Esther's Inn is a love story
And can we really call ourselves a city without better public bathrooms?
Happy Tuesday. I cannot stop thinking about this couple who found out they had a $100,000 lotto ticket but missed cashing it by a week. Oof. Alright, here’s today’s newsletter.
Esther’s Inn is a love story
OK, so this is a story I’ve not been able to verify fully but it’s Valentine’s Day and it seems like the right time to share it. First, some backstory to bring you up to speed:
People who grew up in Prince George or traveling to Prince George from the 1980s through to the 2010s most likely know Esther’s Inn. Back before there were a bunch of big hotel chains along the highway, Esther’s Inn was the place for people to take their kids mainly because of the awesome waterslides and for people like me who grew up in town, it was awesome when a family friend was staying there because you got to go to the waterslides. But it wasn’t just the waterslides, it was the whole experience. The entire lobby was full of pools and plants and bright colours and it basically felt like (and advertised itself as) a tropical oasis in the city. One of the funniest things I’ve read remains this 2016 piece from the Snow Valley Guardian — which was a Kitimat version of the Onion — titled “Kitimat family already working on tan for winter excursion to Esther’s Inn”:
A Kitimat family is counting down the days until their resort vacation to Esther’s Inn in Prince George.
The Smith family has been eagerly awaiting their destination vacation which they’ll take in late November, their way of handling the early winter.
“It’s nice to have such a great tropical destination that’s so accessible to us in Kitimat,” said the family’s mother Barbara. “Of course we need to make sure our tans are in top shape so we don’t embarrass ourselves.”
The family is looking forward to meals along the hotel’s creeks and nice walks through its humid wilderness.
They haven’t decided yet if they’ll spend extra for a guided tour to the nearby Costco.
Today' Esther’s Inn is a Super 8 but fortunately it maintains its tropical vibes which have made it a popular destination for weddings, grads and other events in the city over the years.
Now, here’s the part I haven’t been able to verify but is a story I was told recently by a longtime employee:
It’s that Esther was the name of the wife of a Prince George businessman. She loved going to Hawaii and so he built a hotel that felt like being there and named it after her.
When I say I can’t verify this, the only part is whether the hotel was built for and named for her because of her love of Hawaii because the rest is true. According to a 2001 newspaper article celebrating Esther’s Inn’s 21st anniversary (meaning it opened in 1980), “Henry Creuzot, long time Prince George resident, first opened Grama's Inn - located a stone's throw from Esther's - 30 years ago. It was following the establishment of this inn that he developed the idea for Esther's, which he named after his beautiful wife.”
They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2013 and he passed the following year.
Seriously, we need some public washrooms downtown
As someone who used to be responsible for cleaning a downtown public washroom I have absolute sympathy for the businesses who do not want to subject themselves to what I’ve gone through. At the same time it is absolutely unfathomable to me why anyone who is elderly, has children or has any of the very common conditions that makes having access to a washroom necessary would ever consider going for a downtown walkaround knowing that if you found yourself in a position of needing to defecate or urinate there would, to the best of my knowledge, be pretty much nowhere for you to do so. I get that there are challenges to this, but investing in some sort of self-cleaning or staffed public bathroom downtown would be one of those things that benefits multiple issues: It would provide a level of dignity to unhoused people they don’t currently have; It would provide an alternative to alleys and sidewalks fir tge same; AND it would make downtown a better space for visitors — be they locals browsing stores or someone stopping in on a drive through. I’ve been on roadtrips and taken a pit stop in other cities and thought about how basically I couldn’t do the same in Prince George due to the lack of facilities available, and I’d argue downtown cannot reasonably call itself a destination neighbourhood until this is addressed.
(By the way, it’s not just Prince George and it’s not just me — here’s a wider overview of the problem and some possible solutions).
The Chamber of Commerce has a new CEO;
A bridal shop is out $30,000 following two smash-and-grabs;
WinterFest has released its full schedule including the return of the ice carvings and the very cool ice slide;
“On Feb. 18, Aaron Vanderpool and his family will be sharing 20-second hugs in honour of his child, Taraji, who passed away last June. The goal is to share 200 hugs.”
Northern Health has a higher-than-20 percent vacancy rate;
Here’s another good tweet from the city:
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