The new owners of the 108 Golf Resort had been in place for only a week when the Gustafsen fire started.
When the community was evacuated and firefighters and RCMP were the last left occupying the community, the resort opened their doors.
“We were renting all 42 rooms every night free of charge. We also donated $10,000 of our own food and cooked every day for them,” says Andrew Cuthbertson, general manager of the resort.
“Jessica, as much as she had only owned the resort for a week, she knew that this was a good community and she loves being up here,” he says.
Jessica Gong and her uncle are the new owners of the resort, taking over from Theo Weiring.
“I’d like to thank the local community for all their support in the last seven years,” says Weiring.
While Weiring says he wants to take things a little easier, he has no plans to retire. He says he’ll be continuing with Canada’s Log People.
“I’d like to welcome the new buyers to the local community,” he says. “I personally think they’re going to do well here, improve the place over time and probably bring in more international tourists.”
Through the transition, Cuthbertson says department heads will stay the same, but they’ll be looking to prove what they have to offer.
“We’re going to try and improve the level of quality. This season, we’re going to do some small renovations to the hotel,” he says. “We have some plans to keep the restaurant open for the winter and start serving breakfast.”
Cuthbertson says the new owners have an exciting vision moving forward.
“I think Jessica and her uncle have a fantastic vision. Their ten-year plan here is absolutely fantastic. I’m very excited.”
While the first month wasn’t easy due to evacuations and wildfires, the resort and local businesses stepped up their game to help first responders.
“They were here saving our homes and businesses. Anything we could do to help, we wanted to help [with].”
Thanks to kitchen manager Keith Bale and his daughter Katie, with help from Cuthbertson and Gong, the resort served just under 6,000 meals to RCMP and fire fighters.
Cuthbertson says both Save-On-Foods and the 108 Market opened their doors so that Bale and the rest could continue feeding people.
“They were working very hard to protect our community and anything we could do to help, that was our game plan.”
With the Gustafsen Fire under control, the 108 Golf Resort and its new owners are looking to the future.
“I think they are very excited to be a part of the community and look forward to building up this resort.”
With files from Carole Rooney.