Big White Ski Resort’s Snow Ghost Inn suffered a massive roof collapse over the inner atrium and pool area at about 3 a.m., April 20.
The Big White Fire Department searched the building and believed everyone was accounted for, according to Jacky Seigo Martin’s post on the Big White Mountain News Facebook group.
“I’m not on the mountain, but I got a call at 3 a.m. in the morning from the president of the chamber of commerce looking for our assistance to shelter and place the evacuees,” said Michael J. Ballingall, senior vice-president of Big White Ski Resort.
“So, we got them into the Village Center Mall. Obviously, if there was no COVID-19 the response probably would have been different. We probably would have put them into a hotel that was closer to the lobby.”
Ballingall said it was fortunate the ski patrol was on the mountain at the time of the collapse. First responders rushed to the site and got everyone out safely, wrapping the evacuees in warm blankets.
“Thank you so very much to Big White Ski Resort for providing shelter and blankets to those in need last night,” said Martin on Facebook.
While the most important thing was getting everyone out safely, Ballingall acknowledged the roof needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Without central heating, the pipes could freeze, which would pose a massive problem for the resort.
The roof of the building, which was built in 1979, should not have collapsed, according to Ballingall.