O’Keefe Ranch & Interior Heritage, a popular tourist attraction in Vernon, British Columbia, has been struggling financially due to the pandemic and a six-figure debt to the City of Vernon.
Despite these challenges, the Ranch is offering a new, unique experience to visitors with the introduction of its 10-site glamping area.
The glamping area, which blends luxury with nature, provides guests with a one-of-a-kind experience that has been designed to ensure comfort and relaxation.
Visitors can choose between five tents that feature queen-sized beds, and five tents that feature two single beds.
Each tent has an outdoor seating area, a fire pit, and a propane barbecue. Guests also have access to a shared washroom and shower facility.
The glamping area is part of O’Keefe Ranch’s new business plan, which was presented by the Ranch’s president, Bruce Cummings, to Coldstream Council on April 25.
The plan aims to create more revenue streams for the Ranch and overcome its financial challenges.
The City of Vernon accepted the trust of land and artifacts on the Ranch in 1977 on condition they would maintain an educational and historic park.
This agreement was renewed in 1997 for a 30-year term, which expires in 2027. Since 2018, the Ranch has been working towards financial sustainability by transitioning to a “social enterprise.”
However, the Ranch’s five-year plan did not anticipate the pandemic’s impact, along with several other crises that have hit the Ranch, including the heat dome, fire evacuation, avian bird flu, inflation, and labor shortage. These events have caused significant financial stress on the Ranch.
Private campground owners and operators in the nearby area may find O’Keefe Ranch’s new glamping site inspiring, especially those who are also struggling with the effects of the pandemic.
The Ranch’s efforts to adapt to changing conditions by diversifying revenue streams could provide a blueprint for other similar attractions to follow.
Despite the challenges faced, O’Keefe Ranch & Interior Heritage has been a safe haven for evacuees and their animals during recent emergencies.
The Ranch has also been receiving grants or grants in aid from the City of Vernon, District of Coldstream, and the Township of Spallumcheen to fund its operations.
O’Keefe Ranch’s new glamping site will offer visitors a unique experience while also helping the Ranch overcome its financial challenges.
The Ranch is hopeful that the presentation of its new business plan to the City of Vernon and Coldstream Councils will enable it to continue to maintain an educational and historic park while attracting visitors and offering a memorable experience.
The glamping site at O’Keefe Ranch is a significant addition to the Ranch’s offerings, and it could serve as an inspiration to other businesses struggling amid the pandemic.