When AJ Bachhal first visited Clearwater ten years ago, he was blown away by the natural beauty of the area and impressed by the business potential.
Bachhal, who has 15 years of experience in the hotel industry, purchased the Clearwater Lodge in 2012 and has been working to update and improve the property ever since.
“We were welcomed by the community with open arms,” said Bachhal. “There was a lot of excitement when we started doing renos and people would come by and thank and welcome us. All of my interactions with people in the community have just been amazing.”
While Bachhal and his family have a house in Kamloops, they also have a living space in the Clearwater Lodge and spend most of their time in Clearwater. He often encourages his neighbours in Kamloops to explore in their own backyard.
“Clearwater is a hidden gem. Families will spend hours driving in a car to go look at waterfalls but we have so many amazing ones an hour away.” Bachhal notes the increased local tourism this season due to COVID-19 has been a good thing because more people are getting to appreciate what there is in their own area. He normally recommends people visit Spahats Creek and Helmcken Falls.
“That said, Moul Falls is at the top of my list if people have a bit more time–it’s such a beautiful and doable hike.”
While Bachhal loves interacting with guests from all over the world during a normal tourist season, he really enjoys seeing locals learning more about where they live. He also really enjoys updating the Clearwater Lodge in the offseason and adding value to the property.
This season, Bachhal has also been busy with the construction of the Best Western Plus in Clearwater, which he and his family owns. When he has some downtime from his projects and work, Bachhal loves taking his family to Dutch Lake.
“It’s a great place to go and hang out with my family, I have twin 15-year-old teenagers and a two-year-old. It’s nice seeing coworkers having a good time with their kids. It’s such a great community and we feel lucky to be part of it.”