Squamish's former Chieftain Hotel gets a facelift

Iconic Cleveland Avenue sign comes down — for now

On May 23, a well-known face left its post on the (former) Chieftain Hotel in Squamish — but not for long.

Chad Hubbs, the general manager of the newly rebranded Crash Hotel Squamish, said the Chieftain sign will be the face of the hotel again in a month once the neon lights have been restored and the new name added.

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"We want to pay homage to the history of the Chieftain. The sign's not technically a historical item, but we are trying to work with the city and make sure it goes back up to its original neon and some of the original aspects of it," Hubbs said, adding they want to keep the community happy.

The Chieftain opened to the public in January 1958, according to the Squamish Historical Society's Bianca Peters.

It was erected after the Newport Hotel, which was built in 1911, burned down.

The hotel on Cleveland Avenue is now in the hands of new owners, who have been renovating the local bar and rooms. While Hubbs couldn't share too much about the bar's facelift, he said half of the hotel rooms have already been refurbished and are themed.

"From Manning Park, we bought one of their old ski lifts," Hubbs said. "We bought from thrift shops here, some old skis and snowboards that are up on the wall."

The ski-themed room is joined by a mountain bike-themed room, and some murals painted by local artists.

The new owners have another hotel branch in Edmonton with the same name. They have businesses in Vancouver, and Hubbs said they were drawn to Squamish.

"We've always liked Squamish for the growth and potential in this town. Just love the location," he said. "We definitely want to be part of the community."

They hope to be finished renovations by early July.

Source: Squamish Historical Society


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