Imagine for one minute that you woke up and Nelson was minus Whitewater Ski Resort, the Hume Hotel, Mountain Waters Spa and Kootenai Moon Furniture. The great hand in the sky playing the Kootenay Economy board game all of sudden snatched these four businesses from our town. What would that look like?
For starters, lift-accessed fresh lines of world class powder would be extinct. The tasty Monte Cristo sandwich at the Library Lounge would be dearly missed at lunchtime. One of the best spa treatments in the Kootenay would be absent from our downtown. And if you wanted big city decorating ideas with tremendous small town service, you would be out of luck.
More importantly there would be the loss of the hundreds of jobs these four businesses provide to our daily lives. Paycheques that feed families and allow other businesses to benefit from the residual. Less kids in our elementary schools and fewer registrations in our minor sports programs.
In short, the impact would be massive. It would create a void that would rob our community of its heart. It’s really unimaginable.
Last week the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce handed out its annual Business Excellence Awards at its AGM. These four businesses were chosen in the categories of Professional Service Excellence (Mountain Waters Spa), Retailing Excellence (Kootenai Moon), Hospitality Tourism Excellence (Hume) and Business of the Year (Whitewater). All were extremely deserving and all excited to be recognized.
All four will hang their plaques on the walls of their businesses for all to see. It creates a sense to pride for the staff who make them strive. But for all of us locals who rely on businesses like these, it should also serve as a reminder to just how vital they are to the fabric of this community.
Congratulations to all four businesses on the recognition. More importantly, thanks for everything you do to ensure the Nelson area is such an important player in the Kootenay economy.