Improvements underway at Elkin Creek Ranch in Nemiah Valley

Xeni Gwet’in Nation purchased and is upgrading the Elkin Creek Ranch. (Jimmy Lulua photo)Xeni Gwet’in Nation purchased and is upgrading the Elkin Creek Ranch. (Jimmy Lulua photo)
Renovations started this past winter at Elkin Creek Ranch in Nemiah Valley. Xeni Gwet’in Chief Jimmy Lulua said COVID-19 has resulted in delays in bringing materials to the property such as concrete and made it challenging for contractors requiring a place to stay. (Jimmy Lulua photo)Renovations started this past winter at Elkin Creek Ranch in Nemiah Valley. Xeni Gwet’in Chief Jimmy Lulua said COVID-19 has resulted in delays in bringing materials to the property such as concrete and made it challenging for contractors requiring a place to stay. (Jimmy Lulua photo)

The Xeni Gwet’in First Nation is busy making improvements to the Elkin Creek Ranch in the hopes of attracting visitors when travel resumes.

Upgrades to expand guest capacity and improve energy efficiency at the property started this past winter.

“The former owners marketed it as a five-star, and people would show up, and it was more of a two-star,” Chief Jimmy Lulua said, noting they are excited to bring it up to standards.

The ranch located in Nemiah Valley southwest of Williams Lake was acquired by Xeni Gwet’in in 2019.

Lulua said they have invited the previous manager back to make sure it gets off the ground when construction is complete and cross-train Xeni Gwet’in members interested in taking on such a role.

Read More: B.C. First Nation hopes to offer new visitor experiences in 2021

Improvements will also be undertaken at the nearby airstrip, which can accommodate the landing of a small aircraft.

Lulua believes most travellers from the Lower Mainland do not want to make the more than six-hour drive to Williams Lake, followed by another three hours on a rough road to get to the ranch.

“They’d rather just fly from Vancouver right to the spot,” he said.

“We want to move to a higher-end clientele, and we’ll have better access management into the community.”

Xeni Gwet’in successfully received a $974,000 grant for the improvements through B.C.’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program destination development stream (CERIP) this year.

Lulua hopes upgrades to the ranch will be finished by June while improvements to the airport get underway sometime over the summer.

Xeni Gwet’in also acquired the Yohetta Wilderness Adventure Lodge in 2019.

“We’re looking at doing the same thing there,” Lulua said of utilizing green energy alternatives such as solar panels and wind in a remote setting.

“But right now, it’s pretty well maintained.”

Read More: Former Xeni Gwet’in chief drums traditional songs during pandemic lockdown

Do you have a comment about this story? email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

First NationsIndigenous tourism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jason and Pharis Romero’s latest album <em>Bet on Love</em> garnered three Canadian Folk Music Awards. Here Patrick Metzger, bass, from left, Jason, Pharis and Marc Jenkins perform at Arts on the Fly 2019 in Horsefly. Both Metzger and Jenkins performed on the album, as well as John Reischman on mandolin. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Romeros’ latest album garners three Canadian Folk Music Awards

Recorded in Horsefly, Bet on Love was released in May 2020

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

The Nazko River is under a flood warning. (Emcon Services Inc. Facebook photo)
Nazko River under flood warning

Rest of the Cariboo, including Quesnel and Williams Lake at lowest advisory level

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

The former C&C Wood Products mill will begin producing products again later this month, under new ownership. (Observer file photo)
Williams Lake-owned company to restart production at bankrupt specialty mill in Quesnel

President of Kandola Forest Products says he expects to fill 90 full-time jobs by end of year

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to table budget that’s expected to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Robinson released a fiscal update last December that said the impact of the pandemic on B.C.’s economy was uncertain

Paramedic Matthew Schlatter of Victoria is living a fuller life today due to the double lung transplant he received in 2019. He encourages B.C. residents to register as an organ donor and let their families know their wishes. (Instagram/Matthew Schlatter)
B.C. man living a full, active life after double-lung transplant

Matt Schlatter encourages people to register as an organ donor to help others live

(Photo by Mojpe/Pixabay)
Canadian kids extracting record amounts from Tooth Fairy

Our neighbours in the U.S. receive slightly less from Tooth Fairy visits

Most Read