The Coast Bastion Hotel, with its windows lit up in the shape of a heart, overlooks the historical Bastion, illuminated in pink. Both gestures celebrate and acknowledge health-care workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo submitted)

Downtown Nanaimo hotel shows love and appreciation for front-line workers

Coast Bastion illuminates windows in the shape of hearts, hopes other buildings do the same

A lot of Nanaimo homes have hearts in the windows, but in a highrise hotel, hearts in the windows can be done on a rather larger scale.

The Coast Bastion Hotel downtown has started lighting up rooms on two sides of the building in the shape of hearts.

General manager Dave McQuinn said it’s something that the Coast Bastion saw was happening in other places, and he liked the idea of “paying tribute to the people on the front lines” of the COVID-19 fight. He hopes Nanaimo will get even louder with its nightly 7 p.m. noise for health-care workers.

“We thought if we put the hearts up that other big buildings would maybe jump on board and we could make our nurses, doctors, first-responder celebration a little bit bigger and a little bit better,” McQuinn said. “Because let’s make no mistake. Those people are doing some incredible work and need to be celebrated and thanked because without them, we’re in a lot worse shape than we are today, aren’t we?”

The Coast Bastion isn’t utilizing the hotel rooms on the lower floors right now, so it’s easy enough to turn the lights on and off to create a heart pattern. McQuinn said about four weeks ago, occupancy dropped from 80 per cent to 10 per cent almost overnight. Still, he said the Coast Bastion is better off than some hotels in Vancouver and Victoria, for example, which have closed or even boarded up.

“We don’t have such a big facility that we need to look after, so it’s economically viable to stay open and deal with whoever needs a room,” McQuinn said. “So we’re pretty lucky and the people that are working are happy to be working. But straight across the world, everybody’s in the same boat – you can’t really be successful in the hotel business unless people are travelling.”

McQuinn said he doesn’t foresee business picking up until air travel bounces back. In the meantime, he said the Coast Bastion’s staff is healthy and that’s the important thing.

“There’s a lot of people worse off than we are, so we’re being positive, knowing that at some point we’ll come to the end and at the other side, we’ll dust ourself off and find our way forward,” he said.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo neighbourhoods asked to show the love in front windows

READ ALSO: Hearts of Vancouver Island campaign spreading message of love and unity

READ ALSO: Nanoose Bay man forges hearts for his community

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Black Lives solidarity demonstration fills Nanaimo park

Anti-racism protest held at Maffeo Sutton Park on Friday afternoon

Nanaimo RCMP seek help locating missing indigenous youth

Family of William Baker worries he’s in company of people putting him at risk

Nanaimo man wanted on assault warrants

John Bates wanted following two separate incidents from earlier this year

Stz’uminus motivational speaker and musician named ‘emerging cultural leader’ in Nanaimo

Patrick Aleck is among the recipients of the city’s Culture and Heritage Awards

Plan in place for B.C. Ferries to start increasing service levels

Ferry corporation reaches temporary service level agreement with province

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

B.C. starts to see employment return under COVID-19 rules

Jobless rate for young people still over 20% in May

Parcel stolen from front porch, Nanaimo RCMP looking for suspect

Unidentified woman allegedly stole package containing $400 smart watch

Most Read