Mennonite Enquirer


By Henry S. Rempel, Winnipeg MB, for the Mennonite Enquirer Aug, 04 2021

Mennonite Enquirer sources have just learned that the Tourist Hotel is coming back to Steinbach Manitoba after more than 45 long dry years!  The new Steinbach watering hole, dubbed the “Tourist Hotel II”, will have almost identical exterior architecture to the original, which was torn down in the early 70s. Our reporters caught up with the developers at their offices in Winnipeg. We asked them why the plans for the exterior building design of the new hotel have the exact same structural specifications as the one originally built in 1928.  The answer, “to save money of course!” “Additionally, we feel that architects and engineers are overrated.  Look how much money Bethesda spent on their emergency entrance.  The engineers came up with a plan that cost millions and had sick people traversing a 60 foot ramp and a flight of stairs to get medical attention.  We don’t want any of our customers to go through the same difficulties just to have a beer! So we decided to save the money and build the new hotel exactly the same as the original Tourist Hotel”. 

For readers who don’t know, the city of Steinbach lost the much beloved hotel, when repeated city referendums were held, that voted down the new owners application to open a “mixed beverage room” within town limits. The actual reasons remain shrouded in mystery to this very day.  Some say it came as a result of the many women who protested a men’s only parlor.  Women of the day sipped wine at home and sang, “don’t come home a drinkin’ with lovin’ on your mind!” Other unconfirmed reports claim that the town council made a "special deal" with nearby communities who wanted the liquor revenue.  A former owner of the Sarto store says that by 1983, the store was taking in over a million dollars a year in revenue on liquor sales alone. Whatever the reasons, we do know that many bootleggers sprang up in Steinbach who charged the exorbitant fee of an extra $2 over and above the cost of a case of Old Vienna.  Others relied on “having a few” in the lower level of Millers Cave during “private functions”.  “Those were tough years” exclaimed Peter Hilderbrand. “You just don’t know what it was like unless you've lived through it”.

Our reporters asked the locals how they feel about the Tourist Hotel coming back to Steinbach.  Henry Harder told us, “it’s a relief actually.  All these years I’ve had to hide a mikey of Crown Royal in my wife’s dresser behind her bras’.  So I'll finally be able to live a more open and transparent life and enjoy a double rye at the hotel again”.  Others feel that the old problems will be brought back from the past.  Mrs. Henry Sawatsky, now 83, says “I’m worried that Hein is going to go out again and come home with lovin’on his mind”.  John Rempel replied, “why would I waste money at a bar?! I’ve been having uncle Erdman’s cough medicine at home for years!  It’s called Jägermeister.  But I only take it to help prevent getting a cold”.  We asked Judy Thiessen, if she and her husband will be going to the new Tourist Hotel after it's built. “No!” she exclaimed. "We go to Grand Forks with a cooler of sandwiches and 2 liter of papsi and it’s only $59.99 a night.  And we stock up on the continental breakfast so we have enough for lunch and supper. I don’t think the new Tourist Hotel will be able to match that”.

The conceptual photos (above) show that the Tourist Hotel II will be much more luxurious inside in order to cater to the new generation of millennials.  Rumors have it that a single night at the new hotel could set you back as much as $275.  We asked Angela Penner, age 20, if she thought the cost of a room would be too high.  “Um,..I think I’d totally pay it” she stated.  “I mean, if they have wifi and like…a pool and everything,..ya… I think $275 would be totally worth it!”

The Tourist Hotel II is slated to begin construction in late 2021 and be ready to open in conjunction with the completion of the Southeast Event Center.  The Mennonite Enquirer will keep you posted on the progress. 

While the Tourist Hotel II has yet to be built, the Hoodie is available NOW!! Here's your chance to own a piece of Steinbach history.  The original Tourist Hotel Hoodie is available in your choice of 5 colors.  Have some fun and declare, prohibition in Steinbach is over!  Cheers!

NEW arrival!  The Tourist Hotel summer tank top.  Cool off and have fun!

And for those who still prefer being an abstainer and enjoying a soda straight up, how about this Papsi and Ravels hoodie!?  Have some Mennonite fun your way!






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