Our History

Hotel Carmacks History

After the White Pass roadhouse era, the first hotel in Carmacks was constructed and operated in 1947 by the late Bill Harris ( 1921 – 2009) of Carmacks. As the Klondike highway was not yet constructed the hotel faced the Yukon River and was situated in approximately the current location of the health centre.
After the highway was constructed to the Klondike, the original portion of the current Carmacks Hotel building was constructed by Walter and Leta Israel in its current location. Carmacks Hotel Limited was incorporated in 1960 by the Israels and was operated by them until its purchase by the Tracey family in February 1971.
Approximately a year later a smaller log building was constructed, originally to house a tire shop but instead housed a beer tavern for a number of years until the Gold Panner Restaurant was relocated from the main hotel building to this one.

Eight cabins were added to the room inventory in the 70’s and some small renovations were made to the hotel building in the late 70’s as well. Later in 1988/89 a major addition was made to the hotel building adding 21 modern hotel rooms. The log exterior of the original building was retrofitted and the cocktail lounge was expanded after the restaurant was relocated to its current spot.

In 1980 the Tatchun Centre General store and gas bar was constructed providing approximately 2000 square feet of retail grocery and dry-goods to the community as well as a coin operated Laundromat and showers. Tatchun Centre saw a significant expansion in 1990 and again a smaller one in 1996 increasing the retail space to over 5000 square feet.
Howard and Shirley Tracey retired after 29 hard years of growing a successful and diverse business that became the commercial backbone of the community, selling the family business to their daughter Kendell Tricker in April of 2000. Kendell continues to operate and grow the business while ensuring the various operating, security, information technology and mechanical systems, as well as equipment are updated to allow the business to remain viable for the long term.

In 2000 a 15 site full-service R.V. park was added to the mix. Shortly after this a new building to house the Laundromat and showers, making room for yet another major facelift and expansion of the general store into the lower level of the Tatchun Centre building. This added an additional 2000 square feet of retail space in the winter of 2008/2009 and another almost 1000 square feet of souvenir and giftware space in the winter of 2014 plus access to additional public washroom facilities. This has created a much more updated, appealing store offering an extensive variety of items and services for both the community and the travelling public to enjoy.

Another fairly significant renovation in 2011 to the ground floor of the hotel’s original log building saw an extensive update to the cocktail lounge including new modern wheel chair accessible washroom facilities. The same winter there was an update to the mechanical systems made to ensure this well-established business remains a viable and sustainable business for many years to come.

Over the winters of 2014 and 2015 work has taken place to update the main sleeping area of the guest rooms. New beds and linens, curtains, televisions, microwaves and fridges, carpet and paint were among the updates for our clients comfort and enjoyment.

It is expected that this update will be extended to a complete renovation of our suite room and a remodel of the guest room bathrooms during the winter of 2016/2017. This will correct the damaging effect that several years of hard, mineral laden well water and cleaners has had on all of our fixtures.

It is our goal to work to ensure that this business will see another 55 years of history in our community!

A Brief History Of Carmacks

Carmacks is located in the traditional territory of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation. The Nothern Tutchone speaking people living here are closely related to the Northern Tutchone at Mayo, Stewart Crossing and Pelly Crossing as well as the Southern Tutchone of Champagne, Klukshu and Aishihik. A system of trails and water routes connected all of these areas, and the mouth of the Nordenskiold River was an important meeting place. Before the Klondike Gold Rush, George Carmack built a trading post here and started to mine coal from the hill behind his post. During the gold rush, in 1898, the North-West Mounted Police established the Tantalus Post near “Carmacks Landing” to monitor the river traffic. In 1902, a winter road was built between Whitehorse Dawson City and White Pass & Yukon Route started a horse-drawn freight, mail and passenger service. Stage drivers changed horses every 20 to 30 miles and the Carmacks Roadhouse became a key stop along the way. Carmacks also became an important summer stop for the sternwheelers as they landed to load cattle driven overland from Whitehorse. The steam-driven boats needed a constant supply of wood for their boilers and wood camps around Carmacks paid wages to local men.

In the 1950s, during construction of the North Klondike Highway, it was briefly thought that Minto Landing, further north along the highway, would become the larger town. However, Carmacks retained its status and became a successful supply centre for the rich mines to the west. Over the years, the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation people settled permanently on the north bank of the Yukon River while the business section of Carmacks developed on the south bank. Hunting, fishing, trapping, berry-picking, hiking and snowmobiling all play an important role in community life today.
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