Looking Back At Churchill’s Northern Nights Hotel

In the early days of polar bear tourism in Churchill, the Northern Nights hotel played a pivitol role in building the foundation for the tourism in the town. Katie and Brett owned the hotel and partnered with Natural Habitat Adventures to form a bond that fostered an incredible jump start to an ever growing eco-tourism business in the region based mainly on polar bear viewing experiences.

Polar bear near the season's end.

Polar bear romping in the snow near Churchill. Eric Rock photo

The hotel was a combination of buildings connected by a narrow, rustic hallway reminiscent of a train car…just longer. The hallway connected the main part of the hotel with lounge and restaurant. The hallway had the old original rooms that were very cabin-like and cozy. The hotel gave one a sense of home, far, far away from home.


In November 2011 the Northern Nights was lost to fire. The blaze raged in frigid-cold weather toward the end of polar bear season that year. Nobody was injured or lost their life thought the building was completely destroyed. After ownership had transferred a few times between locals and out-of towner’s, the end was somewhat poetic in a sense.

Many memories were forged for all the travelers and guides that stayed in the quirky hotel. The characters that worked as staff, such as uncle Joe and Mukluk are gone and the land remains vacant but the welcome feeling remains in the hearts of many. Bears, Belugas and Beers….the hotels motto is also gone, but lives on in Churchill.


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