New operational changes to resort as staff return

Hand sanitizing stations are one of the new additions by SPR as staff return to work for the summer. Photo Kelly Sikkema

As Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR) management remain tight-lipped on an opening date for the Bike Park, staff are returning to work amidst new operational changes that are in line with provincial guidelines.

Aidan Kelly, chief marketing officer for SPR, acknowledged in an email the impact of COVID-19 on resort operations.

“It will impact almost every element of our business,” he wrote. “New protocols and procedures will have to be in place to ensure we can operate as safely as possible. All of these items are well underway currently and things will open (on a limited basis) with a tiered approach.”

As staff return to their jobs throughout the resort to help set up the infrastructure for summer operations, they’re now subject to new company policy updates that reflect the new situation, including staggered shift start times, omnipresent bottles of hand sanitizer, limitations on lunch room use, and the wearing of face masks when driving with others.

A recent SPR staff orientation took place over Zoom.

“We have an extensive signage program that will be implemented throughout our business units for both staff and guests to assist ensuring the proper practices can be followed,” wrote Kelly.

He added that the organization was implementing employee health declaration practices and would be deploying additional PPE where required. Kelly wrote the resort is considering regular health check procedures for staff also.

“These practices will be further enhanced once we open and start welcoming guests to the mountain.”

He maintained the resort aims to have lift operations underway in late June or early July.

Sun Peaks is by no means the only bike park withholding the release of an exact opening date, though. Whistler Mountain Bike Park and SilverStar Bike Park offer no timeframe for the start of resort operations on their websites, meanwhile the Big White Bike Park website lists a tentative opening date of June 26.

Kelly anticipated releasing more details about SPR Bike Park operations and its opening date in the coming week, presumably to align with a predicted announcement from the provincial government on the lifting of Phase 3 restrictions.

As a resort, SPR falls under the Phase 3 classification of the province’s phased Restart Plan. Thus its operations are still restricted during Phase 2.

On June 4, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that as long as transmission rates remained low or in decline, the province anticipated lifting restrictions on the resort industry and others, as well as on people travelling throughout B.C., from mid-June.

In the meantime, SPR  said it is remaining diligent and doing what it can to prepare for opening once restrictions are lifted.

“We are paying close attention to all the authorities and following health and safety directives,” wrote Kelly. “This includes regular communication and dialogue with Work Safe B.C. and the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.”


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