Chatter Creek COVID-19 Safety for Our Guests
At Chatter Creek safety is at the heart of everything we do. This winter will be no different as we navigate the risks associated with COVID-19. In planning for our 2020-21 season, we are following the guidance of the Provincial Health Authority, WorkSafe BC, and our trade association, HeliCat Canada, in developing processes and protocols to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
We have put in place a plan to keep our guests and staff safe and healthy. Aspects of this plan may evolve as health orders, safety guidelines, and recommendations regarding COVID-19 change, and as we learn what protocols will work best in our operation.
Being transparent regarding the operational changes is two-fold. We want to help ease your concerns regarding attending your trip to Chatter Creek this year. We also want to ensure that if you choose to attend your trip, that you are willing to comply with the safety measures we have put in place. If you are unable to comply with these new procedures, we kindly ask you to defer your trip to next year. If you do not comply with our COVID-19 procedures, you will not be permitted to attend your 2020-21 trip or may be asked to depart the lodge before the end of your trip.
Levels of Protection
Four distinct levels of control measures have been implemented in the development of Chatter Creek’s COVID-19 protocols and procedures. The control model is illustrated below.
Elimination and engineering controls are designed to prevent people from coming into contact with an infectious person or contaminated surface in the first place and have been considered first in our plan. In spaces where physical distancing cannot be observed we have instituted occupancy limits and mask mandatory zones.
When worn properly, wearing a mask can reduce the spread of respiratory droplets. During your trip, it is recommended to wear a non-medical face mask in all interior spaces. For everyone’s safety, there will be mask mandatory zones in spaces where physical distancing guidelines cannot be maintained.
Mask Mandatory Zones:
- Boot room
- Dining room*
- Stairway to the dining room
- Browsing retail
*Once you are seated in the bar or dining room you may remove your mask. However, if you need to get up from your seat for any reason we will kindly as you to put your mask back on before getting up.
Guests are required to bring two non-medical grade face masks to wear inside the lodge and inside the snowcat.
Non-medical grade face masks or face coverings should:
- Allow for easy breathing
- Fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
- Maintain their shape
- Be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
- Be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment
- Be made of at least 2 layers of tightly-woven material (such as cotton or linen)
- Be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping
*Note: Buffs are not a sufficient mask
Throughout the lodge and inside our snowcats, there will be hand sanitization stations. You will be required (as well as staff) to use hand sanitizer before entering each room. This is especially important when entering the bar and dining room.
Chatter Creek will be operating with 30% less occupancy this season to allow guests and staff to move through our common areas with physical distancing in place. Reducing guest and staff levels by 30% will reduce all gatherings at the lodge to well below 50 people as per the Provincial Health Order that prohibits gatherings of 50 people or more.
Due to unprecedented times, Chatter Creek is unable to offer our US and International Guests seats during this year’s season. Your fellow skiers/boarders at the lodge will all be coming to Chatter Creek from within Canada.
Heliport – Arrival
Flights and corresponding check-in times will be pre-assigned by snowcat group. Upon arrival at our heliport, we will ask you to stay in your vehicle until it is your pre-assigned check-in time. Once your check-in window arrives, you will be welcomed into the heliport. After you have checked-in, each snowcat group will be ushered into your cat specific waiting area.
Upon check-in you will be asked a series of questions:
- Have you had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days?
- Have you been in contact with anyone with the symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days?
- Are you under the direction of the provincial health officer to self-isolate?
- Have you arrived from outside of Canada within the last 14 days?
If you are unable to answer no to all questions, you will be required to forgo attending your trip.
Transportation – Helicopter
Heli-Transport services will continue to be provided by Alpine Helicopters. Alpine Helicopters is regulated by Transport Canada and as such is subject to their regulations and safety measures set out to address COVID-19. Flight occupancy has been reduced to 10 guests per flight and will be pre- assigned by snowcat group. The helicopter will be thoroughly sanitized between flights, and masks are mandatory in this zone.
Transportation – Bus
Due to weather, occasionally there are days where we cannot fly to the lodge. If this occurs, ground transfer to the lodge will be initiated by bus and snowcat. During the ground transfer, we will follow Transport Canada’s regulations and safety measures set out to address COVID-19. The bus will be thoroughly sanitized between use and masks are mandatory in this zone.
Lodge – Arrival
Both guest rooms and common spaces in the lodge will be thoroughly sanitized between each new group of guests who arrive at the lodge. To keep outgoing and incoming guests separate, incoming guests will be escorted into the bar for the welcome briefing. Outgoing guests will wait for their departure flight in the boot room. Guests will be required to remain in the bar area until the outgoing guest transfer has been completed.
Bar and Lounge
The bar and lounge area will be reconfigured with additional high-top tables. These tables will provide small seating groups of four to six people to promote socialization within your cat group and physical distancing. We are changing from bar service to table service to comply with the Provincial Health Order. Masks will be required until you are seated and will be mandatory when moving around the room.
Alternative Lounge Areas
Alternative lounge areas have been designated on the hot tub deck as well as the deck above it. These areas will provide smaller socialization spaces where guests can choose to mingle just within their cat group.
In the dining room, guests will sit at tables of six. Each snowcat, their guide, and tail guide will sit together spread out over two tables of six. This will comply with the Provincial Health Order that has put a cap on how many people can dine at one table. Seating will be assigned in the dining room to manage the movement of people in this high traffic area. Hand sanitization stations will be present at the entrance of the dining room which all guests will be required to use before entering. Masks will be required until you are seated and will be mandatory when moving around the room.
Breakfast service has been changed from buffet style to plated with a set menu. A hot breakfast and continental breakfast will be available.
Snowcats will be limited to 10 guests in the passenger cabin and staff will travel up front in the cab. Before getting inside the snowcat, guests will be required to put on a face mask. Lunch will be eaten picnic-style outside where you will be able to remove your mask and ensure physical distancing amongst your group. The snowcats will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized at the end of each day and deep cleaned between groups.
At this time, Chatter Creek is reviewing operating the hot tub this season. If the hot tub is open, strict capacity limits will be in place.
Each cat group will have a limited number of single and double occupancy rooms made available to their group members. Congregation and parties in guest rooms will not be allowable this season.
All areas of the lodge, including guest rooms, will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized every day. Common areas of the lodge such as the dining room and bar will be repeatedly sanitized after each use. Preceding the arrival of each tour group, common areas, and guest rooms will undergo deep cleaning.
Massages, Stretch Class and Photography
Unfortunately, to increase physical distancing in both the lodge and during snowcat transport, massage, stretch class, and photography services will not be offered this season. Each guest room will be supplied with sanitized yoga mats for your use during your stay.
Lodge – Departure
When guests return to the lodge after the last ski day, groups will be escorted to the boot room where they will wait for their departing flight. To keep separation between outgoing and incoming guests, the bar will not available. Washrooms will be available in the boot room, however, the showers will not.
Heliport – Departure
When you land back in Donald, you will be directed to go straight to your vehicle. Our luggage trolley will deliver your luggage to you in the parking lot.