UPDATE ON FLOODING AND RETURN TO HOME PLANS
For the most up-to-date information on the flood evacuation orders and return to home plans in Abbotsford, visit the City of Abbotsford webpage and follow them on Twitter. To subscribe to receive notifications on return home updates, click here.
HOW TO SUPPORT TOURISM & HOSPITALITY PARTNERS IMPACTED BY FLOODS
Directly Impacted Partners
A number of our community partners have been greatly impacted by the recent flooding. Below is an overview of how they’ve been impacted and ways you can support them during this difficult time:
Ripples Estate Winery
Located on Sumas Prairie in the epicentre of the worst flooding, Ripples has been devastated. However, the family continues to persevere. To help the recovery, you can donate to their Go Fund Me where every dollar goes towards repairing the damage that has been done. Gift cards for future use are also available to purchase from their website here.
The hotel lobby and guestrooms have been closed due to the forced evacuation from the flooding that happened in November. Despite this, the kitchen and conference centre were not impacted and have since reopened. Their hotel accommodations are expected to reopen for visitors in early February.
The golf course, clubhouse and restaurant were all flooded and will be closed for the foreseeable future. To support you can purchase a Holiday gift card through their online shop on their website. Click here to purchase.
Castle Fun Park
One of the more widely shared photos during the first week of the flood was of the Whatcom interchange and the surrounding businesses, including Castle Fun Park. To help support, you can purchase Playcard vouchers at http://castlefunpark.pfestore.com/retail/Playcard/Default.aspx.
The store has been closed to the general public most days but has been busy acting as a donation centre. Follow them on FB for updates on what products are for sale and open hours, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can help.
Indirectly Impacted Partners
The flooding also impacted many hospitality businesses indirectly due to closures of highways, local roads and border, supply chain issues, staffing challenges, and some people generally avoiding Abbotsford thinking the city was underwater. On the heels of a pandemic that had already impacted our industry, local businesses need our support now more than ever to ensure they can survive and maneuver along the road to recovery.
The Support Local Abbotsford gift card program makes it easy to support many of the impacted businesses by giving you access to a large selection of easy-to-purchase gift cards.
Thank you for supporting our handmade & homegrown community during these challenging times!
VISITOR SERVICES & REGIONAL TRAVEL
During emergencies, the tourism and hospitality industry is an important conduit to official information sources for visitors. Our priority is ensuring that travellers have all the official resources they need to make informed decisions based on the latest, on-the-ground information. With this in mind, we have re-established our visitor services presence at the Abbotsford Airport. Please reach out to us at (604) 859-1721 with any questions you have about travel in our region. You can also ask questions through the homepage on our website or by emailing us at email@example.com.
With non-essential travel currently prohibited along severely affected highways, people are encouraged to follow @DriveBC on Twitter for specific information on roads and highways in the region and to check out the Drive BC website. Destination BC’s Know Before You Go page also includes key information resources for travellers and tourism businesses, and their Winter Travel Guide helps the industry navigate winter travel questions including travel routes, trip planning, transportation, visitor servicing, health protocols, entry requirements, and proof of vaccination requirements for various activities and businesses.
Regional Travel by Bus
The BC government made a change last week to the travel order for Highway 3 to include intercity bus services for non-essential travel. This will increase options for bus transportation between the Lower Mainland to Kelowna and Kamloops through companies like Ebus, Rider Express and Mountain Man Mike Bus Service.
Abbotsford International Airport was unaffected by flood events and continues to service arriving and departing passengers from across Canada with no issues.
Swoop has added new flights between Abbotsford (YXX) and Kelowna (YLW) for travelers in immediate need of transportation or those traveling to assist in the recovery efforts and emergency response. Flights will continue to operate three times a week—Wednesday, Friday and Sunday— until Jan. 20.
Further increases in air travel options are coming, as airlines work to increase their capacity from Vancouver and Abbotsford into the Interior.