Raven Inn & Suites / by Mary Ellen Read


The city is poised to gain a major new 57-room hotel.

Kurt Mehnert, a partner in Raven Inn Whitehorse Inc., will be bringing a premier mixed-use boutique hotel to Whitehorse over the next 14 months.

The hotel, to be built on the vacant property near the Second Avenue-Keish Street intersection, is scheduled to open in 2019.

Its cost is not being made public.

“This is an exciting new development for the Whitehorse waterfront area,” Mehnert said Tuesday.

The hotel will be the first brand new major hotel development to be built downtown since as far back as 1971, when the Yukon Inn was originally constructed, Mehnert said.

(Other local hotels have had major renovations or expansions since that time, and the Family Hotel has been built.)

The project announced Tuesday is also the Yukon’s first mixed-use hotel project supported by investors looking to include their residential units in the hotel as rooms.

“The innovative concept of investing in hotel units is becoming increasingly popular in other regions,” said Doug Gilday, the president of NGC Builders – also known as Narrow Gauge – and a hotel partner and general contractor.

“A number of units presold with spacious decks, river views and full kitchens will support the Yukon’s first premier hotel with an outdoor hot tub and cedar sauna.”

NGC has brought several notable condominium developments to the Yukon. 

The company also has hotel experience in the Gertie’s Wing for the expansion of the Westmark Dawson Hotel in 2002 and earlier an addition to the 202 Elite Hotel Whitehorse in 1999.

“Northern Front Studio is proud to work together with NGC Builders on this project,” said chief architect Mary Ellen Read.

“Our relationship with NGC is founded on mutual respect, and bringing that collaborative energy to the client is always a great experience.

“This building design is inspired by historic Klondike Gold Rush architecture that is regionally appropriate and unique only to Yukon.”

Support and development from the local branches of Business Development Canada and the Royal Bank of Canada also made the project possible along with what was land of the former White Pass shipyards.

The ground floor of the hotel will welcome both hotel guests and visitors.

“This will be a new cultural and social hub for Whitehorse, serving drinks and light entrées, bringing an exciting new establishment to the riverfront area of downtown,” the proponents said in a statement.

The hotel also looks to welcome tour traffic from Skagway and along the Alaska Highway. 

“The prime location on Second Avenue near the Yukon River and nearby Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre should also attract those looking to stay downtown among the natural beauty of Whitehorse known by its official motto as The Wilderness City,” the statement said.

The partnership in ownership between the builder and the hotel enables a locally owned and operated hotel company to share experience throughout the build process and beyond, the statement said.

The statement said initial interest has been positive, and the hotel plans to take advanced booking interest by this fall for some reservations beginning in January 2020 and allow for more 2019 dates as construction progresses.

- Whitehorse Star