaving them a bit of a legacy in the town they grew up in.”
The Larkams own the whole building and along with Urban Dance Connection, they have a detailing shop, O.C. Detailing, in the back and Willow Point Storage. They lease space to Campbell River Hot Tubs and Sage Spa, Generations Laser and Willow Medical Aesthetics.
Campbell River Hot Tubs Ltd.
Terry Collins is in the business of helping people relax. He and his staff sell and service hot tubs and service pools all over the North Island through Campbell River Hot Tubs Ltd.
Collins has been in this location since he started and has watched it transform.
The Beachcomber business started up in November, 1999 with Earlys Building Supply, with Collins working as manager of the hot tub department. Earlys became a Rona store and was eventually sold to Pacific Building Supply in Cobble Hill. In September 2008, Collins bought out the hot tub business from Pacific and leased this part of the building. Pacific sold the building last year to Evan Larkam and Collins’s lease was renewed with the Larkams.
While Beachcomber is Campbell River Hot Tubs’ primary line, they service many other brands as well as commercial spas and hot tubs and offer chemicals and parts for swimming pools.
The company recently expanded and hired a full-time technician, and there is now a staff of three: Collins, Ann Minosky and Aaron Jukes.
In September, 2013, Collins was diagnosed with cancer and was given three to four months to live.
“I had been getting pain and felt a lump just below my right side,” he said. “In October after a biopsy of the tumour, I was then told I had Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, stage four cancer.”
After more tests, Collins began chemotherapy treatment in November at the Jubilee Hospital cancer clinic in Victoria. Further treatment took place at the Campbell River Hospital, and he had his last treatment April 7.
Collins is in remission and is grateful for all the support he has received from staff at the Campbell River Hospital, his wife, family, friend Brian Dixon, his staff, and the thousands of customers who provided kind words and support.
Generations Laser, Sage Spa and Willow Medical Aesthetics
Three complimentary businesses that can help people feel healthier and happier share space inside Sage Spa.
Aesthetician Valine Wheatley founded Sage Spa. She has operated her own business out of her house and reently opened the spa in this new complex in January. Generations Laser and Willow Medical Aesthetics each rent a room from Wheatley.
Sage Spa offers a wide variety of services, including hand and foot care, waxing, facial treatments and corrective skin care, biosculpture nails, shiatsu massage therapy, registered massage therapy, permanent makeup and eyelash extensions.
Inside the spa, Dr. Liezl Sullivan provides a variety of services through Willow Medical Aesthetics.
Sullivan has been practising aesthetic medicine for more than 10 years and her specialties include dermal fillers to lift and fill unwanted facial lines, volume loss and to enhance lips; hyfrecation (a radiofrequency treatment for the skin that works on conditions such as moles, warts, skin tags, cherry spots and spider veins); injectable treatments to target unwanted lines or treat migraines and excessive sweating; sclerotherapy (a procedure where thread veins are injected in the legs) and medical skin peels.
The spa also houses Generations Laser, owned by Natalee Rhodes.
Rhodes has been a laser technician for more than six years and has been an aesthetician for 11 years.
“This has always been my dream, to have my own laser clinic,” she said. “I managed two separate laser clinics … and I just knew right away that it was something I wanted to do.”
Treatments offered include laser hair removal, acne treatments, stem facials and vein therapy.