Forest Lakes believes local businesses are the lifeline of a community

As featured in the Chronicle Herald.

While many businesses thrive on global outsourcing, Terra Firma Development Corporation (TFDC), the developers of Forest Lakes, believes in keeping things local. When it comes to hiring local, be it contractors and maintenance crew to sales personnel and administrators, Forest Lakes understands that a successful business is all about supporting the community and local economy.

“We currently have 17 full-time employees, not including seasonal grounds crew for landscaping and the golf course. We also employ people through our daily on-site trades that can include everything from painters to framers to people who plow our roads,” says Andrew Alcorn, executive vice president TFDC. And as the community expands, the number of direct and indirect employees at Forest Lake will only grow.

“Staying local, and utilizing the talents within the community, helps to build a stronger community for everyone. It also helps to sustain a vibrant and welcoming environment, linking neighbours and businesses in a web of social and economic relationships,” says Alcorn.

Forest Lakes also brings hundreds of people to Nova Scotia every year — people who stay in local hotels, eat at local restaurants and shop at local stores. “It’s like a gift that keeps giving since the majority of these people ultimately fall in love with the province, and for good reason, and return year after year,” says Joanne Cheevers, director of marketing. “Guests of Forest Lakes fall in love with Nova Scotia time after time”

Forest Lakes prides itself on its attention to detail. Every home has the most up-to-date technology and uses the finest finishings, from environmentally sustainable flooring, right up to the high-end accessories, such as lighting and faucets, all of which are sourced and purchased locally when possible. “So, buying local means we know the people behind the products we buy and the services we use, which allows us to maintain our high standards,” says Cheevers.

One of the most exciting offerings at Forest Lakes, however, is what will undoubtedly become an internationally acclaimed 18-hole golf course. To do this, Forest Lakes brought the world-renowned Nicklaus Design brand to Atlantic Canada for the first time. “Forest Lakes has a great lay of land. There will be a lot of variety in this golf course. The great thing about this property is that it’s different from anything I have ever worked on. The topography is exceptional, which will lend itself to exceptional golf,” says Chris Cochran, senior design associate with Nicklaus Design.

This outstanding golf course will not only employ Nova Scotians through construction and maintenance but also operations when it’s up and running. Forest Lakes Golf Club will also bring people from across the country and even the world to the province, putting Nova Scotia on the map for many years to come. “We recognize that people are travelling from all over the globe to golf at Nova Scotia’s amazing courses, such as Fox Harb’r and Cabot, and there is no doubt that our Nicklaus Design course will be among the most sought-after places to golf when people are booking golf vacations,” says Alcorn.

As Forest Lakes continues to grow, it will become a significant community within Nova Scotia. It will offer homes at a variety of price points to fit a diverse range of budgets. Within the Village Centre, the community will also have a farmers’ market, featuring all local produce and an on-site restaurant that serves dishes created using the freshest and finest local foods. With an all-encompassing family entertainment centre in the plans that will feature bowling, indoor skating, swimming and even laser tag, it will not only bring people from surrounding communities to the area, who will support the local economy, but it will also need more employees to run it. In fact, when completed, Forest Lakes will employ more than 600 people.

Forest Lakes also partners with Ambassatours, a long-standing, Halifax-based tour company to help bring tourists and potential investors to the province. They also partner with other vendors and associations including the Chameleon Supper Club, owned by renowned Chef Rob MacIssac to create a unique and memorable experience.

“We are happy to have partnered with the team at Forest Lakes on a variety of projects, the entire team is working toward the same goal of success, and it’s really inspiring to work with such a dedicated group,” MacIssac adds.

“The customer service they [Forest Lakes] offer their clients is top-notch. You can feed off their energy for Forest Lakes, that, coupled with the project itself, makes it really exciting to be part of it,” he adds.

“My team — like a Chameleon — can change based on their [Forest Lakes’] plan, whether we are flipping burgers at an open house or providing a true Nova Scotian ceilidh, our job is to provide guests with fresh seafood, local fare and amazing food for all to enjoy,” says Chef MacIssac. And, of course, no meal is complete without the perfect wine pairing. Forest Lakes again looks to the local community to find the best. “We serve guests Tidal Bay wine from Grand Pre or a local craft beer and every guest leaves feeling satisfied,” he adds.

When it comes to supporting local, Forest Lakes believes in giving back to the community that has embraced them. Since 2014, Forest Lakes has supported the Turnaround Achievement Awards, which recognize students in the Annapolis Valley region that have overcome personal and educational challenges with hard work and perseverance.

To further support the community of West Hants, Forest Lakes regularly collects food items for the local food back and donates any recyclables to the local cadet group, which they can turn into cash to support the many positive things they do for the community.

“We believe that choosing to support local business is our responsibility as part of the greater community. It not only shows these hard-working businesses that we respect them, but it also acknowledges their dedication and commitment to the community,” says Alcorn. “It’s also just the right thing to do,” Cheevers adds.

For more information and updates on the many more exciting changes at Forest Lakes Country Club, join their e-newsletter list by clicking here.