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Many Yellowknifers have likely spotted an eye-grabbing addition to the city’s skyline in recent days.

The Explorer Hotel is lighting up vacant rooms to form a heart-shaped beacon in the heart of the city, part of an effort to spread positivity during the COVID-19 crisis.

“It’s to show the city we’re with everybody in this tough time,” said Karl Schaefers, the hotel’s general manager. “We wanted to cheer people up.”

In an effort to lift spirits and support residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Yellowknifer’s Explorer Hotel is selectively lighting rooms to send a heart-felt message to community members.
photo courtesy of the Explorer Hotel.

Hotel staff started working on configuring the display over the weekend.

It wasn’t easy.

“At first it looked like a strawberry,” laughed Schaefers.

He said it took hours of work overnight to get it right.

The lit-up rooms, which face 48 Street, are part of a wing that’s been blocked off to guests.

The Explorer Hotel is still open, but its bar and restaurant is closed as health officials urge people and businesses to practice social distancing.

Several residents took to social media to share photos of the display.

“The Explorer Hotel would like to send love out to all those working in the health care sector, to all those working in essential services like grocery store employees and flight crews, to all those who are self-isolating and practising social distancing, to all those who are caring for others in this time of need, and to the entire community,” a post on Facebook by the hotel’s management read.

“With love for one another and for this community we can get through this together.”

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Brendan Burke

As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility...

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