with Tanya Carlson, Haines' excellent Tourism Director, hosting the event. Local restaurants catered the party with delicious finger foods to munch on and drinks available for purchase. The venue was held at the (very cool) Bald Eagle Foundation Museum. Live Owls and a Hawk greeted us while we snacked and mingled before entering the Natural History Room for the "Night of Tourism".
Tanya greeted everyone and talked about Haines being a little piece of heaven on earth and how one business's success is success for all of Haines. How we need to be united in our efforts and learn to work together for the greater good of Haines.
There was an excited energy in the air because each tour company/business got to stand in front of the crowd and give a 1 minute spiel about their product..... or that excitement could have been because the "Gold Rush Alaska" crew was in the house! It was like having celebrities attend. Of course, Haines is a great place to be a celebrity because people here are pretty private and they play it cool around big wigs, they give them their space, that is.....everyone gave them their space but me.
Dakota Fred and Todd Hoffman were the "guest of honor" speakers for the evening. Dakota Fred introduced himself as a happily married man of 42 years.....it just took him 3 women to do it (everyone cracked up). Fred then spoke about mining and how we wouldn't have the conveniences of modern living without miners. Cars, cell phones, computers, you name it, our modern luxuries are brought to us because of mining.
Todd said there are around 6 or 7 million viewers (including DVR folks) on Friday night watching Gold Rush Alaska. More men watch Gold Rush Alaska than NBA Basketball. He said, "Discovery Channel doesn't quite know what to do with us Hillbillies from Sandy Oregon...but they signed us for season 2, and they sold out 19 episodes".
Todd thanked Haines for its generous kindness. He said he enjoyed getting to know Parker and John Schnabel. They really helped them out, lending them things, giving assistance. Todd ended by saying, "Haines needs to get rid of the differences and ban together, be strong and vote for the small business".
Their lips were sealed on what is planned for the next season of "Gold Rush Alaska", but it sounded like they have already been out at Porcupine Creek working.
In closing, Tanya gave us, "... a friendly reminder that the Gold Rush Alaska mining area is a closed set, they are filming all the time so people can not go out there, also for safety reasons. So don't send your friends out (to Porcupine Creek), have them....".