Big White Ski Resort Ltd Working on Finding Secure, Isolated Housing for all those Affected
Interior Health reported 60 positive cases on the mountain related to group housing and social gatherings.
“Our COVID-19 Taskforce, made up of executives in our company and members of the community, are working with Interior Health, the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and the RCMP to assist the resort in containing the cluster,” said Peter Plimmer, President & CEO of Big White Ski Resort Ltd.
“The focus of our team and taskforce is to help all of those that require accommodation to isolate, to transition into this space as soon as possible, and to continue to operate the resort in a safe manner and in accordance to our COVID-19 Safety Plan.”
Big White Ski Resort Ltd employs 55% of the total workforce (636 employees) on the mountain and manages accommodation for 24% of that workforce (152 employees). In the summer of 2017, Big White Ski Resort Ltd invested over $10-million to build new apartment-style accommodation in the Black Forest area. All others working and living on the mountain live in private residences managed by individual landlords or stratas.
Big White Ski Resort Ltd has directed its management team to personally speak to all staff regarding the community cluster, and present them (for the third time) with its Social Responsibility Contract to once again recommit to and physically acknowledge in the presence of a supervisor. You can find the contents of the contract, here.
Big White Ski Resort Ltd also has a daily health protocol in place which follows the guidelines of the Provincial Health Officer, and requires all employees working in the resort and their offices off-mountain to sign a Health Declaration upon beginning work.
Big White Ski Resort Ltd has a zero tolerance policy with any employees who are found to be in breach of these documents. To that end, we have had to let go some of our employees.
The mountain continues to operate, and we remind guests to familiarize themselves with its COVID-19 Safety Plan before coming to the resort. We do want to reiterate what Interior Health wrote in its press release yesterday: “The risk is low for families and individuals visiting Big White who stick to their immediate household bubble and avoid socializing and gathering with people outside their immediate bubble”
And: “Outdoor activities at Big White are considered safe for anyone following public health direction such as physical distancing, wearing a face covering, and staying home when sick.”
Interior Health will continue testing at the resort this week.
“This situation is ongoing and has our full attention,” commented Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice President of Big White Ski Resort Ltd.
“We will continue to update the public, community and media as more information becomes available.”