Whitehorse event venue closes for good because of pandemic

·1 min read

A Whitehorse lounge and music venue is the latest business shutting its doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The North of Ordinary Experience Centre has closed. Owner Greg Karais says bookings for the event space all but dried up last spring, just as they were starting to pick up.

The facility opened in May 2018.

"You know, our phone was ringing off the hook in March with, you know, people renting it," said Karais.

"We've had two phone calls since March 23rd."

Karais said his business got some financial help from the government, and he's grateful. But he says it wasn't enough to keep the venue afloat.

He says closing the facility, which also houses a gift shop and café, will allow the company to focus on its other businesses, which he says are doing well: the North of Ordinary magazine, and a new clothing line.

"[The magazine] has got a lot of loyalty from Yukoners, and it's a solid product," Karais said.

Karais is now looking to sell off a lot of the contents at the experience centre, including lots of antiques and memorabilia, such as old theatre seats from Alaska, licence plates, movie posters and pinball machines.

"It's kind of a neat collection of Yukon history," he said.

He'd like to sell all the items to one buyer, but says he'll consider selling individual items in a week or two depending on interest.