Pools closures have been hard on village businesses
By Stephanie Stevens
A rough winter season for many Radium Hot Springs businesses with the prolonged closure of the iconic Radium Hot Springs Pools has many frustrated business owners wondering how long the new closure will last.
The first closure late last fall for renovations of the change rooms was significantly longer than expected and one business owner, Kristin McCauley of the Inn on Canyon, wrote to the Village of Radium Hot Springs council after Parks Canada announced yet another closure Jan. 10.
McCauley told council the first closure, nearly two months long, resulted in a 96% cancelation rate for their bed and breakfast, and those visitors that did stay were irate that the pools were closed.
“To say that the holiday season for our family was difficult is on understatement,” stated McCauley. “Now after the last closure, and barely a month apart, we must try and plan around another extended closure.”
She pointed out it is not just her family and business that are negatively impacted, but the people she cannot afford to employ who now have to scramble, as well as many other businesses in Radium.
The current closure came about after the majority of the core samples taken in the wet hall between the change rooms and the pools failed. The initial study will keep the pools closed until at least the middle of February, with whatever required repairs taking place after that.
Village Coun. Mike Gray said his understanding was while the concrete slab under the walkway did have a membrane to prevent damage to it, leaking showers on the other side of the wall resulted in water making its way under the membrane where it was then trapped, degrading the slab stability.
“The pool is cognizant on the impact this is having (on local business), and depending on the scope of this repair, they are going to look at options (in the event of another lengthy closure),” he said.
Mayor Clara Reinhardt acknowledged how difficult the prolonged closure has been on Radium businesses, adding the local tourism board has been doing regular social media updates to showcase what other activities and adventures Radium offers.
Lead image: Radium Hot Springs cool pool. e-KNOW file photo