Beer throne erected as rural hotel owners take protest to legislature
It was more than a game of thrones Monday when the province’s rural hotel owners took their fight for survival to the steps of the Manitoba legislature.
"Our sales are fine and we sustain a strong business, but the province just takes too much,” said Angelo Mondragon, president of the Manitoba Rural Hotel Association.
In protest, the association erected a throne made from beer bottles and boxes on the steps of the legislature.
Leading up to the cardboard construction, handmade tombstone steps with the word “hotel” written on each.
Mondragon said liquor and gaming contributes $580 million to the province, but hotels in communities outside Winnipeg continue to close.
He said the province takes too much from liquor sales and beverage room VLTs.
"A strong business that is growing, that is encouraging people to move back to the rural areas, to work the farms and things like that is better for the province," said Mondragon.
The Hotel and Beverage Room in Holland closed earlier this month.
Mondragon said not long ago, Manitoba was losing a rural hotel every six weeks.
He said the province is their regulator, supplier and competition.