Who would have thought in March, when we said goodbye to the last of our winter guests, that the world would be where it is today? The coronavirus continues, and the Canadian border, which was closed to people entering from the U.S. soon after our last guests left, has not yet reopened.
In light of these factors, we have had to make the wrenching decision that Stokely won't open this winter. We wanted our much-loved and valued guests to be the first to hear about that decision and how we made it. The biggest consideration, of course, was the border. We have no idea when it will open, and it's not looking good. We also were concerned about our staff, many of whom have expressed worries about the health risk of working at the lodge this winter. If we would open for our Canadian guests, despite these challenges, we would only have been able to book about one-third capacity in order to maintain social distancing in the dining room, clubhouse and sitting areas. We would not be able to serve buffet-style at breakfast and lunch. That would mean we'd need more staff to serve fewer guests, which on our narrow margins is impossible.
We are broken-hearted. about not seeing all our Stokely guests who over the years have become our friends. If you have rooms reserved for this winter, you will have the option to book for those same dates the following winter.
We hope you are staying safe -- social distancing, wearing a mask and washing your hands -- but we hope you are also enjoying some time outdoors. We picture our always-active guests running, biking, boating, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, gardening, and otherwise getting some recreation. Our family and the Stokely family are doing well.
We plan to communicate any updates through Facebook, Instagram, and the Stokely Blog. We will let you know if there are any changes in our plans for the winter. We understand that it will not be until the middle of October before the Canadian government even makes a decision about outdoor recreation (and that does not address the border issue) Difficult times make for difficult decisions. We will be checking Stokely emails regularly, so if you have any questions please email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warmest wishes to all of you, we're eagerly looking forward to seeing you again in the winter of 2021-2022.
Susan, Gaylen and the Byker family
& Richard, Alex and Kim