At the White House looking at transition to new owners

John and Ralph Tronrud helped fight the fire in 1977. Lori grew up across the street, playing in the White House with her best friend Tahni Warner. I came to town in 1989, fresh out of college, with a degree in hotel and restaurant management. John and Ralph had built their own homes.

It seemed like a natural fit.

In September 1990, the four of us signed papers with Wanda Warner to purchase the White House property at 8th Avenue and Main Street. It took us, our kids and several friends seven years to rebuild and remodel the main house, as well as update, upgrade and finish the outbuildings for housing. In May 1997 we opened her doors to offer overnight accommodations to visiting travelers, business folks and families once again.

Sadly, we lost Ralph to cancer a year later, and Lori moved away for a while, so it became just John and myself. Since then, with the help of some amazing employees, we have remained open year-round (with the exception of one year) and will continue to do so.

However, there is change on the horizon.

After 23 years as innkeepers, John and I are exploring our options and our first choice is front and center. Chelsey and Dustin Stone are interested in acquiring the business and, over the next few months, we will be looking at how to make that happen.

Chelsey has been working at the White House since 2012. She and Dustin had previously worked at a fishing lodge on Prince of Wales Island, so Southeast Alaska was not new to them. The year I was out for cancer treatment Chelsey took over the bulk of the daily operations and has continued on in that capacity since then. She is diligent, attentive and thoughtful, and the guests love her almost as much as we do.

Dustin, while not a part of our operations to this point, jumped headfirst into Skagway life on day one. He is a volunteer for KHNS has been a freelance writer for the Skagway News. He worked in the liquor store, drove for SMART Bus and spent five years managing the Elks Lodge before recently settling into a full-time job with the National Park Service. He is currently a candidate for assembly, whom we wholeheartedly endorse.

With their hands-on attitudes for getting things done and their love for this community, Chelsey and Dustin should be a great fit to carry on the tradition of hospitality At the White House.

It’s going to take us a while to figure it out, but we thought it was time to share the good news with the community at large.

Jan Tronrud


At the White House Bed and Breakfast