CMH in Nakusp will be closing down early for the season. Photo by John Boivin

Heli-ski operator shuts down early amid COVID-19 concerns

CMH made the decision on the weekend

One of the largest employers in Nakusp is shutting down its operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alterra Mountain Company, which operates CHM Heli-Skiing and Summer Adventures in the village, announced on Saturday it was closing down early for the season.

“After careful thought and deliberation of our duty in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak, and in what I believe is in the best interest of our guests, employees and local communities, Alterra Mountain Company will suspend operations at our 15 North American ski resorts, starting the morning of Sunday, March 15, until further notice,” says a news release from Rusty Gregory, the chief executive officer of Alterra. All lift operations, food and beverage, retail and rental services will be closed until further notice.”

The Lodge at Arrow Lakes, the hotel operated by CMH, employs dozens in the community and pumps millions into the economy annually.

Alterra Mountain Company runs operations in the United States and BC.

Gregory says CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures will continue to operate through Saturday, March 21 with no new guests arriving beginning Tuesday March 17.

“Each resort will work directly with guests in canceling their visit and will provide refunds or credits to those who have hotel and other bookings during this closure period,” he adds. “We are experiencing heavy call, email, and social media volume and appreciate your patience as we work hard to respond to all inquiries over the coming days and weeks.”

The company usually continues operations into early April.

It’s not the only tourism operation in the Kootenays to close down as a result of the pandemic. Over the weekend, the two major ski hills in the West Kootenay — RED Mountain in Rossland and Whitewater in Nelson — both shuttered early.

SEE: Whitewater Ski Resort closes down due to COVID-19 concerns

One local employee says the news came as a surprise.

“Over the weekend the company I work for shut down, I lost over a month of wages (at least!) in an instant,” says Carmen Petrie. “I am unsure of our future as a direct result of COVID-19. Please Canada, at least give us some relief from bill deadlines as the economic trickle down starts to really hit the working class.”



reporter@rosslandnews.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

Just Posted

Man launches West Kootenay shuttle service for those in need

Business owner Mike Sherwood said he’s been getting ten call requests a day from people

Kootenay gas prices among the highest in B.C

Gas prices are up to 10 cents higher than other neighbouring B.C. regions

Kootenay program encourages gardeners to share what they grow during pandemic

The West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op is sending out free seeds, but with a catch

West Kootenay residents stranded in Peru seek a way home

Three West Kootenay residents are in remote places, unable to get to Lima’s international airport

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Canadian COVID-19 round-up: Air Canada cuts 15,000 jobs, 90% of flights

Comprehensive Canadian news update as of 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 30.

Apartments evacuated during police stand-off

The incident occurred at Grand Forks apartment building on March 28

Most Read