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Ghost town eyed as upscale retreat

Paul Harris, Western Investor, July, 2005

A business plan is taking shape to transform a B.C. mining ghost town into a magnet for corporate retreats and ecotourism.
Kitsault in northwestern B.C. was recently purchased for a reported $7 million in cash by Indian-born entrepreneur Krish Suthanthiran. The deal includes approximately 90 houses and duplexes, seven apartment buildings, an equipped hospital, a large works yard, a local dock, a 22,000 square foot shopping centre and two recreation centres.

Suthanthiran's goal is to create an adventure playground. Sports fishing, fly fishing, kayaking, and heli-skiing are on his roster of potential activities, built around the burgeoning popularity of ecotourism and Kitsault's location as a corporate retreat.

Suthanthiran is president of Best Medical International Inc., a Virginia based company that specializes in oncology and radiology products. He is part of a growing trend of wealthy American-based business executives paying cash for ranches, fishing retreats, or, in Suthanthiran's case, an entire town.

"They're all paying cash," said Vancouver-based property specialist Rudy Nielsen, who consulted on the sale of Kitsault.