File Photo

File Photo

Harrison Hot Springs Resort eases in to reopening

Reservations available Friday, May 29

Little by little, the lights are coming back on for businesses across B.C. as we face a future beyond the first wave of COVID-19.

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa, a core employer and business in Harrison Hot Springs, is opening in phases effective Friday, May 29.

This comes in a few days ahead of June 1, the first day of B.C.’s third phase of reopening, which is when resorts and hotels can open for business under enhanced COVID-19 prevention protocols. However, vice general manager Scott de Savoye said the resort/hotel falls into a bit of a gray area as since they’re classified as a hotel and therefore an essential service, they were never mandated to close in the first place.

With that said, though, de Savoye said there were a number of reasons the resort shut down anyway, the first being respect for the residents of the village, which has a sizable vulnerable population due to the number of retirees who have settled in the area. Resort staff safety was also a primary concern and dictated the difficult decision to close. Moreover, de Savoye pointed out that having the resort open even during a worldwide pandemic could naturally have drawn premature tourism traffic. The resort did not want to promote tourism while the village itself had closed off to tourists and visitors as that would be in bad taste.

Reservations may be open for Friday night, but life at the resort will look much different at least for the near future.

“The health, safety and wellness of our employees, our guests and our community remains our primary concern,” the announcement reads. “We have naturally modified most of our operations to reduce the risks associated with the COVID-19 global pandemic.”

RELATED: Harrison Hot Springs Resort cuts off reservations amid COVID-19 concerns

Resort management stresses that if you are sick, please do not stay at the resort or visit any of the associated businesses at this time. If you become unwell while staying at the resort, seek medical attention immediately and call 8-1-1. The closest medical clinics are roughly 10 minutes away.

Resort staff also strongly suggest groups and families maintain physical distances but they “are not going to physically force people apart.”

“Every one of us must keep our distance for the health and safety of ourselves and others.”

Resort staff members are supplied with germicidal disposable cloths to be used on door handles, credit and debit machines, light switches, elevator buttons and other commonly touched surfaces. Sanitizer will be made available for guest use in several areas of the resort as long as supplies continue to last.

RELATED: Harrison Heart Springs

Resort staff will not be filling personal containers for coffee and tea, and restaurant tables will only be set once guests are seated. While daily housekeeping will not be available, supplies can be delivered up to rooms.

There will be no communal buffets available at this time, and bell service, valet parking and the use of luggage carts are suspended until further notice.

The outdoor pools will be open according to provincial guidelines with between 20 and 50 people allowed, depending on the pool. Indoor pools are closed until further notice. Again, physical distancing and other appropriate measures are encouraged.

The Healing Springs Spa will remain closed at this time as will the fitness room and gym. Afternoon tea service is also suspended until further notice. The golf course is operating under COVID-19 prevention guidelines, but power cart rentals are not available at this time.

Most sit-down restaurants have modified hours, and banquets and catering are considered on a case-by-case basis and will need to adhere to appropriate provincial health guidelines. Sticks and Stones and Legends are closed until further notice.

Moving forward, resort staff indicated they will continue to monitor the situation and follow directions provided by local, provincial and federal health authorities.

Resort officials said the resort had to lay off more than 300 employees after it shut its doors on March 23 – a bit more than two months ago.



adam.louis@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusHarrison Hot SpringsHarrison Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Items collected from last year’s Ocean Park Food Drive. (Contributed file photo)
Ocean Park Food Drive expands, open to residents south of 32 Avenue

Homeowners south of 32 Avenue and west of 160 Street encouraged to put donations on doorstep

(Black Press Media files)
‘Potentially damaging’ winds expected in Metro Vancouver

Wind is expected to pick up late Sunday night

Bella Coola RCMP are alerting residents that the road between 4 Mile subdivision and downtown will be closed until at least tomorrow. (File image)
Missing man found safe, Surrey RCMP said

Riley Arnold- Higgenbottom was last seen at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 28 in the 18900-block of 69 A Avenue

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Kathy McIntyre

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

Most Read