Wednesday, February 07, 2007

KITSAULT

There's a ghost town in northern BC called Kitsault. What's cool about this ghost town is that it's relatively new and nearly completely intact. In the mid-to-late 70's, a mining company wanted to extract the abundant molybdenum deposits in northern BC. The big problem was that it was extremely remote and absolutely no one lived anywhere near the area, so the mining company decided to build a town and bring the people there to work.

There was/is more than 100 single family homes and duplexes, seven apartment buildings with a total of 202 suites. There's a theatre, a library, a post-office, a (then)-modern hospital, a shopping centre that's something like 22,000 sq. feet, restaurants, banks, an indoor public pool, two recreation centres and most importantly, a curling rink and a pub. Underground cable and phone lines were put in place as well as a state of the art sewage treatment plant and the cleanest running water in the province. It was an instant town.

In 1980, families started moving in, a Knight & Day restaurant opened and the town was 'a-hoppin.' Then, 18 months later, molybdenum prices that had sky-rocketed suddenly crashed and the mine had to shut down. Everyone just up-and-left, leaving their groovy furniture and Kitsault dreams behind.

Today, the only inhabitants are a caretaker, who looks after cutting the lawns, a family of foxes and an occasional grizzly bear that wanders in to scavenge fallen fruit. Up the valley under a lush green old growth forest still lies 110 million tons of molybdenum.

A few years ago, the town finally went up for sale. It was bought sight unseen by krazillionaire
Krishnan Suthanthiran for, get this, $5.7 million (CAD)! If I were a krazillionaire, I'd drop 5.7 million clams on this too! Why not? Did you see the funky furniture it comes with!?!? Master Suthanthiran then went one step further. He bought himself a production studio, ATV Productions (here in Vancouver) in which to make a documentary / promotional spot for his recent purchase. His plan is to create a phoenix out of this dead town. He envisions Kitsault as Canada's prized eco-tourism destination spot. There'll be top-notch skiing, fly-fishing, hiking, mountain biking, you name it. In the meantime, ATV Productions is renting this ghost town out to feature production companies who want an empty town to shoot their film in!

1 comment:

xtremepeaks said...

good summary of Kitsault!
I was just there 2 weeks ago, riding my bike down the road past the locked gate.
the town hasn't changed much - only a few apartments are getting fixed p and rented out to exploration guys for the summer.
they are doing some work on the hospital, cleaning up some bush, and building a large kitchen to feed more mining guys next year.
And the whole moly mine was just bought for about $30M, so there may be lots of activity there soon if the mine starts up.
see my pics at:
flickr.com/photos/xtremepeaks