Check out the first Billy Barker Inn announcement:CLICK HERE
"Smart Hotel Draws Wide Interest"
Boasting private bath and telephone service in all 30 of the guest rooms the Billy Barker Inn first opened its doors for business in May of 1961. Designed by architect Lynn Fonseca for a group of Prince George businessmen the new hotel was touted as "one of the finest of its type in the entire central interior" and showcased many modern conveniences of the day.
Read the opening announcement from the Cariboo Observer: CLICK HERE
As an odd part to the announcements at the opening of the hotel the phone numbers of the day did not fit with the now accepted seven digit norm. The Billy Barker Inn's phone number at its opening was listed as "1052", and the Prince George company that supplied the glass for the hotel listed its phone number as "LO 4-8881"
"Every Modern Cooking Aid"
It wouldn't have been much of a stretch of the imagination for 1961 Quesnel to believe that the kitchen at the newly constructed hotel was something straight out of one of the finest hotels in the New York, London or Paris complete with a chef of international renown.
With special soup warmers and electric meat slicers the focus was then (as it is now), on ensuring that the guests and patrons of the restaurant and banquet facilities were treated to the best in culinary delights served from a state-of-the-art facility.
Read a newspaper story about the chef and the facility: CLICK HERE
Attention to Details
Designed as a show piece, the original hotel was fitted and decorated with all that the time had to offer. And there was no shortage of creative language used to describe these exciting new features.
Read about some of the features of the new hotel: CLICK HERE
A New Era Begins
In 1963 the Billy Barker Inn was sold to local man Jack A. Moffat. Mr Moffat came most recently from the Coldwater Hotel in Merrit and before that the Fort Hotel in Fort St. John but was, coincidently, born in a house that once stood across the corner from the hotel.
Mr Moffat had at one time been interested in building a hotel on the property across Barlow Avenue from the Billy Barker Inn (the current location of the Provincial Courthouse), but withdrew the plan when it drew public criticism because of its proximity to the school next-door.
A New Owner and a New Floor
By September of 1965 a need for growth in the rapidly growing community was in the air. So with a new owner and a new outlook the Billy Barker Inn embarked on it's first major expansion since opening.
Read the takeover notice: CLICK HERE
The Hotel has been owned by the current owners since the late 70's.
The Billy Barker Casino originally opened as the Royal Casino in Jan. 1987. This was one of the first charity casinos that operated in the province. Renovations and expansions started in the summer of 1999. The exterior was remodeled to resemble a Paddlewheel ship similar to those that plied the Fraser River up until 1920.
The entire hotel is set up to offer an atmosphere conducive to a relaxing enjoyable gaming experience.