Olivia Scott, The Vancouver Province, August 21, 1992
It's a realtor's dream.
An entire B.C. town complete with shopping centre and housing for 2,000 people is for sale at $23.5 million.
And Kitsault, north of Prince Rupert, is vacant so there's nothing to do but move in.
"There is a caretaker and his wife there who keep the lawns mowed, the trees pruned, the roads cleared," said Shawn Bonnough of J.C. Holdings in Chetwynd.
"The houses are heated and everything is fully operational. You can move in at any time."
Two hours by road from Prince Rupert, Kitsault was once home to miners who worked at a molybdenum mine.
But the oceanside town of more than 2,000 was closed in 1982 when molybdenum prices plummeted to $2 a pound from $48.
Climax Canada, which owns the mine and town, has maintained it in perfect working order in the hope the mine may re-open.
The town contains 92 modern houses, seven apartment buildings with 210 suites, a shopping centre, schools and a medical and dental clinic.
It also has a deep-sea dock, heliport, swimming and health club, a library, theatre, restaurants, pub and three curling rinks.
"It looks like Mr. Rogers' neighborhood: Beautiful houses, manicured lawns, but there's not a soul anywhere," said Bonnough. "It's a really eerie feeling."
Bonnough hopes the area's natural beauty will attract a buyer interested in making the town into an all-season resort.
It's being marketed in Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Germany and Switzerland. According to Bonnough, the town's replacement value is $195 million.
So far, he said, he's had one nibble. The Niho Land and Cattle Co. says it's interested.
Hendrix Lake in the Cariboo was bought by a Nanaimo man for $300,000 last year.
Hendrix Lake, which contains 20 houses, tennis courts and a curling rink, was also a molybdenum mine town.