Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com
Raymond Nadeau, general manager of the Victoria Inn, stands in a hotel room to show its condition. Rumours circulating the city state that many of these rooms had been trashed by Kashechewan evacuees staying at the hotel. The rumours, which are completely untrue, prompted the hotel to take media on a tour of the facility in hopes of stopping them from spreading.
THUNDER BAY -- Rumours that Kashechewan evacuees caused upwards of $130,000 in damages to a local hotel are completely false, says the hotel manager.
Reports began flooding social media networks recently, including Facebook and Twitter. The rumours were so widespread that Victoria Inn general manager Raymond Nadeau gave local media a tour of the hotel Friday morning.
As many as 600 Kashechewan First Nation residents have been temporarily living in Thunder Bay after their community was flooded and have taken up residency at the Victoria Inn. Through social media many of those evacuees have been accused of smashing television sets, destroying hotel carpets and beds among other things.
"The level of damage is equivalent to that of any busy business period we normally experience," said Nadeau, denying the validity of rumours of trashed hotel rooms.
The type of damage that regularly occurs can range from ripped wallpaper to children colouring on the walls and spilled pop on carpets.
There has been one window broken recently, but Nadeau said many windows have been broken since he's worked at the Victoria Inn.
"When we're talking about $130,000 worth of damage, it is nowhere near that," he said, adding it's normal wear and tear on a facility that size, something the hotel would be dealing with whether or not evacuees were residing there.
"I would be hard-pressed at this particular time to say I've had over $1,000 worth of reportable damage to the hotel."
Cleaning the carpets and window repairs are part of the hotel's normal operating practice and Nadeau said he hasn't made any claims for damages.
"I did have an incident that a young child kicked over an ashtray and that was compensated from her parents and that was to the tune of around $50 in damages," he said.
Nadeau said he couldn't imagine what $130,000 in damage would even look like when the full renovation of the hotel's lobby, including the main floor corridors, would cost about $250,000.