A cabin at Blachford Lake Lodge in March 2021. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
Eight months after Blachford Lake Lodge closed its doors and its owner filed for bankruptcy, a company that offers tours in Nunavut is poised to take over.
Court documents indicate that Arctic Kingdom Polar Expeditions Inc has successfully bid on the fly-in wilderness lodge, located around 100 kilometres southeast of Yellowknife.
If everything goes according to plan, the receiver – the company responsible for managing and selling the lodge and its assets during bankruptcy proceedings – is expected to apply for court approval of that sale on Friday.
Taiga Sports Fishing Ltd, which owned the lodge, said in March it had ceased operations because of “extreme inflationary pressures” and company owner Mike Freeland’s medical concerns.
The lodge was initially listed by realtor Coldwell Banker for $3.9 million before that listing was removed as Taiga Sports Fishing filed for bankruptcy. The lodge was then marketed through a tender process.
On Friday, lawyers for the receiver plan to request that “confidential and commercially sensitive” details of the sale – including the proposed price and other bids for the property – be sealed until the sale closes. They said public disclosure of that information could prejudice any future sale if the current proposal falls through.
Arctic Kingdom has offered tours in Nunavut for more than two decades, including Arctic “safaris” with polar bears and narwhal, diving expeditions and aurora viewing. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Court documents indicate the sale of Blachford will include the lodge itself – which can host up to 36 guests – alongside a land lease for the property ending on November 30, 2046, eight snowmobiles, nine 17-foot aluminum boats with 11 motors, and operational books and records related to the business.
Potentially not included in the sale will be a collection of art, taxidermy pieces and books belonging to the previous owner.
Blachford Lake Lodge had been operated by Freeland since 1981 and offered outdoor activities like fishing and aurora viewing throughout the year. The lodge hosted events, retreats and guests from around the globe, most notably Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge.
The company employed just over 20 people at the time of filing for bankruptcy, several of whom told Cabin Radio they were surprised to discover they were being laid off and were worried about wages owed.
Court documents indicate Taiga Sports Fishing owed $3.4 million to dozens of creditors, including more than $1.5 million to the NWT’s Business Development and Investment Corporation.