General News · 4th May 2020
Gorge Harbour Resort Bill
This week the BC Govt will be letting us all know how they we will be moving forward with re opening the economy.
For the last 8 weeks, all of us have done an incredible job in slowing the spread of Covid 19 provincially and we have apparently not had a single case
on Cortes Island.
I can only speak for ourselves, but I believe everyone feels this way, thanks for all the support that all the business’s on Cortes have received from everyone living here.
The results of all of us shopping locally are clearly evident. Jobs have been created instead of lost. New business’s are starting up to supply the local demand, there is hope where there could have been despair,
We are so lucky in so many ways to call Cortes Island home.
Thank You thank you and thank you!!
Closing things down, in hindsight, is going to be the easier part, the real challenge is going to be how and when to reopen.
We know that we can’t operate successfully without the support and confidence of our staff and local residents; we are committed to keeping Cortes, Covid free.
We expect the Province to begin to allow us to operate in some capacity over the next 30 – 60 days. The opening will be gradual with baby steps being taken, followed by a wait to see
how our actions effect the spread of Covid . It s important for us all to realize that our actions will determine if we remain safe , no rules that anyone imposes on us will work if we don’t take personal responsibility
to ensure we follow them.
We know that we bring many tourists to this island, those tourists spend money that enables us to employ 60 people seasonally and 10 year round. We are willing to forgo all of that if we feel our staff’s health is at risk and that we could allow Covid to become present on Cortes Island , because of that we would like to tell the community what we have been planning to ensure that does not happen.
At Gorge Harbour Marina we have decided to not take any more reservations for our campground, or accommodations and limit our dock reservations to no more than 50% of regular volume.
We currently have weeks where our entire campground is booked solid, we are hoping to get enough cancellations to bring us down to a 50% maximum volume. If we do not then we will have to cancel some guests
To reach that goal.
We are attempting to only have people on the property who are “ self contained “ . What that means is a boat or camper where they can cook on their own and have their own bathing facilities.
Doing this will limit exposure to our guests and local populations. We know that this is not going to be 100% but it is our goal. Unfortunately we have built this business not on the big yachter or big camper people but on
the local Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast family market, so these changes will severely impact us .
We will be re opening our local bathrooms at some point but it is imperative that anyone who uses them does so keeping their safety and their neighbors safety in the forefront . There will be bleach spray bottles available to sanitize the bathrooms after they are finished.
Many local islanders count on us for water and our bathrooms and we want to reopen them but it’s going to be up to each and every person who uses them to keep us safe .
We are afraid that much of our live music, which is one of our favorite thing about working here, will be curtailed, reduced or cancelled if need be . This has been a hard decision to make.
The sight of a hundred people sitting on the hillside, laughing and watching kids rolling down the hill ,laughing and just being kids , people dancing on the waterfront deck , may have to wait a year . We have not finalized that point but we are working on it and we do have some alternatives planned
So that we can all still enjoy summer.
I can’t see opening the pool to the public or guests but I am waiting for guidance on that from VIHA and the provincial government.
Finally the store. Our store is small and busy, in the summer even more so . Even with a decrease in our tourists our store will still be a challenge.
We will attempt to keep our store for locals only. We may offer an hour prior to regular opening and an hour after for tourists but regular hours will be for locals only .
We will have personal shoppers who will do the shopping for our guests on boats and camping during those regular hours. We will also be setting up kiosks outside the store to deal with people purchasing gas and propane so
They do not need to access the store. We will offer simple things like coffees, ice cream, pop , dairy at other kiosks, to keep the flow inside the store as low as possible and for people who need to do larger food shops .
We will have staff outside of our store to run in and grab the few items a passing tourist may need who drives in . All of these changes are going to be a challenge and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we try and implement these changes.
Our main goal is to keep all of us safe while keeping as many locals employed as possible.
We appreciate any feedback , constructive criticism is welcome , we are all in this together and we will only get through it together .
Bill and Tammy