Kamloops ranch that refused vaccinated guests but kept their deposit now says they will refund $3.2K

A ranch owner in Kamloops, BC has been criticized by the county attorney general for refusing to accept a vaccinated international traveler.

The Equinisity Ranch in Kamloops, in the county’s central interior, is run by owner Liz Mitten Ryan. She told CBC News that she focused almost exclusively on international travelers, including from England, Switzerland and Australia.

In a report in The Guardian published Thursday, a potential traveler named JW York said they had booked a $3,200 (£2,000) retreat with Ryan in May 2020, but the trip was postponed due to lockdowns and other pandemics. limits.

According to York, they were recently told that they were no longer welcome at Equinisity because they had been fully vaccinated against COVID – and that they would not receive a refund due to ranching policy.

Ryan confirmed that the ranch had a “no vax” policy for customers, even though they were international travelers must be fully vaccinated to enter Canada. The Guardian article quoted her as saying that vaccines were a “bioweapon depopulation tool” that could be transmitted to animals.

The entire episode was called “outrageous” by BC Solicitor General Mike Farnworth.

“I have asked my ministry, the consumer protection industry, to investigate this,” he told CBC News.

“This is just wrong. You want to subscribe to some stupid conspiracy theory. That’s your business. But you don’t rip people off like this. It’s unethical.”

Refunds will be made, says owner’s husband

In a statement, Kevin Ryan — Liz Ryan’s husband — said the ranch would eventually send refunds to customers.

“For personal reasons for this summer, [Liz] has implemented a policy of unvaccinated guests only,” the statement said. “Not, I emphasize, realizing that rules were being broken.

“Due to the current public interest in this situation and the subsequent informed discussions, she now realizes that it is appropriate that the deposit should be returned in this case in order to comply with the said regulation.”

Ryan told CBC News that all deposits “of a similar standing” would be repaid by the end of the month.

On its website, Equinisity says it offers “a unique journey” for clients to find “true healing” through meditation, horseback riding, and other activities. Ryan says his wife has been running the establishment for over 15 years.

Their pricing guide shows that individual clients can pay $2,800 for an eight-day retreat, while couples can pay $2,400 each.

Before her husband’s statement about refunds, Liz Ryan had suggested that any vaccinated traveler sell their booking. She also said her ranch had been closed for two years, the longest period of her career, due to border restrictions.

BC Solicitor General Mike Farnworth, pictured here in February 2020, says his staff would investigate whether the ranch had received any funding for COVID relief. (Mike McArthur/CBC)

Farnworth told CBC News Equinisity’s stance against vaccinated travelers would leave international travelers with a bad impression of the province.

“It sends a terrible message in terms of tourism here in British Columbia and Canada,” he said. “Because, let’s face it, this person who made this trip is now going to tell his friend… ‘Why would you want to come here?'”

Farnworth said his staff would look into whether the ranch had received any funding for COVID relief, and under no circumstances would the ranch qualify, given the requirements placed on vaccinated travelers.

“I don’t think it’s particularly good business practice,” he said.

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