Sorrento resort The Maples closes permanently after pandemic closure - InfoNews

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Sorrento resort The Maples closes permanently after pandemic closure

The Maples Waterfront Resort and B&B
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/ The Maples Waterfront Resort and B&B
April 02, 2020 - 5:35 PM

Susan Aylard and her family have been leasing The Maples Waterfront Resort and B&B in Sorrento and running the business for the past eleven years. Now, after the COVID-19 pandemic, they're closing it for good.

"All of May has been cancelled, all of June, my bookings including weddings and family reunions have been cancelled, I’ve even got bookings into July cancelled," said Aylard. "Not to mention that we don't know when we’re out of quarantine, so we don’t know when we can even open the doors."

Without a full season, Aylard won't be able to cover her expenses. 

She talked to the owner of the property to see if they could help.

"They just said no. So we can’t afford to run," she said.

She won't risk hanging onto the business on the chance she can open in the future, as she believes the economic ramifications of the pandemic will affect the tourism industry long-term.

The Maples Waterfront Resort and B&B, Sorrento B.C.
The Maples Waterfront Resort and B&B, Sorrento B.C.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/ The Maples Waterfront Resort and B&B

"People that might normally have booked next year might say, I don't have money for holidays at this point because we’re laid off," she said. This is the case with her own family, as they had to cancel their own summer holiday.

Aylard also looked into government financial aid, but the amount offered is only a percentage of her typical season's earnings. In order to break even, she needs her full potential earnings.

"Financially, it’ll break us if we run," she said.

Aylard also approached her insurance company for help.

"I do have a policy for loss of income," she said. "But pandemic is not covered under it, so I’ve been denied by insurance."

If she owned the property, it would be a different story.

"(There's) more subsidies and government grants and more money out there available if you actually own the resort, and are just having financial difficulties," she explained. "If I owned it, we could make things work."

Unfortunately, as that is not the case, Aylard and her family must break the news to their guests, many of whom they have befriended over the years.

"Some of the people have been coming for over 25 years," Aylard said. "I had to message them to say... you can't come back this summer." 

One family in particular has been coming to The Maples since their children were born, more than twenty years ago. Now their children are grown and married, and the whole family continued to stay every summer for two weeks. 

The resort has a long history, having first opened in the 1960s. A lot of family memories were made there over the years.

It's a difficult time for Aylard's guests and her family. They have a month to vacate the property for good.

"It will be sad for people who are used to coming here and having their family traditions," she said. "I’m going to be sad to see them all go."

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brie Welton or call (250) 819-3723 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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