Hitting the virtual beach
Published Friday, April 9, 2010 6:38PM EDT
April showers may discourage Montrealers hoping for a taste of sun and warmth.
But a local company is offering all the sights and sounds of the beach, without ever going outside.
The virtual beach may not be a Caribbean paradise, but it's just the ticket for residents of a senior's home in St. Laurent.
"You get the heat and you feel so good," said Nancy Martyn.
It's also a lot cheaper than a trip south.
"We typically go south for two-three weeks," said her husband Richard Martyn. "I saved $5,000!"
Eric Pflanzer created the beach based on technology developed by a car company in Europe.
However a spot in the virtual sun doesn't come cheap.
"What we do here is a full body experiential technology," said Pflanzer, and it costs up to $120,000 for his company, Soleira Sun, to provide the full experience.
"We can go up to about 25-35 thousand lux of light which is the experience you would have on a bright day."
Luc Maurice, who bought the virtual beach, says the price is fair.
"Just to sit there with their children while their grandchildren play in the sand, it's good, it's a good feeling," said Maurice.
After two weeks of regular visits, beach bum Pierrette Tremblay swears it's done wonders for her arthritis.
"When the weather's coming I can feel it two-three days ahead," said Tremblay. "Well there's no bad weather here! That's why I think I'll come every day."