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Discovery Inn has new owners

Guy Quenneville
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, February 9, 2011

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Jimmy Kong's empire just keeps growing.

The owner of the Monkey Tree Gas Bar has purchased the Discovery Inn Centre building on Franklin Avenue and, with that, has taken the reins of the Discovery Inn.

Kong, who also owns Corner Mart, said the deal with former owner Grandfield Pacific Inc. closed on Feb. 1.

Grandfield Pacific is no stranger in these parts; the Vancouver-based company sold The Explorer Hotel to Nunastar Properties in 2004.

Kong declined to state the purchase price.

"It's just a business decision. Nothing exciting," said Kong.

This isn't Kong's first foray into the hotel business; he's been running the Northern Lites Motel on 50 Street for six years, he said.

The Discovery Inn Centre, which is also home to Chinese restaurant The Red Apple and designer clothing store BB Rox, was built in the late 1980s, according to Kong.

"Definitely we will make some improvements to the hotel, for sure," he said. "We'll probably change the lobby a bit, do some siding all around the building."

However, Kong added not everything will change

"The rooms are in really good shape right now," he said.

Of his time running the Northern Lites Motel, Kong said of he and his business parter, wife Sally," we've learned a lot."

While unsure of precisely how many people currently work at the hotel, Kong said his ownership means another four to five jobs will be created. Kong was tight-lipped about other details.

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