From his ever-expanding, decades-old operation to navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic, GOLD RUSH‘s King of the Klondike has seen a lot of change over the years.
Like our fellow fans the world over, Outsider is wildly curious how Tony Beets feels the whole game has changed heading into Season 12. Specifically, what changes has he seen in GOLD RUSH in the last decade of mining Paradise Hill while filming Discovery’s #1 show.
“Ah not much!” Tony sighs. “We were mining flat out when they showed up, and we’re pretty much still doing the same thing.”
The one thing that has changed, however, may feel less like change and more like a constant – as Tony’s operation has never stopped growing. From his groundbreaking dig at Eureka Creek, to his hopes of finally transporting his recent million dollar secondary dredge, “We’re still getting bigger every year,” Beets says, “buying bigger, better equipment and mining more land.”
But in the end, Tony says GOLD RUSH “hasn’t change our business in any way. Or our lives, except for that people recognize you when you go places and do things.”
And that fame was newfound at one point. But through the years with Discovery, Team Beets has gotten more than used to it.
“But in general during the season in the seven months we spend in the Yukon, basically life hasn’t changed. Ah, well, you’ve got a film crew around, yah? But that’s about the only difference out here.”
‘GOLD RUSH’ Legend Tony Beets on The Uniqueness of the COVID Pandemic in the Yukon
“Out here” is the operative phrase, too. Out at Paradise Hill, Team Beets is so utterly remote that his operation has seen little, if any, change during the ongoing pandemic.
“It’s the same as with COVID. We have seen a lotta places, a lotta people, a lotta towns have trouble with it. But out here in the Yukon where we’re mining in the middle of nowhere, it is almost non-existent to us, you know?”
“We don’t hear it, we don’t see it, and so it is the same with the mining. We get along, we get to mining as we have all along, and we make it work together,” he says of his team. “So really, it hasn’t changed our lives that much.”
This is, honestly, great to hear. The GOLD RUSH family suffered their own tragic loss outside of the pandemic with the death of beloved Dave Turin’s Lost Mine newcomer Jesse Goins. No one wishes the further effects COVID on another, and Tony agrees.
“It is a really good thing, because this way we can continue to work together.”