“Does it get any better? If not, what do we do?”
Rolf and Kathrin von Andrian found their way to Canada in 2012, leaving their lives and jobs in Germany behind to take a chance on a new adventure. Myra Canyon Ranch is a family business through and through, and Rolf and Kathrin’s passion for what they do shows in every aspect of it. The von Andrian family and their dedicated staff offer horseback riding and bike rentals year-round, as well as a variety of self-contained guest suites – including a repurposed school bus! Like many, Rolf and Kathrin’s business has faced great uncertainty and required many changes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Myra Canyon Ranch feels remote, yet it is within a short drive to the city of Kelowna and amenities, making it the perfect destination for those looking to escape the crowds and disconnect to reconnect. Ranch guests are able to enjoy the serenity of a wide open space with valley and lake views, along with many options for activities to explore the surrounding area including the nearby Kettle Valley Railway trestles. Roaming around the ranch are friendly chickens and the family’s dogs, Mister and Lily, adding to the homely, laid-back atmosphere. High standards for cleaning protocols and the secluded nature of the location have guests feeling safe and well taken care of. “The whole check-in process is done physically distanced, using masks – but socially together,” says Kathrin von Andrian. Rolf and Kathrin leave a full day in between bookings to ensure guest accommodations are thoroughly cleaned, and there is plenty of space for guests to keep to themselves if they would like to.
The pandemic continues to challenge the way the tourism industry, and the people without whom it would not exist operate. “Everyone reads the news, and if you hear the headlines it can make you feel like giving up,” says Rolf von Andrian. “The Thompson Okanagan Resiliency Program helped a lot with direct contact and data. They turned around to look on the inside – what they can generate, invent, how they can help, what’s out there. I was really impressed.”
A lot of uncertainty still lies ahead, and the road to resiliency is anything but straightforward. Fall and winter will present new challenges, and the full impact of the pandemic on businesses cannot be assessed just yet .“We’re still in it. We’re surviving it, and I treat that as a success. I know others aren’t, and I feel blessed that we’ve survived it,” says Rolf von Andrian.