[Submitted] Dave Wilkinson and myself, Debbie Fortais are the new operators of the Coalmont Hotel. Some of you may have met us already, but for those who haven’t, let me introduce us.
Dave and I are both from Kelowna. I own and operate a licensed, registered and bonded cleaning business in Kelowna, Zeus’s Roost Professional Cleaning Service. I have been in business since November of 2006. Dave assisted me with my business until October of 2012. My background is in business. I have been operating my own businesses since 1996. I am originally from Campbell River on Vancouver Island but relocated from Vancouver to Peachland in 1994. Dave was born overseas and traveled globally with his family until settling on the family farm in Saskatchewan where he operated a 1100 acre mixed farm. He has experience in the trucking industry, commercial aviation industry and has been involved in Federal Politics since 1999 . Dave does not fly or drive trucks anymore due to health reasons. We came to Coalmont not knowing what to expect. In fact, neither one of us had ever heard of Coalmont up until 8 weeks ago! What a beautiful spot this is!
As some of you may know, the Hotel is under scrutiny from the R.C.M.P. and the B.C. Liquor Control Board. Dave and I originally came here to manage the Saloon for the present owner. We were and still are required by law to run the Hotel in accordance with Provincial Liquor and Food Safe Laws.
There seems to be some misunderstanding in town regarding what we are doing and planning here at the Hotel so I would like to clarify what we are doing now and what we plan for the future for the Coalmont Hotel.
A rumor is this place is not welcoming to local citizens. Again, a false rumor. Everyone is welcome in the Coalmont. There is one new rule however regarding community events that we need to clarify.
a) all events must be booked through either myself or Dave as we are the operators of this facility. We must abide by Provincial Laws regarding food and liquor therefore, any event planned here that involves the service of food must be in accordance with all Provincial Laws and all required, legal documentation must be presented to us and a copy placed on file in our office for future reference. That means, anyone who wants to serve food here must have their Food Safe and must have a Catering License. Once we are licensed to serve food this will not be an issue but in the meantime it is of utmost importance. This hotel is in jeopardy of being permanently closed. We don’t want to see that happen and I’m sure no one in Coalmont does either. We are not trying to be difficult, but in order to keep this place open we must follow all Provincial Laws.
b) no liquor is allowed outside of the licensed patio area. Smoking is permitted on the smoking section side, liquor on the licensed side, not together.
c) no patrons with liquor past the marked red lines. This is in accordance with Provincial Liquor Laws.
Simple rules to follow really!
We have long-term plans for this beautiful hotel. Our main focus is tourism, paranormal tourism to be exact; as well as keeping the saloon open for all to enjoy. What this does mean is that we are focusing our attention on tourism dollars. Our numbers from liquor sales already indicate that money comes mainly from tourism. It is a fact that there is just not enough local population to solely support this hotel.
At the present time, the Hotel is not licensed to sell food. We are working with Interior Health to bring everything up to Provincial Food Safety Standards. We are in the final stages of completing their requirements so the good new is, food will be available in the very near future! We will be starting with a limited menu available in the Saloon. We do plan on having the restaurant in use soon although with a limited menu and with liquor sales.
Rooms are presently not available, not even by donation due to fire code regulations. Again, we are working on rectifying this situation.
We will be operating a Paranormal Bed and Breakfast, once permits and fire code regulations are met, as well as other paranormal events in the near future. As some of you may be aware, the Canadian Paranormal Society conducts research on a regular basis in the Hotel. They are partnering with us in providing ongoing research as well as an exclusive, paranormal subscription website that will be available with the next 30 days or so. Details to come.
We are in the process of building our official Coalmont Hotel website. I expect to have that online within a week. Our official email address for the Hotel is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Should anyone have any suggestions, concerns, questions, please feel free to send us an email and we will answer as best we can. Ole has done a fantastic job on the Coalmont Hotel website and we sincerely thank him for his effort although now that the Hotel has new operators we will be launching our own official website and email for the Hotel.
As you can see, we have big plans for the Coalmont Hotel! Our goal is to put the Coalmont on the map and attract tourists from around the world. Already, people are spreading the word for us. People who have not been in the hotel for years are returning as they “like the new atmosphere and cleanliness”.
Just one more rumor to clear up. We had a special group of visitors over the weekend. Former owners Jerry Slobod, his daughter Chantel and son Troy stopped by with stories and support. I would just like to clarify that the money from the ceiling that Mr. Slobod was accused of taking when he left was indeed donated to the Children’s Variety Telethon. There is verifiable, eye witness evidence of this.
Well, that’s our story and our news!
Debbie and Dave
Operators, Coalmont Hotel