<strong>The lounge area</strong> at Willowbank; the hotel with Christian ministry at it's heart is the latest victim of the current economy. <em>*File photo by Jack Garstang</em>
The lounge area at Willowbank; the hotel with Christian ministry at it's heart is the latest victim of the current economy. *File photo by Jack Garstang

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 29: Willowbank Hotel will be shuttering its doors after more than 50 years in business.

Staff were told on September 28 that the hotel will be closing on November 30 for an indefinite period.

Fernance Perry, chairman for the board of trustees for the hotel, said in a press release: "We did not arrive at the above conclusion without giving (sic) it lots of thought and discussions for a considerable period of time. The decision was not made in haste.

“The reason it was not done sooner was because we had always taken into consideration our valued employees and the hardship it would put on each of them."

Mr Perry said the board has no intentions to sell or lease the property.

"We are praying that God will give a clear vision of what Willowbank will be used for. Until such time we will be hiring just enough personnel to maintain the property, including keeping all of the buildings in first class condition.

"We trust the closure of Willowbank will not impose any undue hardships on our staff and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the management and staff publicly for their dedicated years of service and wish them well in their future endeavours." 

Willowbank has always been more than a hotel as it had a Christian ministry at the heart of its mission.

Willowbank’s governing principles are firmly rooted in the historic Christian faith, throughout its history Willowbank has welcomed all visitors, without regard to religious affiliation.

In 2007 Willowbank added a conference centre in an attempt to attract more guests.