Dave and Diane Quinn, owners of Miska Haven Bed & Breakfast, located east of Enderby along the Shuswap River. The couple say 60 per cent of their guests have been from B.C. in 2020, compared to about 15 per cent last year. (Contributed)

‘Staycation’ spike keeps North Okanagan bed and breakfasts bustling

Owners say locals have been filling the void left by fewer travellers from afar during the pandemic

“But it’s been very satisfying in that we’ve been busy, and people, when they’ve come, have actually been able to forget about COVID for the time they’re here,” Dave said.

Check-in/out times have been spread out to allow time for thorough cleaning. Dishes are all replaced in the units after guests have left, and items like books and games, if used, are removed and isolated for four days. The two guest areas have been separated to prevent mingling between people in different social bubbles.

Breakfast has been the biggest challenge. This year they opted to eliminate breakfasts altogether but, for next season, they plan to offer it again on an optional basis. Dave says some guests prefer to provide their own meals while others appreciate the breakfast, so they want to accommodate both.

The experience has been similar for Yvonne Meyer and Joey Minshall, now in their fifth season running J-heart-Y Bed and Breakfast on Twin Lakes Road in Enderby, where they host guests in their cosy, 100-square-foot treehouse.

“The COVID cleaning protocols were something to wrap your head around,” Meyer said, adding they started their season a month late while protocols were being ironed out.

She said far more guests have come from the Okanagan and Interior than in recent years, and the treehouse was booked every weekend throughout the summer.

Though the cost of operation has been higher as they work to adhere to protocols, the semi-retired couple isn’t concerned about profit; they’re happy to offer a service that’s given more locals an escape this year.

“People are in awe of the experience because it’s so quiet and so peaceful,” Meyer said. “I just feel that we’re the right kind of people to offer a service like this.”

Miska Haven is open for the winter, and the Enderby chamber has worked with them to develop a ‘staycation’ package through the Okanagan We Got This chamber network. It’s a scenic place for a winter wedding, and the Quinns have multiple weddings booked in December.

“One of the real joys of 2020 was to be able to offer couples a COVID-friendly venue to host their weddings,” said Diane. “So many couples had to change their plans quickly and many places were no longer open or a good fit for small weddings. Miska Haven was able to fill that gap.”

READ MORE: Canadians spend more money and time online during COVID pandemic: StatCan


Brendan Shykora

Reporter, Vernon Morning Star

Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com

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Vernon Morning Star

 

Dave and Diane Quinn of Miska Haven Bed Breakfast, located east of Enderby along the Shuswap River, has kept busy with guests from closer to home in 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Dave and Diane Quinn, owners of Miska Haven Bed Breakfast east of Enderby, say 60 per cent of their guests have been from B.C. in 2020, compared to about 15 per cent last year. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Miska Haven Bed & Breakfast, located east of Enderby along the Shuswap River, has kept busy with guests from closer to home in 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)