Penticton motels along Lakeshore Drive hurting due to COVID-19

30 cancellations a day

Dale Cory

The COVID-19 crisis is having a major impact on motel row along Lakeshore Drive in Penticton.

Day by day, they are seeing more cancellations — and losing more money.

“A lot. We've lost over half our tenants,” confirmed Debbie Collette with Golden Sands Resort. “That means there’s no money, because the only money you make in a hotel is when people come in and book the rooms. Everybody’s cancelling so there’s no rooms. There’s no money, and what do you do with staff.”

At Riverside Motel, a Salmon Arm dance group which regularly books many rooms has cancelled.

“Reservations have been cancelled for April, and as well May,” confirmed owner Nick Chaunhan at Riverside Motel. “And now we hear the car show is cancelled, so we’re really worried about that. That’s really going to impact our season.”

The cancellation of the Peach City Beach Cruise will have a huge impact on Penticton motels.

“A couple from the car show have cancelled, other than that, they’re waiting,” added Collette. “They don’t want to lose their room, because if something does happen, then they can’t get a room, because we have a huge waiting list for the car show. With Ironman, they’re worried and keep phoning. I don’t know what else to do. If they cancel everything, we have no guests.”

At Slumber Lodge, they are seeing as many as 30 cancellations every day. From March 1 to 15, revenue was down at least $10,000.

Many of the motels along Lakeshore confirm they too are losing reservations, and feeling the pinch.

“It seems pretty quiet now, a very different feeling because everything’s been cancelled now. We don’t know what’s going to happen the next couple months and we’re worried to the point of how are we going to make the payments. We’ve laid off a couple of girls as well, so, we’re not sure,” said Chaunhan.

“The busy season’s coming up in the next couple months, and this is going to impact quite a bit — like 95 per cent to 99 per cent, because that’s our bread and butter. That’s our main season, and if that doesn’t pick up, we’re in trouble.”

The motels are stuck thinking about closure. 

“We would just have to rope off the motel and leave it, really,” said Collette. "Because, if you don’t have any guests paying, then there’s no point in anybody being here.”

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