BANFF – A pulled water valve on the top floor at the Rimrock Resort and Hotel in Banff has caused significant damages in what staff and RCMP are calling a "malicious act."
On Sunday (Sept. 22) at approximately 3 a.m., staff and guests at the Rimrock Hotel were rudely awakened to a fire alarm after two individuals pulled open a water valve and set off a fire alarm on the ninth floor, resulting water damage and Banff Fire Rescue and RCMP attending the scene in the early hours.
"I understand several thousands of gallons of water escaped, so it was considerable," Staff Sgt. Mike Buxton-Carr said.
With damage throughout the hotel due to the fact the water flowed from the top floor, general manager Trevor Long said he is not aware of any resulting damage to guest possessions, but did note the water made it to the first three levels of the hotel – where staff accommodations are – with water going into the hallways.
The total cost of damages has yet to be assessed, but Long said he would guess the cost in the $5,000 to $10,000 range.
"All of our hallways, our fire escape hallways, all need to be repainted, the carpets on all of the levels, including a number of guest rooms have to be steam cleaned and are out of order for a number of days, our human resources office was completely flooded with water," Long said over the phone.
Fortunately the fire alarms only lasted a couple of seconds with no official evacuation, Long said noting he is grateful for his staff and the Banff Fire Department for mitigating the damages and keeping the situation controlled.
"I am really appreciative for the Town of Banff Fire Department for the quick response and thankful to the Rimrock team for the handling of the situation," Long said.
What he is not thankful for – the suspects who opened the water valve in the first place.
Banff RCMP said by the time the officers arrived the suspects had left the scene, but with the help of security, investigators were able to confirm the two were registered guests.
Alpine Helicopters Inc. and Parks Canada also responded. A Parks Canada spokesperson said the two, who had minor injuries, were rescued about 400 metres up the Spray River below Sulphur Mountain.
The general manager called it an "unfortunate, malicious act."
"It's tough to put a value on it right now but the biggest impact was the inconvenience to our guests and staff," Long said.
Banff RCMP said the incident remains under investigation and no charges have been laid as of press time.