Ok, sot quite Fall but there is a very definite autumnal feel about things and we're starting to see the Fall colours in Tombstone. It's happening! But as summer slips away from us and those long, bright nights at 25c become a long distant memory, at least we replace them with Aurorae and beautiful starry displays that will eventually be with us for most of the day.
In the last few months, we certainly haven't stood still and we have not had as much of an opportunity to enjoy the summer as we expected... because we've been working really hard! As we move into the Fall and then Winter, we will have the time to work on our development plans for next year and have things ready to roll by Spring on some other projects.
Dawson Lodge: Oh crap it got busy... and not one of us will complain out loud about that. As travel within the territory picked up, we started to welcome guests from the rest of Canada and in August we started to see our first travellers from the USA. To give you an idea of the change in our activity, in June, we achieved about 19% occupancy, July was 65% and August will be around 95%. During August, we have had a number of nights where we could have sold up to 8 extra rooms if we had them available. This is a great bit of encouragement and gives us a flavour of what a "normal" year might look like in terms of operational need.
We are also famous (well, Yukon famous at least). We have had a feature article published in Yukon: North of Ordinary which showcased the hotel and Yukon Spaces. We have also finally finished our front facade work and proudly display two pieces of Art that Dawson City Museum kindly donated to us to brighten up the boardwalk on 3rd Avenue.
Yukon Spa: A little unexpected, but our premature plan for a full service spa came into life as a need to diversify just in case COVID-19 dealt us another blow. While Yukon Spa was in the works for a future development, we have taken the opportunity to use some government funding to open this service early. And, it's doing pretty well. There are now 2 medical Aesthetic Technicians and a Raynor Massage Practitioner in the team to provide facial and skin care services and naturopathic massage for guests, travellers and locals alike. The uptake has been positive and so far everyone is having a great experience. We've added spa travel packages through Travel Yukon and we've been working with Dawson Lodge at the farmers market every Saturday to raise awareness of our variety of services and products. For now, our little treatment room in Dawson Lodge is doing an awesome job. But we have been encouraged to dream bigger, so we are... watch this space.
Slide View: Progress here has been somewhat slower than we hoped, but after overcoming some unexpected groundworks hurdles (turns out that when you put a house in a swamp without a big foundation pad it sinks), we are back on track. There are now two extra dump truck loads of gravel beneath the house and half of the foundation pads have had significant upgrades. With a level building (for now - we know how the ground moves in Dawson) and more stable foundation, we think this delay was well worth it. When we chose to renovate Slide View, our approach was similar to Dawson Lodge, quality is the key driver of how we approach the work. And it's starting to pay off.
Insulation upgrades have been installed that for about 60% of the building have increased the insulation value in the walls from R10 to R45. In the other 40% of the building's walls we will be seeing an increase from R20 to R40 (we know its a bitt weird to end up with different thermal insulation but we are working with a Frankenstein building so we're pretty pleased with this). The building now also has an effective vapour barrier, which we can't wait to get assessed. Instead of only 40% of the building having a vapour barrier (which is basically pointless), the whole building now has a continuous vapour barrier which will be fully sealed when our new additions are built and windows and doors are installed.
And now that we have internal walls going up, it's time for the plumbers to join us. The chimney will be removed ready for the wood stove to move to it's new home and next the roof! This place is going to have a new lid that doesn't leak (or at least that's the plan)!