Petition organizer tries to save historic Red Deer hotel

The oldest hotel in Red Deer, Alta. may soon be reduced to a pile of rubble.

The oldest hotel in Red Deer, Alta. may soon be reduced to a pile of rubble.

The 110-year-old Arlington Inn has been slated for demolition by the city, which bought the historic building last fall for $1.2 million in order to redevelop it.

Both the city and the province determined the hotel wasn't historically significant enough to be saved.

After the city filed an intention to demolish the building, it had to wait 45 days for an historical evaluation and public feedback, which expired Friday.

Petition organizer Tim Lasiuta has collected 375 signatures asking the city to keep the Arlington Inn intact.

The hotel is still in good shape, he said, and city council hasn't considered enough options for the old hotel.

"It's a very beautiful building on a corner of Red Deer that everybody sees that has lots of life left in it," Lasiuta said.

"[It] has the potential for use for a homeless shelter. Red Deer, like every city, has a large social problem with homelessness, with people needing temporary housing, with all kinds of issues like that and we have a building that they own that is ready to be used."

Lasiuta said city council has been "heavy handed" in its approach to the building

"There's no point in destroying the building that's still habitable, that still looks good. There's so much opposition to this that if there was an election today, it would probably be the number two issue after taxes," he said.

Lasiuta is hoping a local buyer will step forward to keep the Arlington Inn standing.