Why do viruses have to get such scary names... SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19, neither roll off the tongue. Remember when it was swine flu and bird flu... ok, so those aren't really great either. And I guess calling this current novel pandemic level virus something like Bob or James could also be problematic. Regardless of what we call it, there is no doubt that it has caused a significant effect on human life, social norms and how businesses operate. Fortunately, Yukon Spaces was sort of prepared.
When we established this little business, we did so with a team who had a breadth of experience in construction, tourism, hospitality, construction, finance, business management and healthcare... we never thought the healthcare experience would be particularly useful but fortunately it gave us some ability to remain calm and pragmatic throughout this ongoing crisis. Our financial planing was such that we could survive a looming zombie apocalypse (assuming that it didn't last more than 3 years).
So... what's going on for Yukon Spaces right now? Well... we are moving into phase 2, but what does that mean? I promise it's not just business buzzwords and empty talk. Phase 1 was about building a founding team, learning to work together, learning our individual strengths and weaknesses and how that translates into team strengths and weaknesses. It was about learning how to navigate municipal and territorial legislation, guidelines, processes and sometimes personalities in order to bring a project to a successful end. Phase 1 was about bringing a tightly defined project to life (#DawsonLodge) and turning it into an operating business that provides a regular income stream for Yukon Spaces. Phase 1 was also about learning how to ask questions about what #DawsonCity needed as a community, how that community would respond to new and innovative ideas, business models and strategies. Despite Dawson Lodge being officially opened on what we in the team sarcastically refer to as Pandemic Day (13th March 2020), we are counting this a success. Perhaps the revenues aren't what we envisaged, but the response has exceeded our expectations. Not only has the community welcomed this new hotel with open arms (individuals and local businesses alike), but the people that have stayed with us tell us what we have done is different, fills a gap and meets a need for something different in the tourism accommodation sector. Has it all been smooth sailing - absolutely not! And there is still more to learn (because what fun would be left if we knew everything). But we have learned so much and this gives us the basis for the next phase of growth and development for Yukon Spaces.
So what is Phase 2? Well... we are embarking on a residential development (Phase 3 will see something bigger but we have to test the waters). We are working on a few ideas for the project name but essentially, we have acquired a small residential property in Dawson City in a great neighbourhood with some real potential for the building. There is a lot of work to do but the renovation should produce a light modern spacious interior with good options for a live/work situation. Internal and external layout and features aim to make the spaces flexible and comfortable. We know that in a modern household, lots of different activities happen concurrently. We want to try to make space that worked for the individual and shared needs of a family.
Just like Dawson Lodge, it has some great bones and some great features that represent it's own history and evolution as a space. And now it's time for the next steps.