For 22 years the Beaver Creek Rendezvous Dinner Show has entertained tourists with songs and skits along with a delicious “family style” Yukon barbeque. Sadly, the show will close on 6-September.
The Beaver Creek Rendezvous took place place at the Westmark Hotel in Beaver Creek in the roundhouse behind the main hotel buildings and gift shop. Each summer, patrons could have the complete dinner and theatre experience there (and learn to say “potholes” when prompted) or eat in the main restaurant and join the others for the show. It was raining when we arrived for the show and we were surprised to find rain pouring down through a circular hole in the middle of the ceiling.
The Whitehorse Star noted that the “...frame for the production is that the staff are preparing to welcome a tour group. They practice their welcome song: “301 Miles from Nowhere” (about the distance from Fairbanks) which offers a welcome tune to visitors: “Now that you’ve come, we wanna welcome you here.” Then the new singer arrives and they begin to show her around. Suddenly, an airplane comes crashing part-way through the open ceiling above the fire pit and a bedraggled bush pilot (the guy with the mop) shinnies down a knotted rope into the middle of the room. By this time, the three extras have disappeared. The pilot and the singer get into a conversation about the life and history of the Yukon in general and Beaver Creek in particular. The bush pilot/mop guy having already ascertained that we used to teach in Beaver Creek 30 years ago, we get mentioned. These people are quick.Songs get sung. There’s the wistful Never Can Forget the Wilderness, which celebrates the frontier and nature. “
Sylvain Demers has been with the show for all of its 22 years and is the spark plug behind the evening, playing a variety of roles from chief steward to pilot, Mountie and madman, as well as being the show’s producer.
Westmark Hotels & Inns chain is considered the largest collection of full service hotels in Alaska and the Yukon, with 11 hotels in ten communities. Westmark Hotels are a subsidiary of the Holland America Line, the largest tour operator in Alaska/Yukon. The market for long bus trips no longer warrants the seasonal show in Beaver Creek, so the tour bus option and the shows will cease after this season.
Holland America Line’s has a fleet of 15 elegant, mid-size ships (793 passengers to 2,016) and offers more than 500 sailings a year visiting all seven continents. Holland America Line offers more than 30 CruiseTour itineraries showcasing Alaska and Canada’s Yukon Territory. Westours, as the company became known, became a subsidiary of Holland America in 1979 and is now part of Holland America Line. In May 2006, Holland America Line completed a new 135-room lodge in Denali as well as the renovation and expansion of the Westmark Fairbanks. Holland America Line is headquartered in Seattle, Washington.
Holland America is owned by Carnival Cruise Lines. Carnival Corporation & plc is a global cruise company and one of the largest vacation companies in the world. Its portfolio of leading cruise brands includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and Seabourn in North America; P&O Cruises (UK), and Cunard in the United Kingdom; AIDA Cruises in Germany; Costa Cruises in Southern Europe; Iberocruceros in Spain; and P&O Cruises (Australia) in Australia. Carnival trades on NYSE with ticker symbol CCL. It trades at $37.41 per share with a market cap of $30 B. The Chairman is Mickey Arison, net worth over $6B. Headquartered in Miami, Florida, U.S.A., and London, England, Carnival Corporation & plc operates a fleet of 100 ships, with another seven ships scheduled for delivery between now and March 2016. With approximately 200,000 guests and 77,000 shipboard employees, there are more than 277,000 people sailing aboard the Carnival fleet at any given time.
The Beaver Creek Rendezvous Dinner Show was a wonderful show that was a true delight for the many thousands of visitors who took in the show each summer. Beaver Creek will be hard-hit by the loss of this tour.
Other bad news for the region would include uncertain funding for the Shakwak Highway (from the US government), the closure of the Village Bakery in Haines Junction, along with several other lodges and restaurants. The Haines Junction community did get a boost from the Da Ku visitor centre that officially opened this Spring, but economically little is happening in the community aside from government sector activity.