Bay Roberts Hotel threatens to close its doors
A prominent Bay Roberts hotel and restaurant appears destined to close its doors in the near future.
The owner of the Bay Roberts Hotel and Scrunchions Restaurant says he will “look to close the hotel and restaurant as soon as it is possible to do so” after a meeting last week with town officials.
Robert Rowe submitted a letter to the town last Friday and sent a copy of the letter to The Compass (read the letter on Page A4).
“Little regard has been shown to what would have been a wonderful venue and a unique site for a number of these functions,” writes Rowe. “It became quickly appar- ent to me during our meeting that our future as a hospitality provider in Bay Roberts was very bleak.
There was little sympathy for our case with respect to the proposed gross over supply of hotel rooms in the town and its impact on our 20 employees.”
The over supply of hotel rooms suggests Rowe does not see a large enough market in the region to ac- commodate the announced construction of a Red Roof Inn in the town.
The hotel was announced earlier this year.
As a result, Rowe says he will seek expressions of interest to develop condominiums and longterm rental units at the site adjacent to the Klondyke Bridge.
“This decision is a pure function of council and staff ’s posture towards us, and an unthinking, almost callous, (disregard) for the implications of 60 new hotel rooms in this town. A concept which you have publicly endorsed with enthusiasm,” the letter reads.
“This is a setback for us. We were trying very hard to make Bay Roberts proud of our facility. We tried to offer entertainment, food and service unknown to this community before we opened.”
Rowe said his facility was constantly looked over when it came to site selection for various town functions. They instead went to “church basements, test kitchens, and the Legion, amongst others.”
With regards to the possible loss of 42 hotel rooms in the town, Rowe finishes with an ominous warning.
“This Mr. Mayor, will be your legacy … not mine.”
Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood had just finished reading the letter when The Compass reached him for comment. The mayor said council as a whole had yet to sit down and discuss the letter.
“I’m disappointed to hear this, but at the same time it is up to him,” said Wood. “Some of this is over the top, but it is his opinion.”
The mayor disputes claims that his town would not work with Rowe in promoting his business.
“We’ve always supported him and his business through our activities and tourism because he has the hotel there,” said Wood.
He reiterated his support of the Red Roof Inn and what the additional rooms will mean to the town in terms of new jobs, economic spin-off and a stronger tax base.
“Bottom line, the Town of Bay Roberts will support and have supported old and new business,” said Wood.
The owner of the Bay Roberts Hotel and Scrunchions Restaurant is threatening to close its doors, citing the town’s support of the announced Red Roof Inn as one of the reasons.