An employee boards up the front doors of the Coast Discovery Inn in Campbell River this afternoon. On Jan. 6

Landmark Campbell River hotel boarded up

Owner follows through on threat to close the 51-year-old Coast Discovery Inn due to financial losses

The glass doors opening into the lobby of the 51-year-old Coast Discovery Inn were boarded up this afternoon, the owner following through on his threat to close the downtown Campbell River hotel due to financial losses.

On Jan. 6 Sukhy Bains issued a layoff notice to 35 Unite Here union members, stating his intent to shut the landmark hotel down on March 7. Union officials were skeptical that he would permanently close the hotel but Unite Here financial secretary-treasurer Shelly Ervin said today that they had met with the employer on Tuesday and “he was not interested in talking to us.”

“When asked when he was reopening he replied, ‘No idea,'” Ervin told the Mirror. “What do you plan on doing with the building? ‘No idea.’

“Is there anything we can do to work together to keep it open, ‘Too late.'”

A decertification application was filed by the employees and is yet to be heard by the Labour Relations Board. The union’s position is that the employer was behind that attempt to break away from the union.

However, a longtime employee at the hotel today said, on condition of anonymity, that the decertification vote will be overwhelmingly against the union. He spoke sympathetically of the owner and says he’s not union busting.

“Everybody’s hopeful it will get resolved sooner rather than later,” the employee said.

Ervin said, “The employees have a nine-month recall clause in their agreement, so we will have to wait and see what this employer does next.”

The Mirror has not been able to talk with Bains at this point.

The Coast Discovery Inn has been a landmark in Campbell River’s downtown Tyee Plaza since 1963. Owned by Delta Hotels, the hotel switched hands several times and was owned by Coast Hotels, a Japanese investment company, OKABE Company, and eventually Bains.

– with files from Kristen Douglas/Campbell River Mirror