About 1,500 checked bags remain unclaimed at Vancouver International Airport after winter storms wreaked havoc on holiday travel last month. Robyn Fant’s family recovered their final lost bag just in time for the flight home to North Carolina after an annual ski trip to Whistler, BC. Fant says without their luggage it cost her family “thousands of dollars” to rent their ski gear and buy clothing, including winter boots, gloves, a ski jacket and pants. A statement from the airport says steady progress is being made on the reunification process and nearly all checked luggage is processed and leaves the airport on time.

The CEO of the BC Real Estate Association says a new three-day wait period for buyers after they agree to purchase a home will have no impact on the current market. Trevor Koot says the market is much cooler than when the idea was first announced in 2021 and buyers are able to put conditions like inspections in their contracts. BC is the first province in Canada to implement a mandatory wait period which the government promotes as a way to give purchasers more time to arrange financing or home inspections. Finance Minister Katrine Conroy says in a statement that the measures will protect buyers and strengthen public confidence in the real estate market.

BC conservation officers are wrapping up their attempts to trap a cougar that has been prowling Protection Island, just off Nanaimo, for much of the holiday season. The cougar was sighted on two separate doorbell cameras on December 27th and other residents on the island had spotted the cat in the week before that. However, there have been no new sightings since then and the Environment Ministry confirms that the conservation service will be shutting down its live trap for the animal on Thursday. The Conservation Officer Service is still encouraging anyone on the island who might see the cougar to call their toll-free report line with the information.

Staff at a BC ski resort have begun manually chipping ice off its ski lift after back-to-back storms over the Christmas holiday left the system completely encased. Photos posted online by Big White Ski Resort in the Okanagan, show the seats, ropes, tower, and terminals of the Falcon Chair have turned completely white by a thick, sculptural shell of snow and ice. The resort’s vice president, Michael J. Ballingall, says temperatures fluctuate from a low of minus 30 Celsius to above zero in a period of 48 hours, and that the snow that fell during the last days of 2022 was wetter than normal. He says staff are using large metal mallets to bang on the equipment to get the ice off.

Starbucks has closed a location across from the steam clock in Vancouver’s Gastown after nearly 30 years. The coffee giant says it continually evaluates its store portfolio to ensure it’s meeting the needs of employees and customers. Retail strategist David Ian Gray with DIG-3-60 Consulting says in recent years, Starbucks has been slowly but consistently closing urban stores in favour of drive-thrus and partnerships in Canada. The Seabus Station location nearby, the first Starbucks store in the country, remains open.