The Hakai Beach Institute began life in 1993 as the Hakai Beach Resort. It served as a high end, fly-in, salmon fishing resort until we purchased the facility in September 2009. For the most part we have repurposed, renovated and upgraded the original buildings, adding new structures only where needed, and not extending beyond that land area that was cleared for the original construction. We have more than doubled the accommodation capacity, mainly by increasing density and improving utilization of existing facilities. We have also greatly improved the insulation of buildings used during winter. On the infrastructure side, we have essentially replaced everything.
At Hakai we live completely off the grid. We produce our own electricity, treat our own water and manage our own waste. We operate year round and may have as many as one hundred people on site at any given time. We are therefore by Central Coast standards a significant settlement, in effect a small coastal village.
We operate in one of three modes depending on the season:
- From April 1st until September 30th, all buildings are open, and our capacity is approximately 100, including staff and visitors. All meals are served in the main lodge.
- For the months of March and October, the main lodge is closed, but most other buildings are open. We typically use this time for maintenance and for scientific work that is specific to those times–for example, monitoring the herring spawn in the spring. All meals are served in the Calvert Lodge.
- During mid-winter, the only full-time residents are the winter caretakers, who live in the headquarters building. Science teams make short visits for winter sampling.