Veteran Whitehorse hotelier Doug Thomas sold the Gold Rush Inn on Thursday to a consortium of business interests headed by former Yukon premier Piers McDonald.
“I’m very proud that the negotiation was in favour of both of us,” Thomas said as the two men exchange keys and a cheque for an undisclosed amount at the threshold of the 101-room hotel.
“I’m glad that it’s Yukoners that are going to be running and maintaining the Klondike gold rush theme.”
Thomas built the hotel himself and owned it for 27 years.
McDonald is chair of the Northern Vision Development, a limited partnership that owns several properties in Whitehorse, including 3.2 hectares on the downtown waterfront where shovels went into the ground Thursday to lay the foundation for a retail/commercial building.
“We bought it for obvious reasons — it’s a good business, the economy is robust and there’s good room for growth,” said McDonald, who also chairs the 2007 Canada Winter Games host society.
“We’re thankful that Doug had the foresight some years back to acquire properties adjacent to the hotel. That allows for some good expansion opportunities for us.
“We’ll certainly take advantage of that.”
Exactly one month after Curtis Garrett Woods went missing, his body was pulled from the Yukon River.
The 27-year-old First Nations man was last seen on April 30 at the Blue Moon Saloon, on Jarvis Street in downtown Whitehorse.
Wearing a “Method Man” sweatshirt and baggy jeans, Woods was described as thin, with shoulder-length black hair, brown eyes and scars on his arms and legs.
RCMP sent out a public notice on May 25 asking for help in locating Woods.
But a few days later, on May 30, police received a call about a body.
At around 6 p.m. Tuesday, a local resident phoned Whitehorse detachment to report a body, close to the shore of the Yukon River.
The caller found the algae-covered remains amidst debris near the old shipyards, said Sgt. Ross Milward in a recent interview.
The body was recovered at the foot of Wood Street, across from the River View Hotel.
While no ID was found on the body, police have identified the man as Woods.
“In this case he had some very distinguishing tattoos,” said Milward.
“The tattoos and the clothing that he was last seen wearing matched perfectly.”
The body has been sent to the coroner’s office for an autopsy to determine why Woods died.
While the results are not in yet, foul play is not suspected, according to police.
A cursory inspection of the body by police and hospital workers yielded no obvious wounds. (CO)