Celebrating the Diversity of Area G Businesses

Gerry Wilke looks at some of the businesses that call Area G home

Small business is an important part of the socio-economic fabric of any community and I thought I would mention some ventures in Area G. The originator of the Spilly Station Café, Nola Alt, has taken over the operation this year in partnership with Nancy Phair. They serve original specials each day in Spillimacheen along with wonderful views of the Wetlands, Mt Ethelbert, and hummingbirds galore at the window feeders. Beeland next door in Spillimacheen is an architectual marvel of careful reconstruction of the original Spilly General Store and features a coffee bar and a store full of honey and honey-related products. The honey is collected from a series of hives situated throughout the Valley. At Brisco two greenhouse operations provide quality plants for valley gardeners. Joy Hassett operates a spring business next to the Brisco General Store and Patti Wismer operates a larger complex Patti’s Greenhouses across the river. Also based in Brisco, Warner Einer’s company Wink Wireless is working with the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation to provide wireless internet service to the more remote areas in Area G.

Just southeast of Spur Valley, Luxor Corrals offers first class guided trail rides into the scenic heights of Luxor Creek. There are three golf courses in Area G: Spur Valley Greens, Edgewater Hilltop Par 3 and Radium Resort. Each course is well maintained and renowned for its clubhouse food services. In the commercial zone in Edgewater across the street from Pips Country Store and just behind Ken Ruault’s Mechanical Services, Rob Murray is establishing a commercial woodworking shop where he will pursue his passion for designing and building furniture. Between Edgewater and Radium a group with previous experience in the field has purchased two of the Elk Park Ranch parcels and are planning to provide accommodation in a number of unserviced backcountry yurts and opportunities for non-motorized recreational activities for those who prefer a retreat in a wildland setting yet within easy access of the highway. South of Radium, Valley Zipline Adventures is working toward the construction of a zipline course through the former Playland property in the Dry Gulch area.

In early May, I attended the Wilmer Waterworks Improvement District AGM which included a presentation by Wilmer Eco Developments, a partnership that has purchased about 116 acres north and west of town. They are proposing to subdivide the property in three phases into a total of 26 lots. Twenty-two of the lots would be in the Wilmer approved development zone along Horsethief Road, two would be just east of Munn Lake and the remaining two would be on the 89 acre parcel on the hillside above town. The proponents vowed to maintain close communication with the townspeople as their plans evolve.

Gerry Wilkie is the Regional District of East Kootenay director for Area G, and can be reached at gdwilkie@cyberlink.bc.ca .