Port Renfrew is looking to reopen to the public. (Portrenfrew.com photo)

Port Renfrew reopening June 1

Community opens door to visitors after provincial health restrictions loosen

  • May. 20, 2020 4:00 p.m.

Dawn Gibson | Sooke News Mirror

A leisurely stroll along Botanical Beach is closer now than just a daydream, as Port Renfrew looks to reopen to visitors on Monday (June 1).

Over the past couple of months, including the May long weekend, the public has been respectful towards residents’ wishes to keep the community isolated, said Mike Hicks, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area director.

On March 22, residents put up signage in the area and online asking visitors to postpone their trips to the community, which was overwhelmed by people looking to escape self-isolation rules in the area’s beautiful coastal scenery.

Port Renfrew and the Pacheedaht Nation closed all businesses, the San Juan Market moved to a delivery service for residents, and beaches, marinas, campgrounds and accommodations were closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, as restrictions loosen and the coast begins to clear, the community seeks to once again welcome people to the area.

ALSO READ: Port Renfrew aims to keep visitors away to avoid spread of COVID-19

A committee was formed with “key members of Port Renfrew and the Pacheedaht Nation” who diligently worked on a plan of how to reopen.

“The message is we are getting ready to welcome visitors to our coastal community while providing a safe and enjoyable Port Renfrew experience,” Dan Quigley, chair of the Port Renfrew Recovery Taskforce Committee, said.

Along with other areas on the Island, the tourism industry in Port Renfrew will take a hit this summer, not seeing the usual inflow of out-of-town guests.

“It’s tough going,” Hicks said.

“Port Renfrew is bracing for a difficult summer as it is now, but who knows how fast things will change.”

Hicks said in past years, most tourists come from the U.S., overseas, and from the B.C.mainland, which will likely not be the case this year. He hopes Island residents will show support.

Port Renfrew has a population of 140 people, while the Pacheedaht Nation is around 200, with one general store and a small volunteer firefighter department.

– with files from Kevin Laird



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusPort Renfrew

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

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langford man battling cancer honored with hot rod, motorcycle procession

Friends and family support Patrick O’Hara on his 73rd birthday

Langford Fire calm mother and daughter after being trapped in elevator

Three-year-old girl given stuffed animal to calm nerves

Langford businesses can expand onto sidewalks, public spaces

Council passes new bylaw supporting business expansion

Capital Regional District prepares to reopen regional campgrounds

Camping will look different at Island View, Sooke Potholes, Jordan River sites

‘Seven baths in two days’: Homeless adjusting to life in hotels

Victoria passes motion to allow camping 24-7 in parks until June 25

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read