Legacy North Island Business Demonstrates Resiliency: A Nimmo Bay Case Study

Port McNeill, B.C. - In discussing economic recovery strategies, we need look no further than our own backyard for business resiliency in the face of adversity. The locally owned and operated Nimmo Bay Resort celebrates 40 years in operation in summer 2020, and the occasion is marked with the dubious honour of enduring the fourth industry crisis in the iconic resort's history. The 1981/82 Recession, 9/11, the market crash of 2008/2009 and now COVID-19 all but wiped out the international travel industry and tested the ability of businesses to create the necessary change to stay alive.

Craig Murray, founder of Nimmo Bay and regional tourism advocate speaks pragmatically on the situation. With COVID-19 "Tourism was hit the hardest. Travel bans have been global and we cannot operate without guests and people. There has been no government monies for this industry, and it has been left to individual operators to remain in business as best they can. We can see now that there will be many fatalities."

While many businesses closed down or remain stagnant waiting for reprieve, Nimmo Bay once again assessed the situation and adopted a new strategy. The organization began looking to maximize their exposure to local and Canadian cliental. The resort is open for business and rapidly adapting their business model, as was done in the previous global economic downturns.

"We had to redirect our marketing to locals from BC and Canada rather than our usual global visitors. BC has been isolated for obvious reasons, thereby reducing our revenue at about 15% of what we would normally have" said Murray.

Masks, social distancing, and small groups are the hallmark of the 2020 summer season.

Murray mused about the impact of COVID-19 overall. "There is nothing pretty about this, except the impact people not travelling has had on our nature. We have been given a glimpse of what our environment might be like with the slowing of economy as ‘our economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of our environment.’"

"Our home is in Port McNeill, and has been for 47 years. We spend our revenues here, hire many of our staff from here and our suppliers live in and around the North Island. It is worthwhile for us to have a thriving business community here so we can continue to do our business of tourism and hospitality."

Murray joined the Port McNeill Chamber of Commerce Board in 2020 in order to help out his fellow business owners. "I realize the importance of helping business and giving back to this community for our many blessings." He is working with 11 Board Members and various committees bent on developing sound policy, advocacy, and business initiatives and strategy to help our community recover from COVID-19.

For further information on Nimmo Bay and other local business, and links on business supports for COVID-19, please visit https://www.portmcneill.net/covid19-resources

More information on Nimmo Bay and their innovative marketing strategies can be found here:

https://www.facebook.com/nimmobayresort/

www.nimmobay.com

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photo contributions: A. Smith, G. Wickstrom, O. Jorgensen, Business Members