Smart Hotel Draws Wide Interest

May 11, 1961History

From the Cariboo Observer

A fine new addition to the business section of Quesnel, and one that will be more than welcomed by the travelling public, went into operation late last week with the opening of the Billy Barker Inn, at the corner of McLean Street and Barlow Avenue.

Designed by Lynn Fonseca for a group of Prince George business men, the new building is one of the finest of its type in the entire central interior.

Co-owners of the new hotel, which has been under construction since last fall, are Lawley Carrelli, Reno Berdusco, Fred Tasluk and Don Gillis, and the business will operate under the name of Barker Holdings Ltd. All members of the company have a background in hotel business dating back 30 years or more.

The two-storey structure has 30 guest rooms located on the upper floor, all with private bath and telephone. Most rooms are furnished with twin beds. There is an executive suite combining three rooms which offers facilities for business conferences, and a smaller room that is also suitable for such a gathering.

Wall-to-wall carpeting has been used exclusively throughout the upper floor, with the exception of the tiled bathrooms. Pastel tones have been used in the room decoration with contrasting draperies and bedspreads.

The ground floor houses a spacious lobby, lounge, beverage rooms, coffee shop and dining room. Sample rooms and a special banquet room with accommodation for 250 are located in the basement, which is completely air-conditioned to provide a maximum of ventilation.

Special facilities have been installed for the transfer of food from the ground floor kitchen to the banquet room.

In the initial opening last week, only the coffee shop and room service were in operation, but all facilities are expected to be available by next week.

As early visitors and guests called in last week workmen were still quietly moving about the building, adding a finishing touch here and there and making final furniture arrangements.

Throughout the entire construction and furnishing every endeavor was made to use BC and Canadian products. Local labor was also utilized to the fullest extent and the construction program that continued throughout the winter months did much to ease the unemployment situation here.

The building itself is an L-shaped structure erected around a steel frame with masonry walls on the north and east exposures. Outside walls on the west and south are a combination of stucco, tile and rock veneer up to the second floor level. From there up ranch-wall siding has been applied.

A natural gas hot-air system supplies heating for the building and the same duct system can be utilized for air-conditioning the entire building during the summer months. A combination of diffused and indirect lighting has been used in all public rooms on the ground floor, producing a subdued effect that dispels any hint of dimness.

Special attention was paid to the sound-proofing so that guests might be afforded the utmost privacy. Double wall construction was a feature of the upper floor finishing, and noise has been reduced to an absolute minimum throughout the entire building.

During building of the hotel Barker Holdings Ltd. acted as their own contractors, with Tom Ryan engaged as general foreman on the project.

Principals in the new project made a careful survey of the town before embarking on their new project. They are convinced that the future of Quesnel warrants the facilities they have provided, and they feel confident that the new Billy Barker Inn will prove still another attraction that will draw an increasing number of visitors to the town.