Ski village at Big White Ski Resort. (Contributed)

Ski village at Big White Ski Resort. (Contributed)

Big White mulls lease termination after large party at restaurant despite COVID-19 rules

The ski resort has fired two of its staff members

Big White Ski Resort is looking to terminate its lease with a mountain restaurant that held a maskless, undistanced party on Monday (March 29).

Videos posted to social media show a raucous party at Charley Victoria’s that night, rife with table dancing, large crowds and no masks, or other COVID-19 precautions in sight. The restaurant reportedly offered 50 per cent discounts on food and beverage during the event.

“We’re disgusted,” said Big White’s senior vice president Michael Ballingall. “It is a blatant disregard for the law.”

Ballingall said the resort has taken action to end its lease agreement with Charley Victoria’s.

The ski resort has since identified and fired two of its staff members who attended the party. Ballingall said the restaurant, which just opened this past winter, had been following rules and guidelines to a tee, “until Monday night.”

“It’s not so much that we’re frustrated — humanity is frustrated,” said Ballingall. “This is not the way you act in a global pandemic.”

The restaurant issued an apology in a press release on Wednesday morning. Owner Justin Reid said he takes full ownership for the “ignorant decision” he made out of “pure selfish frustration” over provincial restrictions announced that day which hastily banned indoor dining services the next.

“My decision to let his happen was wrong. I take full accountability for (sic) accept all consequences of this poor decision,” said owner Justin Reid.

Health officials declared a COVID-19 cluster at Big White contained just last week. Between Dec. 15, 2020 and March 26, Interior Health tied 237 cases to the mountain.

The Capital News has reached out to Interior Health for further information.

READ MORE: COVID-19: B.C. has banned indoor food service. Here’s a list of Kelowna restaurants with patios

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


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