West Kootenay residents can finally relax again at local hot springs. File photo

West Kootenay hot springs begin to open up with reduced capacity

At least two hot springs will be open by the end of June

West Kootenay hot springs are slowly reopening with reduced operations as provincial health protocols ease slightly around the COVID-19 crisis.

One of the first to open with limited capacity was Halcyon Hot Springs, which started to accept guests for two-night minimum stays on June 19.

“We made this decision for the minimum stays to help us perform heightened cleaning protocols at the facility,” said Halcyon marketing manager Patrick Spencer.

“It’s also helping to diminish an abundance of people at the hot springs at any given time.”

Halcyon has reduced its pool capacity from around 100 to 30 people and in-house guests are only allowed to visit the hot springs pool from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m during their visit.

Overall, Halcyon is operating at 50-to-60 per cent of its normal capacity.

A contactless check-in is also helping to mitigate the threat of COVID-19, according to Spencer.

“Upon arriving, all guests are being asked to wait in their vehicles for our staff to meet them. A health and safety officer then performs a check to get their temperature and oxygen levels in their blood,” said Spencer.

“Guests also have to fill out a questionnaire asking them if they’ve been outside of the country in the last 14 days and if they’re experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms. Once they pass that, staff read them their waiver, check them in and send them to their suite with their room cards.”

Anyone who’s been outside of Canada in the last 14 days or has been ill in that period won’t be able to book a place at Halcyon.

Halcyon’s Kingfisher Restaurant is only offering to order food for guests through room service, which will include pizza and other barbecued food.

Visitors are also being asked to avoid arriving unannounced.

Spencer said guests have been enjoying their experience at Halcyon since it reopened.

“Everyone whose been staying here lately has been saying its amazing. They’re really appreciating having fewer people in the hot springs,” said Spencer. “It’s been very calm, very serene and very relaxing.”

Nakusp Hot Springs also opened its chalet, campground and hot spring pools on June 29.

Manager Noel Ballard said the pool capacity is being reduced from 100 to 25 people when it opens.

The hot spring pool will only be open for camping and chalet guests from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. daily.

The public will only be able to access the pool from noon to 7 p.m. daily. The pools and chalet rooms will be closed for cleaning from 11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 7 to 7:30 p.m. daily.

Pool users will be required to sign in for a one-hour time slot for their visit, which includes changing, showering and being in the pool.

Signs about COVID-19 around the hot springs will also inform visitors of new rules and protocols.

Visitors are asked not to visit the hot springs if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19, if they have a respiratory illnesses or if they’ve been outside of Canada within the last 14 days.

Ballard said staff are as ready as they’ll ever be to open up the hot springs.

“I think we’re quite organized. We’ve done a lot research to make guidelines and putting all the proper protocols in place,” said Ballard. “While it’s a little challenge with limited capacity, I think the public is informed and understands what’s going on.”

READ MORE: Renovations at Nakusp Hot Springs well underway


@connortrembley
connor.trembley@castlegarnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Nelson cyclist run over by truck

Driver ticketed for failing to yield right of way on left turn

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

Hwy 1 flooding causes massive delays on certain Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists have been waiting around three hours to get on ferries

RDCK: spring flooding financial relief available

The provincial funds are for those affected by flooding in May and early June

Pamela Allain, Laura Gellatly join the Nelson Star

Allain oversees Black Press’s West Kootenay papers, while Gellatly is the Star’s new publisher

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

Most Read