The business of heat: Hotels fill up, some restaurants and other businesses close

Meanwhile, retail stores are running out of fans

Hotels are filling up across the region, while some restaurants close due to the heat | Photo: BIV files

Soaring temperatures descended on the Lower Mainland during the weekend, and are expected to exceed 40 C in eastern parts of the region today.

The high temperatures prompted schools to close. The four-restaurant chain Burgoo said on Twitter that it would also close, because it is "too hot to work."

And WorkSafeBC is warning employers of outside workers their staff is at risk of heatstroke. Some contractors are telling their workers to stay home. The B.C. Construction Safety Alliance has issued heat exhaustion prevention plans that discuss breaks, shade, ventilation and hydration. 

While the heat will undoubtedly cause added worker fatigue, there are businesses that have been able to reap some reward. 

Some London Drugs stores, for example, were out of fans when BIV went looking on Sunday.

Public advisories have been issued to warn vulnerable people to rehydrate and limit activities.

One woman carrying luggage while leaving a downtown condominium building told BIV that her unit was sweltering and that she had booked a room at a hotel for relief – in part because she has a newborn.

Other people, such as Zayn Jinah, took to Twitter to say that they had booked a pet-friendly room at a hotel to stay cool, and ensure that their pets do too.

Darren Simpson, general manager at The Burrard, told BIV that staff at his 72-room, pet-friendly hotel received more than 150 phone calls this morning from people interested in potentially booking rooms. He said that The Burrard is now at capacity even though it does not have a pool. 

Sandman Hotel Group said in a statement to BIV that it has seen room bookings double compared with this time last year, directly because of the heatwave.

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is also seeing a jump in business.

"We have picked up business in the last couple of days, and we're now full to the point where we feel comfortable so we have stopped taking bookings," Fairmont Hotel Vancouver general manager Adam Laker told BIV.

He said the hotel was at about 70% capacity, which is the maximum that it is able to be filled and have staff who are able to care for the guests. 

His human resources team has been recalling staff for a variety of positions in the past month, but his workforce remains below the level that it was pre-pandemic.

Laker said that the Hotel Vancouver has a large pool and that this has been a draw for many of those who booked sudden stays in the past few days.

With a file from Nelson Bennett

gkorstrom@biv.com