Hilton Head, British Columbia — For most of the week, the temperature was in the mid-to-upper 20s and high 30s, but by early morning Monday, it had dipped to just a shade below freezing.
It wasn’t until 6 a.m. that the temperature dropped to just below freezing, and by early afternoon it was still barely below freezing as clouds hung in the air.
That meant the skies were mostly clear and the air was clear.
The cool, breezy morning was a good sign, but the cold wasn’t coming anytime soon.
“It’s not too early to start thinking about tomorrow,” said Mark MacKinnon, a hotelier at the Hilton Head Hotel, which is about an hour west of Vancouver.
He’s worried about the future of the city, and he’s not alone.
He says there are already concerns about how the city will weather a severe winter.
MacKennaistes concerns about the city’s future have led to calls to end the citywide moratorium on hotel occupancy until the summer.
In addition to the restrictions on hotel rooms, there’s also the moratorium on non-essential activities like travel and recreational vehicles, which will run from mid-July through late-August.
If that ban is lifted, it’s likely hotel occupancy will start again.
The moratorium has been in place for the past seven years and is a temporary measure, MacKenzie says.
The hotel industry says the moratorium is needed to make sure the city can cope with the expected increase in the number of hotel rooms as well as to help manage the growing population of the region.
In an emailed statement, the hotel industry said the moratorium will help manage traffic congestion in the city and provide a temporary solution to a long-term traffic and congestion issue.
“While we welcome the opportunity to reopen hotels as normal, it is important to remember that the hotel occupancy ban has been extended until the winter is over,” the statement read.
“We continue to be committed to maintaining the best possible conditions for hotel occupancy and are committed to making it happen.”