No va­cancy

Bay Roberts Ho­tel threat­ens to close its doors

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

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.

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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.

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