Many residents of Inuvik have a strong entrepreneurial spirit.
Countless cooks sell sushi rolls, Eskimo donuts and other fare every day on the Inuvik Buy Sell Trade Facebook page.
Teenage baker Karis Dekwant sells impressive cakes through her Facebook and Instagram pages and business is booming.
I can’t forget the iconic Alestine’s restaurant, which is run out of a school bus and cabin in front of Pam and Brian McDonald’s family home.
There’s the JamPaks Saturday takeout restaurant, Aru Vashisht’s coveted Indian food at the Arctic Market and oodles of craftspeople who find many unique avenues to sell their wares.
There is no doubt that people in Inuvik are savvy, creative business people who want to contribute to making the community vibrant and exciting.
That’s why I’m surprised that I haven’t seen many people taking advantage of the increased traffic through town with all of the tourists flocking to the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway.
Every single day there are tens of camper vans, minivans, motorcyclists coming into town.
These tourists have money to spend. They want to get unique souvenirs. They want to buy food. They want to purchase experiences.
There are people in town who have leveraged this opportunity, but there is still plenty of possibility for those who want to make the most of tourism season in Inuvik.
For example, I heard about an entrepreneur in Tuktoyaktuk who saw all of the camper vans staying at the point and opened up a food tent to feed them.
I bet that person is making bank.
I understand that there is some extra red tape when it comes to opening a business in the Arctic, but there are plenty of existing supports in place to help people with a good business idea along.
Late night food tents would probably be popular, as there isn’t really anywhere to grab a quick bite in the evenings.
Traditional cooking classes and shared meals from someone’s home, or even at a public building with a kitchen would likely be popular.
Fishing or hunting trips with locals would be a hit, or even just short boat and Sea-Doo tours.
More Inuvik and Arctic-themed swag would be interesting, even if it was just T-shirts or baseball hats.
I know the people of Inuvik are innovative and resourceful entrepreneurs. I hope more people will take advantage of the business opportunities that have arrived along with all of the new tourists this summer.