Powell River Sea Kayak Ltd.
Cabana Desolation Eco Resort is owned and operated by Powell River Sea Kayak Ltd. We have been offering sea kayak rentals, lessons, day tours and multi-day camping tours in Desolation Sound since 1995!
Adam & Laurie Vallance bought the fledging business from its previous owner in 1997. In the intervening years the company has grown from a small operation based out of their house in the Powell River Townsite, to a multi-faceted and dynamic sea kayak and eco-resort business.
The first big change to the operations of the company occurred in the summer of 2000. PRSK moved out of the house and into its ‘new’ digs in Okeover Inlet, on a beautiful 8-acre waterfront property. Adam and Laurie immediately recognized the location as the perfect launching spot for accessing Desolation Sound.
The property and cabin was a piece of local history and folklore. Originally homesteaded in 1927, it was the home for many decades of Nancy Crowther, the Cougar Queen of Okeover Inlet!
In the intervening years, PRSK continued to develop and grow its sea kayak touring operations and rental fleet. Tenures were obtained and systems dialled to give guests the best possible experience. Guides, staff and guests returned year after year due to the positive company culture and attention to detail, safety and comfort that our trips strive to achieve.
It was this passion for customer satisfaction and comfort that led to the planning, application, and ultimately the construction of Cabana Desolation Eco Resort, the only eco-resort in Desolation Sound.
Cabana Desolation Eco Resort
The first application for upgrading an existing commercial tenure on Kinghorn Island to prepare for the construction of Cabana Desolation was in 2010. Yet it was not until the summer of 2012 that the go-ahead was officially given and work could proceed.
In the intervening years, plans had evolved from a comfortable ‘basecamp’ for PRSK camping tours, to the idea of semi-permanent ‘yurts’ in the rainforest, to the final design of west coast ‘cabanas’ inspired by the eco-lodgings of Costa Rica, but with a local twist.
The discovery of a small but consistent natural spring allowed for the development of even more comforts. Hot showers, flush toilets and a fully stocked commercial kitchen were not previously thought possible in our remote island environment!
Work started in the summer of 2011, and continued slowly but surely through until the spring of 2014. Cabana Desolation officially opened for our first guests in mid-July of that same year.
During this time there were numerous challenges and delays. All the materials for building were brought out piece-by-piece on the company motor vessel, for one. Government imposed shutdowns for various bureaucratic decisions was the source of another delay. However, work eventually continued, and the dream edged closer to becoming reality.
What followed was a completely hand-designed and hand-crafted eco resort. More than 25 individuals participated in the construction process in one way or another. Many of these workers still work for the company in various positions today.
When you visit Cabana Desolation Eco Resort you can truly sense the hard work, dedication and vision that went into its creation. It is this vision and commitment that continues to drive the product and PRSK forward into the future.
The Present Day
Cabana Desolation opened in 2014 with a maximum capacity of only 6 guests. Since that day, we have constructed 2 further guest cabanas to bring that total capacity up to 10 guests. This mirrors our multi-day camping tours and allows our staff to provide a level of genuine service and experience that is rare among other resorts and sea kayak companies.
Despite the success and growth of the company, PRSK has never abandoned its roots as a family-run sea kayak business. Adam, Laurie and their two children are still heavily involved in every facet of the operations of the company – from talking to prospective guests through to preparing baked goods and bulk items for our camping tours and maintaining the smooth logistical flow of the resort.
Today, during the summer months PRSK and Cabana Desolation employs approximately 20 local employees with a passion for the outdoor industry in a variety of positions, from guides to general operations to eco-resort cooks. Looking ahead there are many plans afoot to continue this growth and focus on what’s genuine, local, and quality in everything we do.