Mennonite Enquirer


Mennonite Enquirer sources have just learned that plans to build the new Tourist Hotel II in Steinbach have been cancelled!  The Steinbach watering hole was to have been completed in time for the next Olympics. Our reporters caught up with the developers at their offices and asked them why the plans for the new Tourist Hotel were scrapped.  Their response was that it seemed the right thing to do in the current climate of cancel culture.  In addition, the developers say that they had received countless letters objecting to the building of another establishment that served liquor.  They sited a letter from Elsie Ginter who wrote, "Frank can get all the beer he wants at the Franz. What do we need another pub for?" A letter from Melinda Hamm stated that, "my Pieta can't hold his liquor anymore anyway.  We don't need another liquor place in this town!" With that stated, is Steinbach history repeating itself?

For readers who don’t know, the city of Steinbach lost the original Tourist Hotel, when it voted down the new owners application to open a “mixed beverage room” in the mid seventies. 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 Steinbach locals how they feel about the cancelling of the proposed Tourist Hotel II.  Henry Harder told us, “it’s a relief actually.  I’ve always had had to hide a mikey of Crown Royal in my wife’s dresser in case I forgot to stop at the vendor.  So now that's one less thing to worry about”.  Others feel that the past is  repeating itself.  Mrs. Henry Sawatsky said, “I’m worried that Hein will be spending more time at home since they won't be building the new hotel”.  We asked Judy Thiessen if she and her husband will now be going to Grand Forks for duty free more often. “Yes!” 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 that any hotel in Canada can match that!”.

The Tourist Hotel II was slated to begin construction in late 2023 and be ready to open in conjunction with the next Olympics.  With the hotel plans officially cancelled, it appears that history has indeed repeated itself.  The consolation is that the LC in the city continues to do a brisk business of selling "cough medicine" and beer for those summer days that get really hot.  And there are a lot of hot days in Steinbach to enjoy a beer. One beer,..only!  ;-)

Here's your chance to own a piece of Steinbach history.  The original Tourist Hotel Hoodie is still available in your choice of 5 colors.  Have some fun and declare, prohibition in Steinbach is over!  Cheers!

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!

Official Steinbach Tourist Hotel Mugs now available!

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