With tourism booming in Yellowknife, one hotel hopes a magic ingredient will corner the market: breakfast.
Staff at the Coast Fraser Tower say the hotel is now fully restored after a fire five years ago, and is targeting the growing numbers of tourists from China.
“We’re definitely seeing the boom in tourism,” manager Jenni Bruce told Moose FM.
“Personally, I’m incredibly surprised by the amount of Chinese tourists coming up, considering they’re such a new market. They almost took over our hotel – we seem to be a hotspot for them.
“We’re going to be doing some changes in our continental breakfast to cater to the Chinese market – some of the meals they’re a little more comfortable with, things like that.”
Rice dishes, for example, will be available at breakfast this year. In future, the hotel may consider employing staff who can speak Mandarin, though Bruce says the city’s tourism operators already do an excellent job of interpreting on their behalf.
Bruce was speaking at an open house designed to showcase the hotel’s upper-floor rooms, which have been refurbished following a fire in May 2010.
Nobody was hurt in the fire, which had to be tackled by helicopter given the building’s height. The cause of the fire remains a mystery.
Fully restoring rooms affected by fire and water damage has taken the hotel operator some time.
“It took about two years to start building the rooms and have them available again, and up until now to get the final touches on the rooms,” said Bruce.
Safety improvements, including sprinkler systems Bruce claims are “top of the line”, have been included in the wake of the fire.
“We’re coming out of the ashes I guess – no pun intended,” she added. “We want to let people know we’re still standing.”
The hotel is also seeking suggestions about how to develop in future.
“Old-time Yellowknifers will probably smile – we’re trying to come up with what to do with our old pool area,” said Bruce, who has previously worked at a number of the city’s other hotels.
“It used to be the city pool and it’s sitting vacant.
“Personally, I’d like to see it be a driving range for golf.”