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.”

Just Posted

Trafalgar student hit by car while walking to school

The 13 year old lost two teeth and suffered head injuries

Expedia: Nelson is historic and hoppin’

The travel website put Nelson on two best-of lists for its history and beer

Faust faces challenger in RDCK Area E

In Area F, Tom Newell is elected by acclamation

New tennis courts opening Saturday at LVR

The multi-sport facility will be open to the public

Mayoral races in Kaslo, Silverton, Salmo, and New Denver

Slocan mayor acclaimed for second term

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Supporters of B.C. man accused of murdering Belgian tourist pack courtoom

Family and friends of Sean McKenzie, 27, filled the gallery for brief court appearance in Chilliwack

Most Read