Heather Reimer took over as General Manager of Gorge Harbour Marina in February.
Her day usually starts at 6:30 AM with coffee as she looks through the emails that came in throughout the night. Two hours, and several cups of coffee later, Reimer will usually be in the office.
She and her partner Ron Quire are currently overseeing the activities of more than 50 employees:
- 10 in the Gorge Harbour General Store.
- 4 in the office
- 10 in the maintenance department that’s taking care of the campground, RV sites and all of the maintenance needs of the property.
- 10 to 15 working part time and a few full time, in the Floathouse Restaurant.
- 6 in the marina,
- 5 housekeepers
- 3 more employees were hired this week
“Right now we’re running at about 50% occupancy. In another week, we will be running closer to 90 -95%,” she said.
In addition to the restaurant and the general store, they have the four rooms in the lodge, 14 RV sites, 19 tent sites and 1,800 linear feet of dock space to oversee.
Reimer works seven days a week, but they aren’t all 10 hour days.
“Some of those days are only four hours. I consider that to be a holiday.”
She likes to take long walks. That gives her a quiet time to think through the day’s challenges.
“I get a lot of problems solved on those walks,” she said. “I am pretty full on all of the time. My priority is the care and feeding of this resort. So it’s always on my brain.”
Reimer started working in resorts when she was young and worked her way up the management ladder until 2000, when she was hired by TYAX Lodge & Heliskiing. They provided heliski holidays in the winter and mountain biking in summer for up to 100 guests.
She and Quire went sailing from 2010 to 2016.
“We sailed all the way down to the Galapagos and had many, many adventures. The ocean is very much close to our hearts and that was the reason which really drew us to this place,” explained Reimer.
Their 53 foot trawler is currently in Port Townsend, but it will be coming up home to the Gorge. Reimer and Quire intend to explore Desolation Sound and the Disovery Islands.
“I knew some of the principles here at QXMC. They encouraged me to apply for a management position to run Gorge Harbor, and I very happily did so.”.
“Ron is my other half. He’s been with me through thick and thin, on the seas and off the seas. We’re running this place side by side. We also have another couple here, Lisa Argue and Zoa Scott. They are our assistant managers and we are very much a team in running this place together. I’m more of the spokesperson, but it’s very much a team effort not only with them, but certainly with the entire group of employees that we’ve got here.”
Reimer expected to have several months to learn the inner workings of Gorge Harbour Marina, but that did not happen.
“It’s been an incredibly steep learning curve, but I come from a resort background and running other properties. So it’s just another beast with the same employee issues, the same infrastructure issues. It’s just learning who I need to pick up the phone to talk to,” she said.
Every day is different. Sometimes they concerntrate on marketing and sales. Another day they need to repair a lawn that a truck savaged, or put together an earlier than expected order for liquor.
She and Quire want to continue the legacy which was started by Michelle and Richard Glickman.
“We want to continue becoming a hub for the community, as well as to welcome people from the U.S., as well as from all around Canada. People are excited when they get here and they’re always quite amazed at the beautiful grounds that we have here,” she said.
At the moment, QXMC is focusing its attention on the Klahoose Wilderness Resort, which serves as a portal to Klahoose culture for guests.
“We’ll slowly start to incorporate some of the same mindsets here, but for this summer we’re just going to keep moving in the same fantastic direction that it’s always been.
All of the employees stayed on when Reimer and Quire took over. Many have stepped up into a new level responsibility.
“Those employees know their departments. They are able to offer fantastic solutions to problems,” said Reimer. “It is very much a team spirit here.”
She views the approaching high season with a bit of fear and trepidation, but also excitement.
“When people are here the mood of the place and the energy of the place is really quite intoxicating. I’m looking forward to seeing the place really running at full capacity. That will give me an opportunity to see where we have things that need to be improved upon, and where we can look to potentially expand our services,” said Reimer.
“After the season, I’ll do a full financial evaluation of how each component of our business is fitting within the whole and how we can maximize our potential revenue.”
Top image credit: path to the Marina dock – Courtesy George Harbour Facebook page
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