Ainsworth resort sold to Indian band

The Lower Kootenay Indian Band, with a population of about 250, has purchased the Ainsworth Hot Spring near Kaslo.

Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort, a popular Kootenay Lake tourist destination, is being purchased by the Lower Kootenay Indian Band, Chief Jason Louie announced on Thursday.

The acquisition, which will see ownership change hands in April, is an important economic develop investment for his people, and it has historical significance too, he said.

“The Lower Kootenay Band has a history with the site that dates back hundreds of years,” he said. “The Ainsworth Hot Springs are known by the Ktunaxa people as ‘nupika wu’u’, which has a literal translation meaning Spirit Water.”

The resort, located 22km south of Kaslo on the west shore of Kootenay Lake, has been family-owned since 1962. Current owners Norm and Joyce Mackie purchased the property from Joyce’s parents, Sam and Belle Homen, in 1979.

The Lower Kootenay Indian Band is one of Four Canadian and two US communities that comprise the Ktunaxa Nation. Lower Kootenay (Yaqan Nukiy) is located in the Creston Valley and has a population of about 250.

No immediate changes are planned for the resort, Louie said. He and band representatives met with resort staff on Wednesday to announce that all employees would be kept on. LKB will be investing in capital improvements at the resort in the near future.

“The resort will provide meaningful employment and business opportunities for the citizens of Yaqan Nukiy and local residents, and will continue to be a major tourism destination of the region,” he said. The resort currently provides about 50 jobs in the management and operation of the hot springs, 41-room hotel and restaurant.

“We are privileged and pleased to enter into this purchase agreement with Chief Jason Louie and the Lower Kootenay Band,” Norm and Joyce Mackie said in a written statement. “The resort has been a family affair since 1962 and transferring ownership is a daunting experience.

“This has been a wonderful 35-year ride for our family. Probably the best part for us has been to watch young people, in their first job, come to work with us, and become self-assured contributors to the work force.

“Many of these people come back to visit and tell us this was probably the best job they ever had. This is truly gratifying.”

“One of the goals for the new owners is to work closely with Ainsworth area residents and to continue to build relationships to strengthen the area’s tourist economy,” Louie said.

“The Spirit Water has been medicine for healing various ailments that the human body experiences,” he said. “This business venture reconnects our First Nation to a significant cultural site of the Ktunaxa people.

“The Lower Kootenay Band will continue to strive for excellence in hospitality and experience. Professional development will be ongoing and customer service will remain a priority.”

 

Just Posted

Casey Affleck’s movie Light of My Life features Southern Interior of B.C.

Film features Academy Award and Emmy Award winners

Forest fires spotted near Greenwood and Christina Lake

Aircraft and ground crews attacked both fires on Thursday

Sisters trot across Canada for guide dogs

The Keca sisters passed through the Boundary earlier this week

Cannabis category added to Grand Forks Fall Fair

Mayor to be among judges evaluating look, smell and ‘burnability’

Residents petition for pre-flood value buyout, say Grand Forks case could set B.C. precedent

A petition will be presented to the B.C. Minister of Public Safety next week

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

Most Read