Updated: Mar 20
What a summer season. The whole team, including a new colleague working in operations at Dawson Lodge, were prepped and ready to go for the return of a normal tourism season in Dawson City. We had encouraging hotel bookings by the end of March. We were receiving great feedback and publicity from tourism journalists and tour operators staying with us over the late winter and early spring, with a write up in Out Traveller. Optimism was high for our first real tourist season since opening. It did not disappoint. Between the 5th of June and 5th of September (when the seasonal border to Alaska was open) we have had only 6 room nights available, this means we have achieved over 99% occupancy during this peak season. What is almost more incredible is that on around 25% of nights, we could have sold at least double the number of rooms. Our most sought after night resulted in 39 different attempts to make a booking on the day of arrival. We don't know what the winter will hold, but we are both excited for the possibilities and ready to take a breath and reflect on our accomplishments and challenges.
We have had consistently awesome reviews and feedback on Google and Booking.com (you can click the images to check our live reviews)
Even our less than awesome reviews give us a prompt to consider the way we work and what we offer. We are always striving to do better and we are grateful for feedback. That said, we have had some interesting comments both directly through our guest feedback surveys and online reviews. A favourite... "There was nothing to do in Dawson, you should make people aware that there is no beach or theme parks or anything like that for kids" we were not sure where this guest thought they were going for their vacation but we certainly aren't Florida! As a result of feedback we've made some changes to some of our guest contact processes and some additions to our in room amenities and now have unlimited high speed WiFi internet access available for all guests. Our newest service is the ability to support our guests with an airport transfer. While we will be directing the majority of guests to Klondike Experience for their airport transfers, we now at least have an option to fill the gaps in service.
Our pilot project has been quite the success. Yukon Spa has operated, albeit on a part time basis for over a year now. By far our most popular 2 services are Raynor Massage treatments and Dermalogica facials. Laser therapies, micro needling, dermaplaning and ft reduction services have also been a hit for the people that discover we offer them. We have actively limited our marketing of Yukon Spa as we have been overwhelmed with the amount of interest and uptake in our services. As a result, we are now actively working on an expansion project. Watch this space!
Wowser, renovations are certainly challenging. And when they are being done on top of the rest of our busy schedules... it sure is difficult to strike the balance. But we are almost there. We are in fact left just with exterior cladding to complete, get our final electrical installation including solar panels and final plumbing work to instal an air source heat pump. We'll post some final pictures but that will sadly be next year now... because winter makes some of the exterior stuff difficult, particularly landscaping! So for now, our decking is very redneck and constitutes of pallets, but it was enough for a beer outdoors before first snowfall.
All in all a busy year, but productive and full of excitement for the future! Bring on the next big project ;)