Mowachaht/Muchalaht soon to open Baymont by Wyndham hotel with tourism information services

(Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation rendering)
The old Gold River Chalet becomes the Baymont by Wyndham this spring, following the First Nation’s purchase of the hotel over a year ago.

This spring Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation (MMFN) will be opening the doors of their new hotel, Baymont by Wyndham, previously known as the Gold River Chalet, alongside new tourism information services aiming to bring more visitors to the region.

Gold River Chalet closed its doors in April of 2023, according to the hotel manager Rohinton (Roy) Kharadi. Over the last year the building underwent “complete renovations,” he noted.

“Total wow,” said Kharadi, when asked what past hotel visitors can expect with new renovations.

The hotel is now pet friendly with air conditioning and heating, while the rooms underwent complete renovations. Previously with only four kitchen units, they have now jumped to nine, with the addition of a meeting room, a large new suite, and two accessible rooms, he shared.

Additions are inclusive of a restaurant, gym, and hot tub.

Kharadi expects the Baymont by Wyndham to be among the “go to” places in Gold River.

“I’m excited for the community because this is something which everybody’s waiting for,” said Kharadi. “It will benefit the local community here as well, because there are very few dining options in [Gold River].”

The Baymont by Wyndham is expected to hold a soft opening in June, and a totem pole raising ceremony will be held on May 22.

“Gold River has never had [an] upscale hotel,” said John Gauthier, tourism and marketing manager for the nation. “It’s always been sort of geared towards loggers and construction crews.”

Located on the same property as the Baymont by Wyndham will be a MMFN welcome house where visitors can learn about the region’s attractions.

In conjunction, MMFN has launched a new tourism information site, Explore Nootka, where visitors can learn about the region’s offerings and prepare for their visit.

“[Explore Nootka is] a home where all these different services that exist around the Nootka region, whether it’s Gold River, Tahsis, or elsewhere…they have a common area where they can let visitors and tourists know about their services,” said Gauthier. “What we’re doing is we’re promoting and letting people know that these services are available in the Nootka region.”

Tourism operators in the region are welcome to partner with Explore Nootka where their services will be included on the website, brochures and at the Baymont by Wyndham’s upcoming MMFN welcome house, where information of the services will be presented to visitors.

“It’s going to be hand in hand operations on both sides,” said Kharadi. “If they book packages on excursions and things like that, people can come and stay in the hotel, or vice versa. We can look at people who want to book the hotel [and] can also have options to book the excursions.”

Gauthier notes that the MMFN welcome house will be opened next fall.

“What we’re trying to do is just really encourage everyone who provides a service to really come together,” said Gauthier. “[And] present a cohesive picture to the visitor.”

Explore Nootka has a temporary landing page for guests to visit, with information about the Upana Caves, Tree to Sea bike trail and Nootka trail, among others, until their final landing page will be completed by the end of April.

By Alexandra Mehl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Ha-Shilth-Sa

Local Journalism Initiative

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