Erin Shore, a born Jasperite with 24 years of massage therapy experience, is opening Spa Jasper in the Sawridge Hotel. It’s projected to open Nov. 14, when renovations have been completed.
By Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The opening of her new business, Spa Jasper, is a milestone for Erin Shore.
“Jasper is my home town, and I’ve come full circle,” Shore said.
She has purchased the former Mountain Wellness Day Spa and Salon at the Sawridge Hotel and Conference Centre. It officially became Shore’s on Nov. 5 and she is making it her own, with a new name and renovated facilities.
“It’s always been a dream of mine – to open my own business,” Shore said.
Spa Jasper is a full service spa and salon with services including massage, aesthetics, nails, hair… and the list is growing, she said. The spa is projected to open Nov. 14.
A massage therapist for 24 years, Shore, who was born and raised in Jasper, moved away from town when she graduated from high school in 1995.
She said it was probably her ski career that got her pointed in the direction of massage therapy as a profession.
“I was really hurting and massages really helped me,” she said. “I was travelling to Costa Rica after high school graduation, hanging out with surfer dudes. I wanted to learn how to surf and they said, ‘We’ll teach you how to surf if you massage our backs.’
“After a few months they said, ‘You should probably do this for a living.'”
A month later, in 1996, Shore returned to Canada and attended the Foothills College of Massage Therapy in Calgary.
She returned to Jasper after getting a certificate in massage therapy and ended up working, ironically, at Mountain Wellness, then operated by Sandra Coombe.
The same place she began her career and she will soon be running.
After six months Shore opened up her own practice – Soul Purpose Massage Therapy – and ran it until 2001. Then Victoria, B.C., called her name and Shore worked for the Delta Victoria Ocean Point Resort and Spa as a massage therapist for five years.
“Then a colleague mentioned her brother was opening The Silver Rain Spa at the Ritz Carleton in the Cayman Islands, and said I should apply,” Shore recalled.
She ended up working there for nine years.
“It was like living a postcard – there was sand and the most pristine water you could see for hundreds of metres,” she said.
While she lived there, Shore combined massage therapy with international travel.
She moved to Vancouver to work at the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel but after six months decided the city wasn’t for her. That’s when she moved to Whistler, B.C. and worked as a massage therapist for five years at the Four Seasons Resort and Spa.
All through these years though, Shore said, “I was looking for home… but I never found it.”
She came to Jasper to look after her parents’ house when they were away for a month and her good friend, Kevin Lazzari, hired her to work at his store, Video Stop.
Shore said, “It felt like the community was giving me a huge hug – and I thought, ‘This is home.’”
She went back to Whistler and finished her six-month contract, then came to Jasper right after that, in May of 2019, and started working as a massage therapist at Got You Back Massage, growing her connection with the community.
“I feel like my 24 years of learning has brought me to this point,” Shore said.
“I was meant to bring home the high calibre of spa for people to come and find their calm.”