“They treated us like royalty,” remarks Barry Arndt, speaking of the vacation package he purchased at the live auction at last August’s 27th annual Cross Cancer Institute Golf Classic benefiting the Alberta Cancer Foundation. The package featured a luxury, four-day trip to the Okanagan valley during the height of autumn, including a flight on a private jet, generously provided by Aurora Jet Partners.
Barry, who is President of the ZZA Hospitality Group, a multi-unit Boston Pizza franchise with locations throughout Alberta, went on the trip with a pair of high school buddies and their spouses. “What a great opportunity to reconnect with some old friends,” says Barry of the trip. “It was like we won the lottery.”
The luxury experience began at the Edmonton International Airport, where Barry and his guests by-passed security and walked directly into Aurora Jet Partners’ private terminal. Representatives from Aurora greeted the travellers upon arrival and ensured the six friends were treated to a truly executive experience.
“Aurora did an incredible job of making us feel welcome,” says Barry. “They knew most of us had never been on a private jet before, that this was a pretty unique experience for us, and they made sure we were treated like someone special. The pilots were amiable and attentive, telling us all about the aircraft and the flight.”
“It was eyes wide open when we first stepped on the jet: a truly luxury experience,” Barry explains. “We were off the ground in moments, and the flight was incredibly quiet and comfortable. The cabin was furnished in leather, had plenty of room to stretch out in, and Aurora made sure that all our needs were cared for from the moment we entered the terminal.”
“Plus,” Barry adds, “it was like driving an exotic car: powerful, fast and luxurious: an overall exceptional experience.”
The luxury trip continued as Barry and his guests arrived at a gorgeous Luxus vacation property located outside Vernon, B.C. on the north leg of Okanagan Lake.
The open-concept floor plan had three bedrooms and three full baths with a walk-out to the patio from the living room, which extended out from the bluffs and provided a panoramic view of autumn in the Okanagan valley.
“The property was world-class, no doubt,” says Barry. “We were perched up on the bluffs overlooking the lake, and the view was stunning. The home was designed and built around the views, so when you were out on the patio, it almost felt like you were standing on air.”
“Staying with Luxus, it was like moving into our own luxury home. We brought food and drinks, but everything else we needed was provided for us. They have a neat program where each guest pays a little bit forward to the next, and previous guests had left bottles of spirits behind that were available to us. When we left, we did the same.”
“Overall, the stay was top-shelf; we felt privileged to be there.”
Barry and his guests also took in a round of golf donated by Predator Ridge Golf Resort.
“It’s a world-class venue,” says Barry. “Everything was exceptional: from the service at the clubhouse to the design of the course to the panoramic vistas you see as you
wind through the Okanagan hillside.”
“It was amazing to have such a renowned golf course right at our doorstep.”
The vacation package also included a winery tour provided by Simmer Fine Wine & Spirits and company President Brian Koshman.
Barry explains that he bid on the vacation package at the Cross Cancer Institute Golf Classic because he wanted to donate to the Alberta Cancer Foundation in order to help make life better for Albertans facing cancer. Still, he was glad to have purchased such an exceptional experience.
“Our experience was greater that we could have imagined – over and above our expectations. It was an epic adventure for our team, one that will be memorable for us forever.”