Sasquatch Mountain Resort. (Paul Henderson/Black Press Media)

Sasquatch Mountain Resort. (Paul Henderson/Black Press Media)

LETTER: Let’s keep funds from hotel tax in the Hemlock Valley

Accommodation providers Kevin Sass and Wendy Cherry share their thoughts on a possible MRDT

Editor’s Note: This letter discusses the MRDT program, which sees accomodation providers in eligible communities charge a “hotel tax” to visitors. The letter says that Harrison Hot Springs is the one who wants to bring the MRDT to Hemlock Valley and that a decision has been made. This is not the case.

Although Harrison did initially manage the MRDT, and pass the funds to Tourism Harrison, this year Tourism Harrison will be applying to manage the funds themselves. The organization is in the process of consulting with accomodation providers, and will be making a decision on whether the District of Kent and Electoral Area C should be included based on a majority vote from the business owners.

RELATED: Tourism Harrison to become new recipient of hotel tax

Harrison Hot Springs has decided to add some new tax sources to their tourism tax base. Us!

There is a provincial taxation scheme, the MRDT, whereby a resort area can levy a tax on all accommodation guests with those funds to be used for tourism related promotional programs, among other things. It seems that council decisions have been made that would include Hemlock Valley in the Harrison program, without consulting us.

Harrison Hot Springs is a resort town – so is Hemlock Valley. Their community has been around for a long, long time and so has ours. Where their market appears to be at or nearing maturity, ours is only beginning. Hemlock Valley’s potential is staggering.

RELATED: District of Kent to defer support of hotel tax until businesses approve

Hemlock (Sasquatch Mountain Resort) is moving forward at a blistering pace. It is fully understandable that as we grow others will want to climb on board and get involved in the game, particularly after the economic distress caused by COVID. But like most other mountain resorts, our development will depend almost exclusively on the strategies of the resort ownership, the provincial government, our local community and, of course, the weather. And like most other mountain resorts we will find future success through a marketing initiative that is specific to us and to the alpine.

We understand that lake resorts and golf courses have traditionally been summer-centric. There has been a great deal of effort put in to increase winter business on the lake and that effort, in general, has achieved modest success.

Similarly, mountain resorts have traditionally been winter-centric but it is well documented that the summer potential in the mountains is possibly greater than winter, and imminently achievable.

History has determined that the Sts’ailes people, Harrison Mills and Hemlock Valley would develop a close relationship and form a larger community. There seems to be a kinship among us that does not exist with the rest of Area C. Perhaps there are agreements among the big tourism players in our area I don’t know.

RELATED: Sasquatch resort expansion to see revenue-sharing between province, Sts’ailes

For small operators, those of us that will see our prices increased by a three per cent tax imposed on us by outsiders, no such agreements exist. Given the way this program was rolled out, there is serious doubt in our minds that any potential benefit from this new revenue stream to be paid by our guests will accrue to us.

We wish everyone that is in the business community in the area the best of luck as we move into the post-COVID economy. For today, let us consider keeping any pay-per-use tax generated by Hemlock Valley rental guests here in Hemlock Valley, or not charge it at all.

– Kevin Sass and Wendy Cherry, Hemlock Valley

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Environment Canada says the Eastern Fraser Valley will enjoy plenty of sunshine this week. (Black Press News File)
Sunny weather to stay around all week in Eastern Fraser Valley

Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Hope all forecasted for a week free of rainfall

Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld has called for the resignation of B.C.’s Minister of Education, Jennifer Whiteside. He made the call during a speech in Vancouver on April 10, 2021, in a rally for a parent embroiled in legal battles surrounding his child’s transition.
Chilliwack school trustee calls for B.C.’s minister of education to resign

Barry Neufeld spoke at rally for jailed father in Vancouver, calling SOGI 123 a ‘dangerous experiment’

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

People stroll through rows of tulips in bloom during the Tulips of the Valley Festival on May 2, 2017. The colourful spring event, now called Chilliwack Tulips, opens on Sunday, April 11, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Chilliwack tulip attraction open this weekend after being closed last year due to COVID-19

More than 6.5 million bulbs in all at this year’s colourful Chilliwack Tulips event

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

Most Read