West Kelowna  

Interior Health issues fine, orders temporary closure of Okanagan Beach Club Tiki Bar

IH fines Tiki Bar operators

The Okanagan Beach Club Tiki Bar has been fined by Interior Health and ordered to close temporarily due to violation of COVID-19 provincial health orders.

"Interior Health attempts to work with all establishments and understands the challenges for businesses as they work to adhere to PHO orders. However, if they are unable to comply, they will be closed for the safety of the public," reads a statement from Interior Health.

"The order notes the premises do not have adequate measures in place to protect the public from contracting COVID-19."

The order was signed and delivered on Sept. 10 to Ryan Hargreaves. A fine of $345 was issued on Sept. 14.

Hargreaves tells Castanet the Okanagan Beach Club Tiki Bar has worked alongside Interior Health since June and have followed their safety protocols such as the implementation of plexiglass barriers, sanitization stations and a six people limit on tables.

"We had security out there on all of our busy days," he says. "You would sometimes get a group of people off a boat with like 20 people [who] would come right up to the Tiki Bar." In this case, Hargreaves or his security team would intervene immediately to ensure everyone was social distancing.

Following the September long weekend, a photo was submitted to Interior Health that showed about 25 people surrounding the Tiki Bar, which led to the temporary closure.

Hargreaves says while he understands how the photo appeared, he says they were not provided an opportunity to explain the situation.

"You're shutting us down off of one photo in one moment," he says. "How do you know 10 seconds after, they weren't all spaced apart? They just believed that wasn't good enough."

Hargreaves says the closure order was for just two weeks, but he opted to keep it closed until next season due to the smoke outside and the weather becoming cooler. The Tiki Bar was originally going to be open until Oct. 1.

Hargreaves wishes Interior Health would provide more clarity in these types of situations as they were not given any warnings. 

"We had RCMP out there twice and they were fine with everything. No tickets issued," he says. "We didn't have any COVID cases out of here, so yeah, pretty brutal way to end the season, but it was a hell of a year. People had a great time and we're going to definitely make it way better for next year."

The Okanagan Beach Club is still providing shuttles from the beach up to their bistro. Pools, pickle ball courts and the golf course remain open along with weddings and special event services.

Hargreaves and his team took over operations of the marina, event spaces, outdoor pools, the private beach and Tiki Bar in February.

The Okanagan Beach Club is currently open everyday from 12 to 8 p.m. 

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