The mystery surrounding a 65-day booking at an iconic hotel in Jasper, Alta., has been solved — and the Rocky Mountain resort will need to stock up on some lush, long-stemmed roses.
CBC News has learned that the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge will serve as a romantic backdrop for the upcoming season of The Bachelorette.
The cast and crew of the American reality series, which is entering its 17th season, will be on location at the four-star, national park retreat between Feb. 23 and April 29.
The ABC television network series follows a woman’s search for the perfect mate, allowing the lead contestant to choose a fiance from a slate of eligible bachelors.
Suitors who do not receive a rose during a ceremony at the end of each episode are eliminated from contention in the often salacious race down the aisle.
Rumours about the production started swirling on Wednesday when hotel officials confirmed that all 446 rooms at the historic Jasper resort had been reserved for a nine-week private booking but declined to divulge any details.
Guests who had previously made reservations for that time had their bookings cancelled, fuelling speculation that the hotel could soon be a filming site.
ABC has not responded to requests for comment and as of Wednesday afternoon a spokesman for Jasper National Park said officials had not received a request for a film permit. A permit would be required if any commercial filming was being done in the park.
It’s unclear how provincial and federal health restrictions might affect production of the show.
When Dr. Deena Hinshaw was asked about the booking during her regular COVID-19 update on Tuesday, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said the province is working to establish a framework for the film and television industry to ensure productions can proceed safely.
“As we look to any decisions that we make, No. 1 is whether or not there’s any risk to the public, whether any of the activities could potentially cause spread or cause a public risk,” she said Tuesday.
“And then, No. 2, as we consider any potential requests for exemptions, we also consider the broader public interest and what might be in that broader public interest. And again that’s part of these considerations as we look to this film industry framework that we’re working on.”
A star-studded century
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge’s sprawling collection of heritage log cabins and other buildings spread out over 700 scenic acres has hosted a star-studded list of guests since opening in the Rocky Mountain park more than a century ago.
The mountain-view property has served as a backdrop for numerous film and television productions, from classics like Rose Marie (1936) and Country Beyond (1926) to less-classical offerings that include episodes of The Amazing Race Canada (2014) and The Bachelor (2013).
Celebrities, including Bing Crosby and Marilyn Monroe graced the property. The lodge is also favoured by the royal family, having hosted King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, in 1939, and Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 2005.