By Tim Binnall
A group of Canadian entrepreneurs have created a novel new business in the form of a treasure hunt featuring a rather sizeable reward. The company, known as 'Gold Hunt,' has reportedly hidden treasure chests worth around 100,000 Canadian dollars in the cities of Edmonton, Vancouver, and Calgary. In order to recoup their investment and, hopefully, make a profit on the venture, the group is selling 'maps' and sets of clues for each of the treasures through their website.
Likening the treasure hunt to "the Goonies in real life," the company's spokesman Chris Cromwell explained that the group worked with officials in each of the cities over the last three months to make sure that the entire enterprise was perfectly legal. Those looking to pursue the prizes can begin searching on June 1st, when the digital 'treasure maps' will be sent to them at the stroke of midnight. According to the company's website, the document will feature "a poem which contains a series of riddles and encrypted messaging that will make your job of finding the treasure more active and engaging."
"You're going have to have your wits," Cromwell told one news outlet, "a lot of riddles have to be solved and a lot of clues have to be discovered." To that end, he mused that it would be "very unlikely" for someone to unearth the treasure without participating in the process designed by the company. Should the venture prove successful, Gold Hunt hopes to expand beyond the initial three cities in western Canada and bring the contest to communities on the other side of the country, ultimately offering up around 1 million dollars in prizes.
Alas, for our American readers considering heading up to the Great White North this summer and taking part in the hunt, the contest is only open to Canadian citizens, presumably for legal reasons. That said, we're guessing that if Gold Hunt makes money off of the concept, it will only be a matter of time before some enterprising American outfit decides to try their hand at the idea. Until then, of course, there's still the Forrest Fenn treasure waiting to be found here in the United States.