2. Blogging can make a difference: Tasteless Tourism on the Racist Train – 3 Valley Gap

Had I still been employed by a newspaper, my story Tasteless Tourism on the Racist Train – 3 Valley Gap Lake Chateau and Ghost Town would not have been published or had the chance to go viral.

My editor would have segwayed my angle and nixed my point of view because this particular business might be paying for advertising space.


Travel, the world at large, and our consciousness are changing. At one time we relied heavily on censored media to share our world, now we rely on bloggers. I am so thankful we bloggers hover above this censorship.

Local ‘travel’ Branding is a global phenomenon and businesses in the industry need to take heed. That post went viral in a matter of hours and had the ability to make or break the 3 Valley Gap.

This is the beauty of social media. With a couple of well thought out hashtags one can open the doors to the world; educate, and elicit change.

The same is true with writing ‘locally’, this is why I am such an advocate and teach workshops on the subject.

Local bloggers have the ability to create change and awareness regarding every social, environmental, cultural, economic, political issue we face day-to-day in any part of the world via their stories; they are very important and highly needed.


The best I can offer the 3 Valley Gap is this: I accept your apology on behalf of Tourism in B.C., the adults and children who saw that display and never said anything and especially, to African Americans and Canadians. Please know as a business owner it is vital for you to make yourself aware of all aspects of your business. And to your curator, perhaps it is time to brush up on some history lessons. 

British Columbia is an amazing province with little tolerance on this subject as we have seen by the viral response to this post. This one little act of negligence could have been very costly on the future of tourism in B.C. and seriously detrimental on a personal level.

Thank you to everyone who helped nip-it-in-the-bud!

UPDATE! This train has since been shut down until the display is removed. Please read the owners letter of apology at the bottom of the page.


Our family appreciates your feedback with regards to our Ghost Train in our Heritage Ghost Town.  We would firstly like to apologize for offending you and your daughter and any other guest that may have seen this display – this is not our intention and does not represent our family’s beliefs and values.

Our family was shocked and disappointed to see this display in this condition.  The train was originally set-up to be an entertaining Halloween themed display, but has been vandalized without our knowledge.

The train has been shut down until we can fully ensure that the displays cannot be tampered with.

The cape in the photo is actually a Masonic cape that our curator thought looked like a scary ghost and decided to use it.  She thought the symbol represented the Red Cross.  The mannequins were never decapitated when the train was originally set-up.   The children in the photos are homemade “peek-a-boo” dolls that have been staged by someone other than our curator – they are of no particular ethnic origin.

Once again we would like to extend our most sincere apologies and have every intention to rectify the situation.


on behalf of the Bell Family


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