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North Van fixture likely to close doors

Lynnwood Hotel up for sale, possible demolition
Chris Cotton, manager of the Lynnwood Hotel for the last 20 years, braces for change in the upcoming months. The long-time family-owned hangout is up for sale, and the District of North Vancouver is considering an application to rezone the property for light industrial use, meaning it would likely be torn down.

NOT so long ago, the Lynnwood Inn provided a place to dance the night away and indulge in a big breakfast the next morning.

But now the building - which includes the hotel, a pub, a liquor store and a café - is up for sale and will likely be torn down. At a public hearing at the District of North Vancouver July 17, developer PC Urban outlined their plans to start work this October. The company plans to put up a new, LEED-certified building that would include offices and warehouses.

Many of the staff at the Lynnwood Inn have worked there for more than a decade. They've been expecting this change for a while.

"They've seen the changes, they've seen the reduction," said Chris Cotton, who has managed the hotel for over 20 years. "It's just not as busy as it used to be."

The current owner of the Lynnwood Inn, a family-owned business called Prettel Holdings, has been negotiating the deal for around two years.

"I think deep down they would really like to keep it open," said Cotton.

The cost of keeping up an old building have contributed to the slowdown, said Cotton. The building hasn't been renovated in about ten years, and advertises "very reasonable" rates on its website, from $60 to $75 a night.

The graying of the North Shore is another factor.

"I don't think we have as many 20-to 30-year-olds as we used to," said Cotton. "It's an aging population, and pubs are not as busy as they were."

The hotel once housed tourists, fishermen, contract workers, and truckers, who could park their 18-wheelers in its large parking lot. The large 250-seat pub, which had a dance floor, was also a draw for people who wanted to go out and have a good time.

Now, most of the inn's business comes from the liquor store and the café.

The hotel is also home to "three or four" permanent residents who have been living there for over a year.

"They're aware that this is coming, but we don't know when," said Cotton. "They'll be given at least a couple of months notice."

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