Shane Wright faced tough challenges in opening up a business during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted Photo)

Business battling COVID-19 opens in downtown Quesnel

Shane Wright opened Evolve Gold and Gaming Lounge on Saturday, Sept. 19

Quesnel’s downtown welcomed a new business into the fold this weekend.

After a six-month journey, Shane Wright opened Evolve Gold and Gaming Lounge on Saturday, Sept. 19.

“If I didn’t get my business licence this week, I was pretty much going under,” he said. “I’m out of time; I’m out of money.”

The lounge features a Playstation VR room and is available to be rented for events, and is planning to add another VR station. Wright added he hopes to host poker events there.

The lounge will host a grand opening on Sept. 26, with an outdoor concert.

READ MORE: New downtown Quesnel art studio will provide workshop, studio space

Inside, the building features a podcast studio, where Wright helps host a gold rush history podcast, the ReDiscoverers.

“We’re trying to engage today’s youth by drawing them in with the gaming, then hitting them up with the gold rush stuff, and the history of where this place came from,” he said. “So the history isn’t lost on the youth today — because it’s beginning to be.”

Wright also offers help to people with mineral claims in the area.

“There’s a lot of people that are getting ripped off here for claims; that’s all I’ve been hearing all summer,” he said. “It’s a matter of helping the common people that don’t understand the way things work — because it’s quite complicated for the layperson.”

The pandemic hasn’t just affected the opening plans, but operations as well.

Occupancy inside the lounge will be restricted because of COVID-19 rules, and if rules roll back, the business could go to the backburner again.

The lounge is even restricted on what kind of food patrons can eat.

“If this gets any worse, I’m not going to be open for long,” Wright said.

READ MORE: Downtown Quesnel launches new brand; invites community to ‘Walk, Talk and Shop’ downtown

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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