The main pool at Ainsworth Hot Springs.

Lower Kootenay Band purchasing Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort

Ainsworth acquisition an important economic development and historical investment for First Nation in Creston Valley...

The Lower Kootenay Indian Band (LKB) is purchasing Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort, Chief Jason Louie announced yesterday.

The acquisition, which will see ownership change hands in April, is an important economic development investment for his people, and it has historical significance too, he said.

“The Lower Kootenay Band has a history with the site that dates back hundreds of years,” he said. “The Ainsworth Hot Springs are known by the Ktunaxa people as ‘nupika wu’u’, which has a literal translation meaning ‘spirit water’.”

The resort, located 22 kilometres south of Kaslo on Kootenay Lake, has been family-owned since 1962. Current owners Norm and Joyce Mackie purchased the property from Joyce’s parents, Sam and Belle Homen, in 1979.

No immediate changes are planned for the resort, Louie said. He and band representatives met with resort staff on Wednesday to announce that all employees would be kept on. The resort currently provides about 50 jobs in the management and operation of the hot springs, 41-room hotel and restaurant.

“The resort will provide meaningful employment and business opportunities for the citizens of Yaqan Nukiy and local residents, and will continue to be a major tourism destination of the region,” he said.

LKB will be investing in capital improvements at the resort in the near future.

“We are privileged and pleased to enter into this purchase agreement with Chief Jason Louie and the Lower Kootenay Band,” Norm and Joyce said in a written statement. “The resort has been a family affair since 1962 and transferring ownership is a daunting experience.

“This has been a wonderful 35-year ride for our family. Probably the best part for us has been to watch young people, in their first job, come to work with us, and become self-assured contributors to the work force. Many of these people come back to visit and tell us this was probably the best job they ever had. This is truly gratifying.”

One of the goals for the new owners is to work closely with Ainsworth area residents and to continue to build relationships to strengthen the area’s tourist economy, Louie said.

“The spirit water has been medicine for healing various ailments that the human body experiences,” he said. “This business venture reconnects our First Nation to a significant cultural site of the Ktunaxa people.

“The Lower Kootenay Band will continue to strive for excellence in hospitality and experience. Professional development will be ongoing and customer service will remain a priority.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Supreme Court of Canada will hear Sinixt appeal May 12

B.C. has appealed aboriginal hunting case through several levels of court starting in Nelson in 2016

Nelson’s Jesse Pineiro named B.C. boxing coach of the year

Pineiro and his fighters from Nelson Boxing Club were honoured at provincials

Fire destroys Fauquier restaurant

Early-morning blaze destroys Mushroom Addition

Salmo RCMP report drug bust

Fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine were seized along with Canadian cash

Nelson Leafs lose to Beaver Valley, will face Spokane in playoffs

Reid Wilson also finished the regular season third overall in scoring

VIDEO: Illicit drug overdoses killed 981 in B.C. in 2019, down 38%

Chief coroner says figures were down about a third in the province’s fourth year of the opioid crisis

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Royals, Elvis, Captain Cook: Hundreds of wax figures find new life in B.C. man’s home

Former director of Victoria’s Royal London Wax Museum still hopes to revive wax figure tourism

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read