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Big White Ski Resort has opened up its accommodations, restaurants and parking lots to community members who’ve been evacuated from their homes due to the McDougall Creek, Walroy Lake and Clarke Creek wildfires.
Committed to supporting the community, the resort began closing its regular operations to make room for evacuees as of Friday, Aug. 18, and over 1,875 people stayed the following night.
Evacuees with RVs, tent trailers and campers have filled the Happy Valley parking lot, and accommodation partners have provided safe places for them to sleep.
Hours of operation have extended to seven days a week, instead of the typical Thursday to Sunday and holiday-Monday summer hours, and restaurants have increased their hours, opening earlier and closing later, to better support evacuees.
Big White Ski Resort, partner accommodation and restaurant staff have been working hard to provide a welcoming place for affected families to stay. Meals, snacks and beverages have been provided, and the Kid's Centre has opened to parents and their children from 9 am to 3 pm, offering a drop-in centre with games, crafts, movies and a place to hang out.
With the help of the SPCA, evacuees with displaced pets can find the essentials such as dog pets, blankets, dog and cat food and litter at the Kid's Centre.
"Instead of putting our heads down, we look after the people because this is their second home," says Peter Plimmer, President and CEO of Big White Ski Resort.
On Sunday, Aug. 20, the resort hosted a complimentary or by-donation pancake breakfast and raised over $1,000 for Mamas for Mamas, a local charity providing support for evacuated families.
In addition to dropping off the cheque at Mamas for Mamas at 1735 Dolphin Avenue on Aug. 24, Big White Ski Resort donated all of their leftover ‘Cruz the Blues’ t-shirts to the families in need of clothing.
Their website says: “Big White Ski Resort is exceptionally proud of those who have participated in its response to the local State of Emergency and is a shining example of community solidarity and compassion.”
To learn more about how Big White Ski Resort has supported evacuees, click here.