“We’ve all got to do our part for safe and responsible travel”
West Coast Fitness Vacations is a wellness retreat in B.C. where women come to IMPROVE their health – not get sick. So as a health retreat, we’re taking extra caution to minimize risk. The province is still listed as being in a ‘state of emergency’ by the government authorities. For this reason, we’re taking a conservative approach in reopening. Until further notice, below 6 points are our key policies (in addition to the obvious PPE, distancing and sanitation).
- Max 4 guests per month (selective registration by phone, to ensure that you’re placed in a compatible group.)
- Exclusively open to travellers from within B.C. We only have room for about 40 customers per year, so filling these spots locally just makes sense. This is not permanent, and as soon as we feel comfortable listing this restriction we will. However at this present time, we’re not booking in customers from out-of-province including deferred participations from 2020 Whistler Fitness Vacations.
- Agree to distancing, PPE and minimal contact with public while at the wellness retreat.
- If traveling with a non-participating guest, the guest needs to be on board with #3 also.
- 1 retreat leader for the duration of your wellness retreat only (previously you’d have multiple coaches/leaders).
- All wellness retreat workouts and weight loss camp activity is 100% outdoors – no gym, at all.
In this article I’ll share a little more about the thought process behind the safety measures listed.
Max 4 guests per wellness retreat host
Other big things are that we’ll be operating each wellness retreat with a maximum of four guests per retreat host. Previously we had a maximum of 16 guests! But with 16 guests at the weight loss camp there needs to be at least 6 staff. Too many people for these days.
How quickly British Columbia advances through the Four Phases will be entirely based on the public health situation at that moment in time. The top priority throughout the process will be to ensure cases of COVID-19 do not spike, ensuring all our combined efforts and sacrifices are not squandered.
All weight loss camp guests are carefully placed into the most compatible session available. With everyone traveling locally, from within the province it’s a win-win for everyone to feel comfortable and safe.
Who needs an indoor treadmill?
British Columbia needs us to make smart choices
Where to begin? My goodness, what a ride this year has been so far. From forced closure of our wellness retreat in B.C. for the entire 2020 season, now to a second wave on the horizon for fall… it’s a big year.
I think a lot about our customers. The whole process, in every aspect of their researching through to traveling to Parksville. Then driving around in a 7-seater van with the other guests each day, to get to the trails where we’ll workout. I think about winter months coming in, sneezes and coughs that we’ve never really thought much of before, now seem somewhat terrifying. Especially in an enclosed space.
There are non-believers still ‘out there’
For example, the lady at the counter of a public transport booth that I visited. The conversation started when I said “Hey, I love that nail polish! I’m not ready to go to the salon yet. What was it like?” I only asked because they were obviously salon nails. And I genuinely have been anxious about going back to my beauty routines. She replied “meh, that whole COVID thing is nothing but a flu…” and the rest I barely heard (as I made the politest getaway possible).
I was pretty taken back because that particular transport company has strict policies. It got me thinking about how torn we now are as a community with believers and non-believers. And when it comes to public transport, we absolutely need to be on the same page – or in this case, the same boat. I was on a boat with these folks for a couple of hours. I suddenly felt unsafe and anxious, from this one staff member who happened to ‘not believe.’
Working together (with guidelines and health authorities)
As the owner of this company, I’m in control of a lot more than I used to think. Setting my own hours, being my own boss, calling the final shots about what risks I’m willing to take in my workplace. And while these 3 perks I just listed sound glamorous, it takes confidence to find the balance of heart versus head when it comes to decisions. COVID restrictions, changes, rules and requirements ….
I’ve been in contact several times with Tourism B.C., Small Business Bureau and most recently, the COVID reopening hotline. I watch the numbers out East anxiously. Then I get phone calls from lovely people in Eastern provinces who want to travel to WFV wellness retreat in B.C.
Yet is it safe to take multiple public transport systems to our wellness retreat in B.C.? What risk is our weight loss camp putting on their health, if they have to travel to it? And how much of that risk is shared in the daily interaction with the other guests?
We’ve had a huge makeover!
West Coast Fitness Vacations is proud to operate some of the best wellness retreats in B.C. and like the rest of the travel industry, forced closure has been tough! Fast forward almost 6 months since the pandemic hit, we’re now ready for reopening.
But not just any reopening! With a new website, programs, partners and location. With repeat customers every year to our wellness retreat in B.C. from around the world, we lost these bookings when the borders closed. In light of this, we swiftly moved into becoming more of a local based company. This included a changed business name (W Fit Vacations) and extended, year round operations.
For the remainder of the 2020 season and until 2021, wellness retreats will be exclusively hosted by me, Cat Smiley. As a result, a maximum of 4 guests of similar ability and starting point per session will be in attendance.
Cat Smiley – owner of West Coast Fitness Vacations wellness retreat in B.C.