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Wednesday, 03 May 2017 13:46

Commercial Hotel closed, future unsure

Written by  Dominique Liboiron
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The Commercial Hotel faces an uncertain future. Operations have ceased, at least temporarily, at the historic hotel.

One inkling the Commercial was facing difficulties appeared before the Easter long weekend. A letter from Greyhound Canada dated April 12 was taped to the main door. It read “effective April 10, 2017 Maple Creek, SK depot is closed.”
The Commercial Hotel was the town’s bus depot.
The letter was signed by Kim Todd, Greyhound’s agency manager responsible for southwest Saskatchewan. Todd wrote he anticipated finding a new depot in Maple Creek by April 25.
At first, the letter was accompanied by a sign written by hotel staff in one of the building’s windows. It said the establishment was closed for the Easter long weekend, but would reopen April 18. When that date came and went, the previous sign was replaced by another which read, “The Commercial Hotel is temporarily closed for company restructuring until further notice. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.”
To date, ownership hasn’t released a statement to say what’s in store for the establishment or what caused the enterprise to cease operations.
Based on an interview with one of the owners in May, 2016, there were 28 people employed on both a full-time and part-time basis.
As for the Greyhound depot, it found a new home at Cortech Quality. Passenger and freight services are both still offered.
With a heritage stretching all the way back to 1883, the Commercial Hotel is a landmark in Maple Creek and the oldest hotel in Saskatchewan.
The Commercial was almost lost after the flood of 2010 when dramatic rain caused a significant amount of water to inundate much of Maple Creek. Empty and damaged, the hotel faced an uncertain future until Chef Noy Lim and his business partners Marcello Del Barrio and Jayson Catalasan bought the Commercial and undertook an extensive renovation in 2013.
Their commitment and hard work resurrected Saskatchewan’s longest serving hotel.
Lim, Del Barrio and Catalasan are originally from the Philippines.
In a previous interview, Lim explained the three families bought the hotel as a way to challenge themselves and to show their love for the town that became their new home after leaving the Philippines.
The storied hotel was ready for the wrecking ball after the 2010 flood and they wanted to save it.
“We are just instruments of bringing this back,” Lim explained.
Buying and renovating the structure required large investments of time and money. Lim said this was the ownership group’s way of repaying the kindness of Canadians.
The establishment includes a dining room, bar and accommodations. A three-storey building, all the hotel rooms on the second floor had been renovated.
The lobby is decorated with antique hardwood furniture from the hotel’s historic past. A collection of photographs and paintings in the lobby and dining room pay homage to the region’s First Nations, ranchers and pioneers along the with the members of the North-West Mounted Police who were stationed at Fort Walsh in the 1870s.

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