The Westmark Hotel and Conference Centre, photographed in Whitehorse on April 21, will remain open with limited amenities despite other northern Westmarks closing. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Whitehorse Westmark stays open while others are shut down

Chain closes down hotels due to COVID-19

Holland America announced the closure of its Westmark hotel properties last week until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to an April 15 press release, the closed hotels are Westmark Fairbanks, Westmark Anchorage, Westmark Skagway, Westmark Dawson City and the McKinley Chalet Resort at Denali National Park.

The Westmarks in Whitehorse and Sitka will remain open.

The release indicated that guests would be contacted regarding the cancellation of their stay.

Felix Seiler, the chief operating officer of Holloway Lodging Management Services, spoke with the News on April 21 to explain that the Whitehorse Westmark remains open due to it being a franchise rather than being owned directly by the parent company Holland America Line.

Seiler’s company, Holloway, owns both the Westmark and the Days Inn in Whitehorse, the latter of which is closed.

Seiler explained his company has tried to consolidate business in the markets where it owns more than one hotel with the goal to have operations run as efficiently as possible. Whitehorse is one of these communities.

“That’s why we closed the Days Inn,” Seiler said. “We kept the Westmark open because it is in a more central location than the Days Inn.”

Although the Westmark remains open, some of its amenities have been shut down. The restaurant, breakfast rooms and conference halls are all closed. Seiler said all of Holloway’s hotels have only been offering rooms. Any amenities beyond that are shut down.

“Most hotels in this day and age are simply providing accommodations,” Seiler said.

He said the Whitehorse Westmark aims to provide a safe environment for both guests and staff, and that the company has very strict cleaning and check-in policies. This includes ongoing cleaning of hallway door handles and elevator buttons.

The hotel still has bookings that are coming in.

“There is still demand,” Seiler said.

He pointed out that tourism has taken a hit and with the cruise market being closed for the summer, it has impacted business. The bookings are coming from the essential or critical workers that still need to travel.

He explained there are still sales people and corporate traffic needing accommodations. He added that long-haul truck drivers are using hotel rooms as well.

“There is still travel happening, it’s just very very limited,” Seiler said.

He said he hopes that when the pandemic slows down and containment measures are relaxed that people consider coming to visit Whitehorse.

Contact Gord Fortin at gord.fortin@yukon-news.com

CoronavirusTourism

Just Posted

The Fireweed Market in Shipyards Park will open on May 13. Joel Krahn/Yukon News
Whitehorse’s Fireweed Market opens May 13

The Fireweed Market will return with ‘exciting’ new and returning vendors

Ron Rousseau holds a sign saying ‘It’s time for a cultural shift’ during the Yukoners: Raise Your Voice Against Misogyny rally on May 11. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Protest held to condemn Yukon Party MLAs’ texts

A rally was held outside of legislature to condemn the inappropriate texts messages of Yukon Party MLAs Stacey Hassard and Wade Istchenko.

XX
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for May 12, 2021.… Continue reading

Health Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brendan Hanley announced youth vaccination clinics planned for this summer. (Alistair Maitland/Yukon government file)
Vaccination campaign planned for Yukon youth age 12 and up

The Pfizer vaccine was approved for younger people on May 5.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley announced two new cases of COVID-19 on May 11. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Two new cases of COVID-19 reported, one in the Yukon and one Outside

One person is self-isolating, the other will remain Outside until non-infectious

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Haley Ritchie/Yukon News file
File photo of the legislative assembly. The previous spring sitting began on March 4 but was interrupted due to the election.
Throne speech kicks off short spring legislature sitting

The government will now need to pass the budget.

The deceased man, found in Lake LaBerge in 2016, had on three layers of clothing, Dakato work boots, and had a sheathed knife on his belt. Photo courtesy Yukon RCMP
RCMP, Coroner’s Office seek public assistance in identifying a deceased man

The Yukon RCMP Historical Case Unit and the Yukon Coroner’s Office are looking for public help to identify a man who was found dead in Lake LaBerge in May 2016.

Yukon Zinc’s Wolverine minesite has created a mess left to taxpayers to clean up, Lewis Rifkind argues. This file shot shows the mine in 2009. (John Thompson/Yukon News file)
Editorial: The cost of the Wolverine minesite

Lewis Rifkind Special to the News The price of a decent wolverine… Continue reading

Letters to the editor.
Today’s mailbox: border opening and Yukon Party texts

Dear Premier Sandy Silver and Dr Hanley, Once again I’m disheartened and… Continue reading

Fire chief Jason Everett (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City launches emergency alert system

The city is calling on residents and visitors to register for Whitehorse Alert

Most Read