ST. ANTHONY, N.L. – Tourists arriving without bookings are often having a hard time finding places to stay in St. Anthony this summer.
But local hotels, B&Bs and cottages still help out in whatever way they can.
Managers at the Haven Inn and Grenfell Heritage Hotel and Suites in St. Anthony and Yvonne’s Cottages in St. Anthony Bight say every year tourists arrive looking for accommodations when they are booked up.
Each place says they help out by calling around the surrounding area, searching for other accommodations for travellers.
But some businesses, including the Haven Inn and Grenfell Heritage Hotel and Suites, say they’ve had to call as far as Plum Point, nearly 140 kilometres away, to find anything in recent years.
Sheri Patey, manager at the Haven Inn, says the number of tour busses visiting St. Anthony are increasing and this means the number of openings has been reduced in recent years.
The bus tours always book two years in advance and a bus alone takes up the majority of the hotel.
For example, Patey says recently the Haven Inn had a bus book 24 out of their 38 rooms.
This leaves less space for visitors travelling “on the fly” to find an iceberg, for instance.
But they always help the person find a place.
“You give them the visitor’s information number and if they’re not open, like in the nighttime, you just call around and call around until you find something,” Patey told The Northern Pen
“You can’t say, ‘We got nothing, goodbye.’ Newfoundlanders are not like that,” she said. “You got to help them.”
Yvonne Pilgrim, owner of Yvonne’s Cottages in St. Anthony Bight, has two cottages with four bedrooms.
So, she’s often booked up these days, but she says she’s gotten numerous referrals from other businesses trying to find places for people.
And there are lots of people calling to stay there. She’s been referring people to other businesses as well.
Pilgrim also points out that it’s not just tourists but also workers, doing road or water work for instance, who need places to stay.
“It’s wonderful to be busy, but it’s too bad for people who can’t find places to stay,” she said.
Desmond McDonald, manager at Grenfell Heritage Hotel and Suites, doesn’t believe there’s a lack of accommodations in the area.
“It’s just that not everybody is going to be able to stay here in town,” McDonald said.
He nnotes there are a number of good accommodators outside of town.
Like Patey and Pilgrim, McDonald says they always try to find accommodations for people.
“We’re used to helping people find accommodations,” he said.
Patey and McDonald say another hotel would probably not be feasible to accommodate these visitors, due to a low volume of customers in the winter.
Patey believes the solution is for people to call and try to book a reservation before they arrive.