Two songs have been swirling through my head in recent days—Whitesnake’s Here I Go Again, and, at the opposite end of the musical spectrum, Dolly Parton’s Here You Come Again.
The recovery refrain is once again on repeat for the hospitality industry. To coin a phrase, the hits just keep on comin’. And that, just when we were gently and thoughtfully getting back on track, with the pandemic in the rearview mirror and gradually fading into the horizon.
Conditions here in B.C.’s Interior will hopefully improve in short order. As with prior crises, our communities have rapidly come together in gratitude to gather donations, start fundraisers, open our homes to others, foster frightened animals and much more. But you surely already knew that. And you know we’ll do it again.
So, not to sound like a broken record, how can we help?
Hotels, motels, campgrounds and other short-stay accommodators will take a hit, even though their spaces will be full of first responders and evacuees. The secondary income from food services and special events will likely drop.
If friends or family were coming here to a local resort, how about suggesting they purchase a gift certificate with a part of their refund for a future stay? Why not, as many of us did when restaurants had a hard pivot back in 2020, pick up a gift certificate or two and give it to a neighbour, or to someone who’s volunteering in an emergency social services centre.
Wine clubs, craft beer subscriptions and gift boxes loaded with local products have picked up steam in recent years for both locals and guests to our region for their convenience and (often) discounts. Renew yours if it has, or they have, lapsed, and encourage those who were coming here in these last couple of weeks of summer to sign up or get a one-time shipment of what they would have tasted if they were here.
A number of chefs and restaurants are opening their doors or putting their catering services into high gear for evacuees and firefighters to come in for a discounted or free meal. If one of your favourite spots is doing this, head there for lunch or dinner. When the cheque comes, if you are able, ask if you can leave a bit more money on the table (in other words, pay a little extra), to pick up the tab of the next evacuee or first responder.
This is not the end of summer anyone wanted but let’s give it one more round of being tourists in our own town.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.