A Juneau Electric crew takes down signage at The Prospector hotel on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

A Juneau Electric crew takes down signage at The Prospector hotel on Wednesday, May 8, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Iconic Prospector signs come down

Corporate branding will replace prominent sign

Clarification: The hotel, though now branded as a Ramada by Wyndham franchise, still has local owners. Owners Joel Sims and Doug Andrew chose to join the Wyndham franchise to increase the hotel’s exposure, Sims said in an email.

As the large, iconic yellow signs came down from the side of the Ramada by Wyndham hotel in Juneau — formerly known as the Prospector Hotel — Jessica Meacham watched with mixed emotions.

Meacham, manager at the hotel, has worked there since 2008, working her way up from being a breakfast waitress to her current position. Now, after Wyndham bought the Prospector in December, changes have come to the hotel, including the removal of the beloved signs.

“I’m not going to lie, I did get a little teary eyed,” Meacham said, “but change is good. We’re staying positive. We think this Ramada change is going to be really good for the hotel.”

The hotel, though now branded as a Ramada by Wyndham franchise, still has local owners. Owners Joel Sims and Doug Andrew — who have owned the hotel for 12 years under the partnership called Juneau Hospitality LLC — chose to join the Wyndham franchise to increase the hotel’s exposure, Sims said in an email.

As part of being absorbed by the international hotel chain, the hotel has different brand standards, Meacham said. The furniture, the beds, the bedding, the signage and more all have to be Wyndham-approved, she said. They’ve replaced the beds already and are working their way through everything else, Meacham said. The lobby will be laid out differently as well, Meacham said.

[Wings Airways gets new investors, owners]

Meacham said there are numerous benefits to being a Wyndham property, Meacham said, including a better online reservation system.

The yellow signs, which carry the image of a gold rush-era prospector, tie into Juneau’s history and have become a staple along Egan Drive on the downtown waterfront. They were designed by Judith and Rudy Ripley, and were installed in the early 1970s. Meacham said the Ripleys’ grandson is coming by the hotel soon to look at the massive oval signs to get the first chance at taking them home.

If the grandson doesn’t want them, the hotel will reach out to others in the community, Meacham said.

“I’m hoping that they find good homes,” Meacham said.


• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at amccarthy@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.


More in News

A sign on a city bus urges the use of face coverings, but following an ordinance passed by the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly, all passengers will now be required to wear masks on buses and while using other city facilities. Friday, May 29, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)
Face coverings now required on buses, in city facilities

Masks will be provided for those who cannot afford them.

Juneau City Hall on Monday, March 30, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)
Finance committee votes to hold line on property tax

“Projects will still go on. Services will still go on.”

Police calls for Friday, May 29, 2020

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement… Continue reading

Police calls for Thursday, May 28, 2020

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement… Continue reading

Police calls for Wednesday, May 27, 2020

This report contains public information available to the Empire from law enforcement… Continue reading

Michael S. Lockett | Juneau Empire 
                                Henry Williams runs from Douglas to the Mendenhall Valley on Memorial Day to honor dead service members, including his relative, Air Force Tech Sgt. Leslie Dominic Williams, who died in Afghanistan in 2011.
Memorial Day passes quietly amid coronavirus concerns, damp weather

People found their own ways to honor the hallowed dead.

Archie (center), Ella (left) and Arrow (right) enjoy the dog-friendly Field 2 in Melvin Park on April 26, 2020. The field, Dimond Park, and the grassy area on top of Gold Street are all closed to dogs indefinitely due to a rising amount of unremoved dog poop. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)
Poop piles pose problem for parks

Three areas are closed, and more may follow if behavior does not improve.

Most Read