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Cortes Currents Article: SUMMER 2022 HAS BEEN VERY BUSY FOR QXMC


Jason Johnson has been the General Manager of Qathen Xwegus (QXMC) for a little over four months. He took the helm of the Klahoose First Nation’s management corporation during a busy tourist season. Johnson was back home with his family in Sayward when Cortes Currents interviewed him over ZOOM. “I first wanted to acknowledge that I’m talking to you today on National Truth and Reconciliation Day, and I’m calling in from my home office in the unseated territory of the Comox First Nation,” he began. Jason Johnson – submitted photo “I wanted to first thank the community and all of our returning guests. We had an amazing season at the Gorge. It was also an opportunity for us to do some learning, and it was definitely a difficult start at the Gorge. We had a lot of support though, from the community. Gorge Harbor is a unique blend where tourism meets local, and plans are to continue this. I’m pretty excited about where things are going in that regard, but yes, we had the opportunity, to take a look at what worked and what didn’t.” Johnson emailed, “We welcomed a great many people to the resort arriving by vehicle, boat (and the odd plane!) There was live entertainment at least 5 days a week, great offerings at the Floathouse Restaurant and our store had another very busy season. RV sites were busy and the pool is always a hit.” Float plane arriving at Gorge Harbour – courtesy QXMC Exterior deck of the Floathouse Restaurant – courtesy QXMC Guests in the pool – courtesy QXMC While he did not have the statistics, Johnson knew there were many nights when guests could not book a table at the Floathouse Restaurant. They were sold out. QXMC is looking into ways they can improve services and serve more guests. The restaurant is currently closed for repairs. “When we reopen the doors there, the community will see some of the work done. It’ll be very obvious,” said Johnson. QXMC is also responsible for the drone recently flying over Squirrel Cove. It carries LiDAR, to assist with the planning and development of the 14 acres that Klahoose First Nation acquired in Squirrel Cove. “We are leaning into the concept of camping facilities there. As that unfolds, I’ll definitely have more to share on that. We are looking forward to the potential to bring another location to Cortes for the enjoyment of our residents, community, as well as building up another part of the tourist space for Cortes.” Goat 1, the Klahoose Water Taxi – courtesy QXMC At the resort – courtesy QXMC Scenery close to the resort – courtesy QXMC 2022 has been a strong season for the Klahoose Wilderness Resort, which is still in its peak season. “We had the pleasure to welcome a lot of guests this year, much more than we had last year. We’ve had many nights as well on those three and four day tours that were completely sold out. Very successful season all the way around. We’ve had a lot of great feedback about the cultural immersive experience that our guests are enjoying,” said Jonson. From all reports, the Bear Tours have been exceptional. Johnson has heard this from partners like Campbell River Whale Watching, Eagle Eye Adventures and West Coast Grizzly Bear Tours as well as staff. “We’ve established that there’s need for some more programming at the resort. Guests are wanting to see more excursions and we’re looking really forward to building that out as we start planning our 2023 season.” Klahoose Wilderness Restort is in operation mode until the end of October, after which QXMC intends to enlarge the trail network and seeing what other investments are needed. Gorge Harbour Marina on Cortes Island – Courtesy QXMC “Our mandate with QXMC together with the Klahoose First Nation is long term sustainable financial security for the nation, but also to provide employment to the community and members of KFN,” explained Johnson. “There’s going to be so many positions available at the Gorge for this upcoming season. So I welcome anybody to think about employment with us. We will be actively recruiting again January, February for the season and looking forward to another successful season in 2023.” Top image credit: Guests being welcomed to the Klahoose Wilderness Resort – courtesy QXMC

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