Unusually cold, wet Spring Break is hurting Vancouver Island resorts


Another stretch of cold, rainy days on Vancouver Island has left Spring Breakers wondering if their day in the sun will ever come.

The weather has been so miserable for this typically bustling stretch of school holidays that tourism is suffering all over the Island and some snowbirds are even heading back to the prairies weeks early. 

Bundled in toques instead of tipping their toes in the surf, is a snapshot of Spring Break 2017 in Parksville.

It is terrible, terrible weather,” says Ingo Gruntmanne walking Parksville’s beach. “And it’s supposed to be spring where’s the nice sunshine.”

Even the daffodils are staying inside. To stay out of the cold wet weather that’s made this typically boom sun filled tourism time, a dark one for businesses this year.

“It impacts everything yeah,” says Susan Lafauci of Paradise Adventure Mini Golf. “I remember when the ski resorts when they had no snow. It’s the same thing.”

Usually packed resorts up and down Oceanside have vacancy signs alight in hopes of luring passing travellers in at Qualicum Beach’s Sandpebbles Inn, Manager Paul Trudeau is shocked by the impact this cold spring break is having on this tourist reliant community.

“Well people will call and ask how the weather is and then they’ll push their booking back and then they’ll call a few days later and push it back a few bits and then eventually they’ll cancel,” says Trudeau.

Instead of a full hotel, prospective Spring Breakers are calling in cancellations and checking out early to head back to the still sub zero prairies.

“People find better weather out east as opposed to here and so they’re just not able to stand the weather. So they went home,” says Trudeau.

At Susan Lafauci’s, Mini Golf and Bumper Boat Park, she thinks this is the worst start to the season in her business’ 29 years.

“I don’t remember too many March’s where it’s just gone on and on like this. This is a whole month you know,” says Lafauci.

Yet without any control of the weather they’re dealt resorts can only look forward. Fingers crossed, hopeful.

“You hope that we’re going to have a really good summer. A busy, busy hot summer,” says Lafauci.

When parkas will be stowed away for paddle boards and Parksville’s beaches and visitors truly get their days in the sun.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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