A wave breaks in front of Ucluelet’s Black Rock Oceanfront Resort. (Black Rock photo)

COVID-19: Ucluelet’s Black Rock Oceanfront Resort implements immediate full closure

Wickaninnish Inn temporarily closes its doors to new arrivals and The Cabins closes for 30 days.

As of March 18, Ucluelet’s Black Rock Oceanfront Resort is closed until further notice to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Wednesday’s afternoon announcement was released just hours after a joint statement was issued by the District of Tofino, Tourism Tofino, and the Tofino-Long Beach Chamber of Commerce asking all visitors to postpone trips to the area.

“Within the past few days, we have chosen to close operations and support reduction in occupancy where seen fit. However, we understand the [Black Rock] Resort is an impactful resource to the community and as such impactful to the reduction of visitors to Ucluelet. For the health and safety of staff and community members alike, based on the recommendations of the Public Health and Safety Agency of Canada and the Federal Government, we have confirmed the only course of action is to implement full closure,” reads the March 18 media release from Ucluelet’s largest resort. The full closure of its hotel operations includes the resort, spa, lounge and restaurant.

Black Rock marketing director Melissa Boucha said they will be honouring current in-house guests to enjoy the remainder of their stay and will welcome arriving guests for March 18 evening only.

“We have offered for guests to cancel without penalty, should they wish to depart early or cancel their stay. We will continue to have take out service available to the remaining guests through Currents Restaurant. As of March 20, 2020, we will be in full closure mode,” said Boucha.

Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel told the Westerly News over the telephone that Tourism Ucluelet has stopped promoting to visitors and many locally run businesses and restaurants are also closed.

“The Prime Minister this morning made some great announcement in that $82-billion dollar program, which I believe are the reasons why decisions like Black Rock and a lot of the hotels will start to ‘Me too effect’ like the restaurants because it’s giving them some relief of the financial burden that could be upon them about closing,” said Noel.“It’s not about their civic duty, it’s about how are my workers going to looked after, how am I going to pay my bills.”

“That big announcement, for me, checked off like seven out of ten boxes. There are still some people falling through the cracks, but that entrepreneur, self-employed part-time workers have been addressed in today’s announcement.”

The mayor said the District of Ucluelet has no plans to layoff district staff, they are simply reducing services.

“Right now it’s just about trying to maintain public safety and provide the core services, which are sewage and water,” he said.

“There is a civic duty to do the responsible thing. Today’s announcement from the [Prime Minister] is going to allow business owners to make a better decision. Not a bias decision,” Ucluelet’s mayor said.

Noel said the District of Ucluelet will be sharing more information about economic support for businesses via the Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce.

The Wickaninnish Inn on Chesterman Beach in Tofino is also closed to new arrivals as of March 18.

“Effective immediately, the Inn is not accepting new arrivals but will continue to service in-house guests until their scheduled departure. As of 3:00pm, March 17, 2020, the Wickaninnish Inn team began contacting future March guests to notify them of this decision; any guests the team may not be able to reach prior to their scheduled arrival for March 18 and 19, 2020 will still be welcomed to check in and stay for the length of their reservation,” states a press release on the resort’s website.

On March 18, The Cabins at Terrace Beach in Ucluelet also announced on their Facebook that is will be closing their Vacation Rental Property for 30 days.

“While it is clear to all of us the coronavirus has deeply impacted our communities, we know that this will pass, and travel will be back. The desire to connect and to travel is in all of us, but for now our priority is to do our part to keep everyone safe,” reads a message from the Cabins owner Ron Clayton.



nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca

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READ: Tofino asks visitors to postpone trips, return home

READ: Trudeau promises $82B in economic supports in COVID-19 fight

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