High Country Inn joins Coast Hotels

Starting next month, a new flag will be flying on the High Country Inn & Convention Centre. The hotel will be known as the Coast High Country Inn, beginning Jan. 21.

Starting next month, a new flag will be flying on the High Country Inn & Convention Centre. The hotel will be known as the Coast High Country Inn, beginning Jan. 21.

But the new name doesn’t mean there’s been a change in ownership. It just means the 4th Avenue property has partnered with Coast Hotels & Resorts.

The company pays to use Coast Hotels’ marketing and branding, including its registration system. This will also expand Coast’s reach. The hotel and resort chain has over 40 properties across North America, including the Coast Fraser Tower in Yellowknife, N.W.T.

Northern Vision Development still owns the hotel, said Rich Thompson, president and CEO. Discussions with the chain have been happening for a number of years, he said. They became more serious over the last three months, he said.

Using the Coast Hotels brand should help increase business by giving greater name recognition to the independently-owned hotel.

“If somebody’s coming into the Yukon for the first time, they don’t know what a High Country Inn is necessarily, unless they’ve encountered some of our advertising, and of course we can’t, for one hotel, advertise for the broad audience that’s out there that’s coming to the Yukon,” said Thompson.

“They’re probably more likely to pick a hotel, a brand name they recognize, like a Best Western or a Ramada or a Coast, or what have you. So what we get out of it is the recognition of being a member of the Coast Hotel family and the expectation that people will have that our hotel will meet the standards of Coast so they know what to expect from the perspective of rooms.”

Coast has already started promoting the hotel, said John Robertson, the hotel’s general manager.

“I was really pleased,” he said of the deal that was finalized last month. “I think it’s a great fit.”

Part of the deal means the company needs to make renovations to the hotel so rooms conform to Coast’s standards. Coast will also regularly inspect the property to make sure standards are met.

The company plans to spend about another million dollars in the coming year for renovations, said Thompson. It had already planned to spend about $750,000 on upgrades, but those are for smaller things.

Right now, the artwork in the rooms, heavy on pink and blues, doesn’t match the dark wooden furniture. So new frames need to be purchased, said Robertson.

The dark-purple carpet with green and red flowers will be replaced, and there will be changes to the lobby and new signs put up, he said.

And the hotel will offer room service starting on Jan. 21, said Robertson.

But there shouldn’t be any changes to Morels, the hotel’s restaurant. And the High Country Inn will stay open during the renovations, he said.

Northern Vision began making improvements before this deal was reached, said Thompson. In the past two years, flat-screen TVs have been added to the rooms and the curtains and furniture have been updated. Northern Vision’s commitment to invest in the hotel was one of the reasons Coast Hotels wanted to work with them, he said.

The renovations will take about 14 months, said Thompson.

The High Country Inn’s building originally served as a YWCA hostel in the 1970s, said Robertson. It wasn’t converted into a hotel until the mid-90s. As a result the building has “a lot of character,” he said. The 82 guest rooms aren’t a standard size, he said. This means the 22 jacuzzi suites aren’t the same – some have the bathtubs within the guest rooms themselves, others in the en suite bathrooms. And the hallways aren’t all the same width.

Northern Vision purchased the High Country Inn in 2007. It also owns the Best Western Gold Rush Inn. The Gold Rush Inn was already operating under the Best Western brand when Northern Vision purchased it in 2006, so the company knows the benefits of these agreements, said Thompson.

Contact Meagan Gillmore at

mgillmore@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Benjamin Poudou, Mount MacIntyre’s ski club manager, poses for a photo in the club’s ski rental area on Nov. 16. The club has sold around 1,850 passes already this year, compared to 1067 passes on Oct. 31 last year. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Early season ski pass sales up as Yukoners prepare for pandemic winter

Season passe sales at Mount McIntyre for cross-country skiing are up by around 60 per cent this year

The City of Whitehorse will be spending $655,000 to upgrade the waste heat recovery system at the Canada Games Centre. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
New waste heat recovery system coming to the CGC

Council approves $655,000 project

Yukon First Nation Education Directorate education advocates and volunteers help to sort and distribute Christmas hamper grocery boxes outside Elijah Smith Elementary School on Feb. 23. (Rebecca Bradford Andrew/Submitted)
First Nation Education Directorate begins Christmas hamper program

Pick-ups for hampers are scheduled at local schools

Cyrine Candido, cashier, right, wipes down the new plexi-glass dividers at Superstore on March 28, before it was commonplace for them to wear masks. The Yukon government is relaunching the Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program as the second wave of COVID-19 begins to take place in the territory. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Essential Workers Income Support Program extended to 32 weeks

More than 100 businesses in the territory applied for the first phase of the program

Cody Pederson of the CA Storm walks around LJ’s Sabres player Clay Plume during the ‘A’ division final of the 2019 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament. The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28 in Whitehorse next year, was officially cancelled on Nov. 24 in a press release from organizers. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament cancelled

The 2021 Yukon Native Hockey Tournament, scheduled for March 25 to 28… Continue reading

Lev Dolgachov/123rf
The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner stressed the need to safeguard personal information while shopping this holiday season in a press release on Nov. 24.
Information and Privacy Commissioner issues reminder about shopping

The Yukon’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod-McKay stressed the need to… Continue reading

Keith Lay speaks at a city council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. Lay provided the lone submission to council on the city’s proposed $33 million capital spending plan for 2021 on Nov. 23, taking issue with a number of projects outlined. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Resident raises issues with city’s capital budget

Council to vote on budget in December

Beatrice Lorne was always remembered by gold rush veterans as the ‘Klondike Nightingale’. (Yukon Archives/Maggies Museum Collection)
History Hunter: Beatrice Lorne — The ‘Klondike Nightingale’

In June of 1929, 11 years after the end of the First… Continue reading

Samson Hartland is the executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines. The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during its annual general meeting held virtually on Nov. 17. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Yukon Chamber of Mines elects new board

The Yukon Chamber of Mines elected a new board of directors during… Continue reading

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and — unsurprisingly — hospital visitations were down. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Annual report says COVID-19 had a large impact visitation numbers at Whitehorse General

The Yukon Hospital Corporation has released its annual report for 2019-20, and… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read