News

Media Release: Legendary Resort Owners Return to Support Firefighters

July 14th, 2017, News

Tourism businesses in fire zones helping crews

July 14, 2017

Former owners of a legendary 108 Mile Ranch resort have temporarily come out of retirement to help re-open the resort. Though evacuated on July 9, Spruce Hill Resort & Spa needed to reopen the next night to accommodate firefighters, helicopter crews and emergency officials. With its location directly across the highway from South Cariboo Regional Airport (also known as 108 Mile Ranch Airport), the resort is a key location for emergency workers to rest and eat.

With the resort’s staff evacuated, General Manager Len Doucette called on the most experienced people he could think of – former long-time owners Pat and Juanita Corbett. The couple, who had evacuated to Vancouver, stepped up to help out. With permits provided by the Cariboo Regional District, the Corbetts drove back to the business they ran for 33 years, then known as The Hills Health Ranch, and pitched in to get the resort running.

“We’re up and running now,” says Pat Corbett, “but for 30 hours we were pretty busy. Juanita was in the kitchen, and I was doing – whatever was needed.”

Prior to selling the resort, Corbett was inducted into the Canadian Tourism Hall of Fame (2009), and the couple were inducted into the US Spa Industry Hall of Fame in 2015.

“Just down the highway from Spruce Hills, 108 Mile Golf Resort is also housing and feeding workers.” says Amy Thacker, CEO of Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association. “We are hearing stories from all throughout our region of tourism and hospitality businesses making huge efforts to help firefighting efforts and evacuees.”

While many of the region’s communities are under threat of fire, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast is a vast region and other communities are open for business with no impact. Communities including Lillooet and the Bridge River Valley continue to have uninterrupted highway access from Vancouver on the Sea to Sky corridor through Whistler and Pemberton. Lillooet boasts award-winning wines and cultural experiences, and the iconic South Chilcotin Mountains in Bridge River Valley are waiting to be explored. The Great Bear Rainforest on British Columbia’s coast and Barkerville Historic Town & Park, in the interior, continue to welcome guests.

“The key is for guests to ‘Know Before you Go’. Check with the business you have reservations with or want to visit, and they will advise you,” says Thacker. “Our operators excel at hospitality and will ensure you have accurate information. The biggest help you can give right now is to book a BC vacation.”

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association is an industry-led not-for-profit Destination Management Organization that works collaboratively with stakeholders to develop and promote a responsible tourism industry in the Cariboo, Chilcotin and Central Coast of British Columbia. For more information about the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast tourism region, please visit:  www.landwithoutlimits.com

Media contacts:

Amy Thacker, CEO

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

amy@landwithoutlimits.com

Andre Kuerbis, Board Chair

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association

info@afk-consulting.com

Cell: 250-217-6438