Denali tourist shop gets restraining order for alleged false advertising 

The owner of a tourist shop outside of Denali National Park has been issued a temporary restraining order for alleged false claims that products for sale at the store were made by Alaska Natives, and that proceeds from sales were to be used for charitable purposes. 

Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor announced the action on Monday, saying the state “will not allow businesses that lie to consumers to gain an unfair competitive advantage over the many excellent stores that sell legitimate Alaska made Alaska Native products.” 

According to the complaint Sunil Thapa, owner of The Himalayan, also known as Mt. McKinley Clothing Co., imported clothing, jewelry and other products from foreign countries, but told consumers the products were made by Alaska Natives in Yakutat.  

The complaint also alleges that Sunil, his wife, Trishna Thapa, and son, Tejesh Thapa, made the false claim that their store was a nonprofit arm of the “Yakutat Village Council” and that proceeds would be used for charitable purposes such as building schools and a rehabilitation center in Yakutat. 

Fairbanks Superior Court Judge Earl Peterson issued the temporary restraining order following a complaint filed by Taylor on July 19. The complaint asks the court to issue an injunction against the defendants and to fine them up to $25,000 for every unfair or deceptive act they committed. 

The temporary restraining order prohibits the defendants from selling any products that lack a proper country of origin marking and requires the defendants to present evidence that products were made in the USA, or in Alaska before labeling them as such. It also prohibits defendants from claiming that The Himalayan is a nonprofit and that its proceeds will be used for charitable purposes.  


The order additionally prohibits defendants from making other false written or oral statements in the course of selling their products. 

The investigation began in June, when an investigator from the Alaska Department of Law was visiting shops in the area to learn more about the sale and advertisement of Alaska Native and Alaskan-made products. According to the complaint, Sunil Thapa stated to the investigator that everything in the shop was made in Yakutat. The investigator decided to return to make an undercover purchase. When he did, he said Sunil Thapa told him that the store was a nonprofit, that all its products were made by Alaska Natives in Yakutat, who donated their work to the store.   

According to the complaint there is no such entity as the “Yakutat Village Council.” 

The complaint further stated that the defendants have no relationship with actual government entities in Yakutat and that defendants have never donated to government agencies or charities based in Yakutat. The complaint states that the Superior Court granted an order for the Department of Law to impound samples of The Himalayan’s products to use as evidence. 

While executing the impound order investigators discovered products in storage with “Made in Nepal” labels that were similar or identical to products on the shelves that had labels indicating the products were made in Alaska.