COVID-19

Publisher’s note: Preparing for a summer season in pandemic conditons

By   - 
June 15, 2020
Photo: SPIN publisher Brandi Schier

While gearing up for a summer season in Sun Peaks always takes hard work from resort workers and business owners and their staff, this year there are even more preparations to consider and still many unanswered questions. While B.C. is not yet officially in phase 3, Sun Peaks Resort and other Interior destinations have announced their plans to soon begin welcoming regional guests as provincial officials anticipate restrictions continuing to lift. 

For many business owners much of the work over the past few months has been behind the scenes, and mainly mental. They’re looking for information, formulating a plan, weighing options, revising the plan… it seems to be an endless cycle. It’s exhausting, and it’s all on top of much of the regular work that has to be done. The weeks are long but the days seem short, and my to do list never seems to get any more manageable. Decision fatigue is real and I’m yearning for carefree summer days, hiking, biking and enjoying where I live. 

In general, summers are already tough for businesses based in Sun Peaks and recently have been impacted by wildfires and stormy weather. Over the past several years the village has relied on large summer events to draw crowds and introduce potential visitors to the summer activities and vibe. Without these events or the regular international tour buses there doesn’t seem to be a clear picture of how many visitors Sun Peaks can expect this season.

The provincial government said it’s expecting record breaking domestic tourism this summer, and we are all banking on pandemic conditions continuing to allow for farther ranging travel within the provinces. I’m grateful our region and province is doing so well in terms of the virus and thank everyone who helped make these conditions a reality, whether they were setting high level policy or simply keeping up with recommended best practices. 

But the questions remain. Will restaurants and cafes be able to break even with limited seating and volume? Will shops sell enough to maintain their skeleton crew’s wages? How many people have money to travel and the confidence to do so? How do we best keep our guests, residents and employees safe while welcoming travellers to our hotels and trails?

These are just a few of the variables the tourism industry is grappling with at the moment and I admire everyone’s resilience in the face of such a challenge. I believe the extra work will be worth it as we can look forward to sharing our mountain paradise with those who have been dealing with their own stressful working and living conditions over the past few months. I think we all deserve a break and some mountain air. 

From SPIN’s point of view, our digital product is continuing to work well and seeing increased readership from the community. For the time being, we’ve decided to continue to hold off on restarting our print edition and will revisit the decision once phase 3 is up and running. Thank you for your continued understanding and for engaging with our publication online. All the best to everyone over these few weeks! 

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