The owner of a restaurant in Big White Ski Resort in British Columbia, who hosted a boisterous evening on Monday night, has now apologized for the “ignorant decision”, acknowledging his actions could have “jeopardized” the community.
On Wednesday, Justin Reid, owner of Charley Victoria’s All Day After, posted a message on the restaurant’s Facebook account titled “Apologies from owner of Charley Victoria” after the party was announced.
“I fully own this ignorant decision I made out of sheer selfish frustration at the recent announcement, regarding COVID restrictions in our community. My decision to leave [this] was wrong, ”Reid wrote.
“I take full responsibility for accepting all the consequences of this bad decision … what happened at Charley’s on Monday night was unacceptable and did not show leadership or compassion for my community, in which I hold on deeply. ”
A large crowd of young people gathered at the restaurant late Monday, hours after British Columbia health officials announced that indoor dining at restaurants and pubs would be closed from midnight in an attempt to stop an increase in COVID-19 cases.
Video of the party showed people dancing, hugging and partying at tables at the restaurant, located in the resort community near Kelowna.
WATCH | A restaurant in the BC resort community threw a big party:
A restaurant’s lease may be in jeopardy
Big White senior vice president Michael Ballingall said he learned about the party shortly after 7 p.m. while it was still going on.
“The whole management team is absolutely disgusted, dismayed, embarrassed,” Ballingall told UKTN News Tuesday.
He told UKTN that at least two resort staff identified in the video would be fired for attending the party. He also said Charley Victoria’s lease could be in jeopardy as the party showed “blatant disregard” for his contract with the station.
Charley Victoria’s is in its first year of business.
In his post, Reid also apologized to the station. “I am aware and realize what I have potentially endangered for them, and for that I am very sorry,” he wrote.
RCMP are investigating
RCMP have confirmed that they were made aware of a “large group of customers” at a bar breaking with provincial COVID-19 orders.
They said the party was over by the time the officers arrived, but they are viewing video footage and will investigate.
As of Tuesday, no fines were imposed and no charges were laid.
Indoor social gatherings have been banned across British Columbia since November.
Ballingall said up to 70 people working on the mountain were made redundant following new indoor dining restrictions announced on Monday.
He alleged that representatives of the restaurant made it known on Monday afternoon that they were open and offered significant discounts on food and drink.
The Big White community was hit by a large cluster of COVID-19 cases late last year. More than 230 people have been infected, with many cases linked to social gatherings and sharing of staff living spaces.