Ferry loss will hurt hotel chain
Eastern Canada's largest privately owned hotel chain is worried about the impact the loss of the ferry between Nova Scotia and Maine will have on all its operations.
Rodd Hotels and Resorts has nine establishments across the Maritimes, including the Grand Yarmouth. CEO Ian Hurst told CBC News Tuesday there are hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake, and many jobs.
"We have a huge concern for our staff, and for their welfare," said Hurst, adding layoffs are inevitable.
"The last thing we want to do is to go that route, but with an $840,000 revenue loss you have no choice."
The Nova Scotia government has refused to provide $6 million in funding to Bay Ferries Ltd., operators of the CAT high-speed ferry between Yarmouth and Bar Harbor and Portland. The company says it cannot continue without that assistance.
The local tourism industry is expected to be hit hard.
Hurst said the loss of revenue in Yarmouth will hit the whole chain, including the $2.3-million renovation currently underway at the Rodd Royalty in Charlottetown.
The federal government should step in to save the ferry service, Hurst said. P.E.I.'s representative in cabinet, Egmont MP Gail Shea, said she hasn't heard any suggestions of that yet.
"The decision was made by the Nova Scotia government, if I'm not mistaken, to pull the funding for that ferry service," she said.
"I haven't been approached on the issue. That's all I can say."
Hurst plans to actively lobby both levels of government to help subsidize the ferry service.