Fairmont Hot Springs cuts off public access to pool, only resort guests can play | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Fairmont Hot Springs cuts off public access to pool, only resort guests can play

Fairmont Hot Springs resort.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/facebook.com/FairmontHotSpringsResort

The public is no longer allowed to enjoy the pleasure of natural hot springs at a resort in the East Kootenays.

The pools at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort are now exclusively available to guests and members, a change that’s being blamed on a lack of lifeguards in a recent Facebook post.

Fairmont has two pools which it fills with natural hot spring water – one has always been exclusive to guests and members while the other has been open to the public for a fee.

The decision is regrettable, the resort says, and it will hopefully be reversed in the spring of 2023 if lifeguard staffing levels return to normal.

A 25-day-old job posting for a lifeguard job at Fairmont does not list the rate of pay.

READ MORE: Need a winter recharge? These B.C. Interior hot springs are close enough for a weekend drive

A message left with the resort was not returned by the time of publication.

Gerry Taft, the former mayor of the nearby District of Invermere, does not agree with the business’s decision. He called the move short-sighted, bad for the area, and asked the company to reconsider in a Facebook post.

“Remind me again the difference on life guarding requirements between hotel guests etc. and allowing a few members of the public to pay an access fee?” he said in the post.

Taft used to own and operate a gelato shop.

“I get that it's hard to get staff – and I know it isn't easy or cheap, but successful companies figure it out if they want to stay open.”

He doesn’t believes this is an unavoidable circumstance.

“You operate a public service and an important tourist, recreational, and cultural attraction for our region – and you get to charge an extremely high public access fee for people to enjoy this. What gives you the right to restrict public, local, and First Nations access?”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dan Walton or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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