The owners of a hotel on Winnipeg’s Main Street were the winners of a draw to open Virden’s first cannabis outlet.
The Northern Hotel’s submission was drawn at random last week by the provincial government from all the entries submitted by pre-screened applicants.
Keith Horn is co-owner of the Northern Hotel along with Vladimir Krukovsky. Horn said they were quite excited to learn they were chosen for the Virden retail opportunity.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge, to come there and be a good corporate neighbor.”
Although a second “standby” company was also drawn in case the first winner declined, Horn says they have full intentions of following through with the Virden cannabis store, starting with a trip to scope out possible locations.
“We haven’t worked out everything. I’ve been to Virden a couple of times but our next plan is to take a drive there, see what space is available, and figure out a few other details.”
In fact, Horn says the day after the draw was made and the winners announced, he received a call from an eager Virden property owner offering him a place to rent.
A GOOD FIT
Neither Horn nor Krukovsky are cannabis users or have any experience selling it. Regardless, Horn says there’s a natural connection to the hotel business, which he’s been in since age 12, because both cannabis and hospitality are “all about looking after people’s recreational needs.”
Krukovsky is also a veteran of the hotel sector, having worked in it since immigrating to Winnipeg from Kiev, Ukraine. He also owns a second hotel and several other properties.
Once established, Virden’s cannabis outlet will create jobs but it’s too soon to predict how many, said Horn. “Our next step is to come to Virden to look around, see the place and make an agreement with the province.”
Several Virden business owners had also entered the draw for provincial approval to open a store in Virden, but were not selected.