The Chute Lake Lodge has been restored to its former glory, thanks to new ownership and a lot of elbow grease.
Lyndie and Mike Hill, owners of Hoodoo Adventure Company in Penticton, have been regulars in the back country of Naramata near the lodge for years, often taking their patrons there for cycling and other activities.
Lyndie said the lodge is in a great location for nature enthusiasts because it is near bluffs, boulders, the KVR trail and more.
“It’s just such a unique place and we just saw so much potential in it. But it was sad to see it dropping off. The couple who were running it were elderly and they were having a hard time keeping up with it,” said Lyndie. “We didn’t want to see somebody take it and tear it down, because it’s a great property in a great location.”
The pair began planning to buy Chute Lake Lodge with the help of investors, and that dream became a reality in October 2018. Since then, they’ve been hard at work renovating and restoring the building and cabins while still staying true to the lodge’s character.
“So far we’ve renovated six of the eight cabins, and we’re working on the seventh and the eighth will probably become staff accommodation,” said Lyndie. “We’ve done all eight lodge rooms. So when we say we’ve renovated them we’ve ripped out all the old carpet, put in new flooring and redid the floors. We sanded back all the logs and rechinked them. We put in new beds, new linens, new kitchenettes and fixed the bathrooms.”
Other work that has been done to get the lodge ready for spring and summer use includes cleaning up the campground area, installing a new commercial kitchen, redoing the reception area and more.
But the building’s history is important to the Hills, and Lyndie said they were able to keep some of the antique collectibles that they felt “should stay with the lodge” after the sale. She said they hope to set up a museum explaining the history of Chute Lake Lodge and the sawmill that used to operate there.
The Hills are excited about this new venture because it pairs well with their existing business. Lyndie said they’ll have daily shuttles running from Penticton to the lodge to accommodate those who want to visit the area for the day, and they hope to run two week-long kids’ camps out of the lodge this summer.
“They are still two separate businesses but we will use our expertise from Hoodoo Adventures to create some signature adventure experiences up there,” said Lyndie. “One of the big draws for the lodge is the total opportunity for adventure tourism.”
The Hills have hired a new couple to live at and manage the lodge, as well as a new chef, but Lyndie said they are still looking to fill out their staff with people looking for a unique job that lets them enjoy nature.
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