Spirit Ridge at NK’MIP is under new management — it’s own.

A decision by the Spirit Ridge Owner Association’s 450-plus members last May to end a management services relationship with Calgary-based Bellstar Hotels and Resorts took full effect on January 28.

The 226-condominium style resort located on Osoyoos’s east bench has also rebranded itself, doing away with the Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort and Spa moniker and adopting the vision of “Community, Unity, Prosperity.”

But the decision to transition to an executive self-management model encompasses a much larger philosophical change as well.

“Before this, money spent by the resort in various departments was deployed by a group based outside of the South Okanagan,” explained Mike Campol, the new Director of Operations.

“One could argue that (Bellstar’s) collective buying power saved a few pennies. This, however, is not our business model. We need to support our destination marketing organizations, local operators, and community, and create job growth opportunities right outside our doorstep.”

The new Sprit Ridge at Nk’MIP model will embrace, among other things, a unified community leadership approach,” explained Mr. Campol.

“The management is engaging suppliers, contractors, and staff in the local community, with priority in aligning with aboriginally-owned products and experiences.”

Mr. Campol has added a number of familiar local faces to the effort, recruiting former Destination Osoyoos Executive Director Jo Knight to fill the role of Brand Ambassador; Brianne Hearle — until recently Director of Marketing at Destination Osoyoos — to direct sales and marketing; and former Nk’MIP Cellars Guest Services Manager Jennifer Busmann to act as Resort Leader.

Also joining Mr. Campol’s “dream team” are Mykaela Coty-Scholl (Resort Administrator) and Del Hunter (Owner Ambassador).

Mr. Campol is also excited to be working side-by-side with industry veterans Executive Director Leon Algadzis, and Marketing Team Leader Angelique Silberman as they carry out their roles providing Executive Management Services to support all efforts for the team’s and owners association’s new vision.

Mr. Campol himself is a familiar local face and leader, serving as a Town of Osoyoos councilor and spearheading the Spirit of the Games Society, a local charity that supports youth participation in sports.

“We are so excited as a Board to see the new changes coming into effect,” said Mr. Campol. “This is such a breath of fresh air and I can’t wait for the transition to fully develop.

“We are overjoyed that finally we can showcase Spirit Ridge’s distinctive and uniquely Canadian presence as the premier resort embracing First Nations experiences.”

Spirit Ridge at NK’MIP is part of the Osoyoos Indian Band-owned NK’MIP community, which also includes the NK’MIP Desert Cultural Centre, NK’MIP Cellars, NK’MIP Corner and Petro Canada and the NK’MIP Canyon Golf Course.

Bellstar managed the Spirit Vineyard Resort and Spa from 2006.

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