The Haida Nation announced today that the Haida Enterprise Corporation (HaiCo) has purchased a controlling interest in West Coast Resorts, which operates five high-end fishing lodges along the west coast.
Two of the lodges – The Lodge at Hippa Island and the Lodge at Englefield Bay – operate in the waters on the west coast of Haida Gwaii while two other lodges are located along the central coast and a fifth lodge operates in Kyuquot Sound on Vancouver Island. Combined the five luxury lodges have a capacity for almost 200 fishermen at any given time, with one of the lodges completely sold out for the 2011 season and others mostly at capacity.
“We see the West Coast Resorts as a great asset. It has an established presence as a premium brand in the west coast fishing and recreational experience. The company has a competent group of great people and a loyal established following of guests,” said Thomas Olsen, Managing Director of HaiCo, adding that the purchase will help residents of Haida Gwaii.
“West Coast Resorts has become an important part of the island economy in employment and contributions to youth and health programs, through this venture, there will be many benefits realized on Haida Gwaii.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Guujaaw, president of the Haida Nation.
“Our people have devoted many years to protecting the West Coast of Haida Gwaii, one of the more majestic parts of the world. To design the balance in looking after our lands and our culture with an economy that will improve the condition of our people, we have to be involved in every economic sector affecting Haida Gwaii,” he said.
“We know that respectful use of our lands by the recreational visitor will be a part of our future.”
For its part West Coast Resorts, which has been operating since 1995, says the deal formalizes a partnership with the Haida Nation and will allow the company to offer “truly unique experiences” to people who book into the lodges.