Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tofino in Winter: Long Beach Lodge's 'No Snow Guarantee' pays off for guests who win free nights

On the road to Tofino, October 2005. Photo by Sue Frause.

After the wacky weather prevented guests from getting to Long Beach Lodge Resort over the holidays, GM Perry Schumnk wanted to woo them back with a No Snow Guarantee. The special winter promotion worked this way: If there was snow on the beach during a guest's stay, the second night would be on the house. While there had been snow a few times on the beach so far this winter, the white stuff is pretty rare in Tofino on Vancouver Island.

When Schumnk started at the resort last season, he was told it had barely snowed there in 20 years. He felt so confident that they had seen the last of this winter's wintry weather that he launched the No Snow Guarantee
a few weeks ago.

There were a few conditions to the guarantee: The snowfall must happen during the guest's stay, the snow must fall on the beach (in an act of nature) and stay on the beach, and it must fall from the sky above the beach.

Well, Mother Nature was on the side of the guests. On Jan. 26, 2009 the flakes started flying at the resort. Guests rushed to the Great Room, with its floor to ceiling window views of the beach, to watch and wait. The staff at the front desk waited, too.

For two hours the snow continued to fall. It stuck in the parking lot. And eventually it stuck on the beach, where the sand was transformed into a carpet of white that spread from the tide line to the frosty water. The guests cheered and free nights were handed out.

GM Perry is happy for the 13 guests who were awarded a free night. But he's now watching the weather forecast much more carefully.

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