Businesses in the South Shuswap are eager to welcome visitors from outside the region as COVID-19 restrictions limiting non-essential travel begin to be lifted. (Darren Robinson Photography/Observer files) Businesses in the South Shuswap are eager to welcome visitors from outside the region as COVID-19 restrictions limiting non-essential travel begin to be lifted.(Google Maps)

South Shuswap businesses ready to welcome out-of-town guests

Optimism grows around easing of travel restrictions though safety measures continue

With restrictions on travel within B.C. slowly being lifted, the South Shuswap has put out the welcome mat.

A press release from the South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce states optimism around welcoming more out-of-town guests began when B.C. Premier John Horgan announced on June 10 that the province was as little as a week away from lifting an essential-travel advisory which had stopped tourist attractions.

“The South Shuswap is the heart of Shuswap Lake where people come to relax and rejuvenate. COVID-19 has been hard on all of us and now it is time to come together in a safe, kind and respectful way,” said Karen Brown, executive director of the South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce.

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Operators of seasonal and tourism-based businesses in the South Shuswap are pleased that guidance from Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer, has left them feeling safe opening their doors.

Craig Russenholt, the owner of Finz Resort, said the waterfront marina, campground and restaurant has taken a number of steps to keep everyone safe and healthy. The restaurant will have limited seating capacity and takeout has been added to their offerings. At their marina, an operator wearing gloves will pump gas and no cash will be accepted. Showers at the resort remain closed and no tents or short-term reservations will be accepted at the campground.

“We will warmly welcome all visitors that decide to make the South Shuswap the destination of choice,” said Monica Seys at Shuswap Marina.

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The South Shuswap’s largest grocery store, Blind Bay Village Grocer, is also ready for a summertime influx of customers with anti COVID-19 procedures that have been in place for months already.

“We look forward to welcoming out-of-town guests. Our biggest ask is that they please only shop one person per household to meet the volume criteria in our store,” said Blind Bay Village Grocer president James Inglis.

Mark Lane, owner of Dreamcycle Motorcycle Museum and Sprokkets Cafe, said the highway-side attraction is open and ready. He added that although the province is promoting local staycations, out-of-town guests are very important to his business and others.

“Without them, many businesses won’t survive,” he said.



jim.elliot@saobserver.net

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