Sonora Resort During the 2020 Closure
Sonora’s Maintenance team is keeping busy while we are closed to guests this season.
In many ways, the Sonora Resort infrastructure can be described as a small town in the middle of nowhere. The property that Sonora Resort sits on is about 25 acres in size, and we also own 115 acres of forested land behind the main resort area where you’ll find our maintained hiking and biking trails. We provide our own electricity using diesel generators, we have our own domestic drinking water system, a sewage treatment plant to handle all waste effluent, a creek water irrigation system for our gardens, and two fire pump systems to handle all fire hydrant and sprinkler systems in our buildings. Without city garbage collection and safety services, we also handle all of our own garbage, recycling, and have our own first aid and fire safety systems in place. Keeping these systems and the resort facilities running smoothly takes the expertise of our incredible maintenance team.
Sonora’s maintenance team works year-round on site at Sonora to keep everything running smoothly. Our Maintenance Manager, Maintenance technicians, Marine Mechanic and painters take good care of the resort year-round, and in the summer months our Grounds crew is on site to tend to the gardens and grounds. During our off-season, or in this instance during our 2020 closure due to Covid-19, these folks are keeping very busy as they maintain all of our operational systems, resort vehicles, boats, buildings and security systems. This summer we are taking advantage of the warm weather and getting lots of exterior painting completed!
Our Maintenance team has a wealth of knowledge and experience behind them – Maintenance Manager, Dave Manson, has been with Sonora for more than 16 seasons and knows ALL the nooks and crannies of the resort (he is also the best weatherman if you want to know the weather forecast!). Maintenance technician, Stacey, has been with Sonora for 12 years and is the go-to guy for all things security, generators and technology. Our new Assistant Maintenance Manager, Kenn, has just joined us in the spring of 2020 but comes with a wealth of knowledge from his previous experience in the Comox Valley. Marine Mechanic, Jay, is into his third season at Sonora keeping our boats in perfect working order, while Patrick, our resident Painter, has been instrumental in keeping all of our lodges looking beautiful inside and out for 8 seasons. Each of these individuals brings their own expertise to the job but is capable of doing most every maintenance task at the resort, whether its mechanical work on equipment or technical work on our IT infrastructure.
As Sonora continually strives to be more sustainable, our maintenance team has been working hard to develop and maintain the systems on site to make this possible. Our Sewage Treatment plant is state of the art with a membrane bio-reactor system. This far exceeds the minimum standards for effluent processing and the water emitted to the ocean is clean enough to drink (though no one has volunteered to try this yet). The maintenance team is also responsible for handling all of our garbage and recycling. All recyclable containers (glass, plastic, metals, batteries, Styrofoam and more) are separated and organized for transport back to Campbell River. The deposit fees once returned to the recycling depot are donated to local Campbell River Charities. All food and paper waste are handled on site using our medical waste grade incinerator, which burns cleanly in two chambers, putting zero particulates back into the environment.
At the beginning of 2020 we made a commitment to eliminate the use of single use plastic water bottles at Sonora Resort. Upon arrival, all guests will receive a beautiful glass re-useable water bottle for their stay and to take home with them. Guests can be assured that the water is safe to drink right from each and every tap at the resort. Our maintenance team oversees the daily maintenance of the water treatment center and sends water samples into our local health authority for regular testing. Our water treatment plant takes ground water from our 7 producing wells on site and disinfects the water using UV treatment, without the use of chlorine or harsh chemicals. Surprisingly, the wells on Sonora Island are only 6 inches in diameter, but they are drilled between 180-420 feet into the bedrock. Our two storage tanks are each 10,000 gallons in size and supply the whole resort including guests and staff. The entire water system is treated twice yearly with a chlorine rinse to ensure the piping system stays clean and our water is always safe for drinking.
If you ask our Maintenance team what it’s like to work at Sonora, they will tell you that they love their job because every day is so different! They never tire of working against the backdrop of stunning scenery around Sonora and have a great respect for our environment. Being on site at Sonora gives them a unique perspective on how the resort functions during the high season with up to 140 guests on site, and the off season when we have just a small crew here. These folks all work very hard and are very talented at what they do. We are so appreciative of all that they do to make Sonora Resort run smoothly for our guests, and constantly work to improve the infrastructure of the resort.