Looking towards a truck and newly cleared land through a fog

QXMC Squirrel Cove Project On Track For Late 2024 Opening

QXMC, the Klahoose First Nation Management Corporation, is currently on track to open a combined grocery store and gas station in Squirrel Cove later this year. 

“If all goes well, fingers crossed, we will be doing test runs in late 2024 and then a grand opening towards the end of 2024,” explained Marco Bedetti, General Manager of QXMC.  

Work underway at the Squirrel Cove site – Photo courtesy QXMC

He expressed the fact these are not firm dates, “We want to make sure that operationally everything is running right.  We have to hire staff, we have to make sure that all our services in the store and outside of the store run smoothly.  I don’t know if we’ll open for the public right away, or just try a couple of days or weeks operationally without opening to the public before we say, ‘Hey, let’s cut the ribbons.”

This is part of a much larger development that will also include more than 30 campsites, or RV sites, and some cabins along the beach.

Marco Bedetti: “The priority is to build a grocery store/gas station for the Klahoose First Nation. The location that was decided is where we did the clear cuts, at the curve before the government dock. Obviously we had to do some work as far as digging wells, which now have been done. We’re working through the GARP assessment to make sure that any water treatment that we have to do is up to code with Island Health, or in this case the First Nation Health Authority.” 

“The First Nation Health Authority is  involved, furthermore we have Vision Quest creating the project for us.” 

“We’re talking about the architectural design of the store, but before we get into any building,  we need to make sure that the water that is flowing on the side of the road has the right flow, that the culverts are installed.”

“We need to grade the property because it’s on a slope and it would be hard to build that way.  It has a lot to do with creating the right environment to put up the building and the services that we want.”  

CC: You’ve doubled the size of the clearing. 

Marco Bedetti: “Yes, in the summer there are a lot of vehicles parked next to the road. We’re augmenting traffic on one hand, with the store, but  also with the RV sites. We want to make sure that it’s safe. So the decision was  that on the lower part of the property we will create a parking lot so that we can safely have people park their vehicles in the right spots.”  

CC: Do you have any updates regarding the next phase of this project? 

Marco Bedetti: “The plan is definitely to go towards tourism in the form of RV sites, tent sites, possibly cabins. It’s not a priority yet.We want to make sure there is a store available, there is gas service available, there is electrical vehicle charging available. Once that is complete, we’ll go over to really defining how many RV sites we want. Or do we want to try geodesic domes? Or how many cabins are we building? It will be definitely in the direction of tourism, or camping.” 

Top image credit: A foggy late afternoon on the Squirrel Cove site – Roy L Hales photo

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