Pacific Sands Beach Resort Tofino – A Family Legacy

This is the remarkable story of the Pettinger Family, how Pacific Sands Beach Resort Tofino became part of their family legacy and by extension, the legacy of so many other families.

It began in Edmonton, Alberta where from service station owner to farm manager, Bill Pettinger was many things but above all else, he was a visionary and a risk taker.  Bill loved the land and had a keen interest in real estate development.

After a couple of successful real estate projects in Edmonton and the Cobble Hill area of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Bill and his wife Joan were looking around Victoria for a motel investment in the fall of 1972 when Bill’s brother Barry called about a “For Sale by Owner” advertisement in the Edmonton Journal. The ad was for a motel in Tofino, British Columbia – at the time, a remote little-known area on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

It took them 6 hair-raising hours to drive there (now 4) but it did not take Bill and Joan long to see that the Pacific Paradise Motel nestled in breathtaking Cox Bay was a very special opportunity.

They saw the vision, bought the motel and the rest is – as they say – history. Bill and Barry formed Pettinger Brothers Holdings and renamed the property Pacific Sands Beach Resort. While Bill and Joan looked after the Cobble Hill project, Barry and his wife June moved their family and dreams from Edmonton to Cox Bay to manage the Tofino resort which at the time, consisted of 5 cottages, a three storey lodge with 12 units and an office and laundry room.

In 1980, Bill and Joan moved to Tofino, purchasing 100% interest of the resort in 1987. They handed the management reins to son Dave who still resides on the property with his wife Linda. Dave and Linda’s two daughters were raised at the resort.

In the 20+ years since, Dave Pettinger has expanded Pacific Sands Beach Resort Tofino from 17 cottage and lodge units to 77 beach houses and suites along with a major Guest Services Lodge building upgrade.

The Pettinger Family’s vision continues to unfold, but the story is legendary. Just ask their many friends and loyal guests.

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