Old St. Andrews



The Algonquin and the Province



In 1973 the Algonquin Hotel was purchased by the government of New Brunswick. This was something forced on it. The Hotel had been owned for a few years by a local businessman but running the operation was extremely expensive and when it seemed as though the property might be demolished, the Province felt that for political reasons this bastion of the local economy and this flagship of New Brunswick tourism couldn't be allowed to disappear. Renovation were in order, however, and they were extremely costly. The CPR had installed shared bathrooms for each room. Making en suite bathrooms for each room alone was a major undertaking. In 1973 there was only one television in the building.

More recent renovations have included a conference center along Carleton Street in 1989, and a wing along Prince of Wales in 1991. Since these additions the Algonquin has stayed at least partially open through the winter.

When the Province purchased the Algonquin it hired the CPR back on as managers. The CPR later purchased the Fairmont Hotel chain and added the Algonquin to this list of premier hotels. This was a bit of a misnomer, as the Algonquin traded mainly on its history and its amenities. There was a limit to what the Province could do with the small rooms of the CPR era, and these remain, however upgraded. More recently Fairmont was purchased by Saudi investors and within the last year the Algonquin has been dropped from the Fairmont chain. The Province has expressed a willingness to sell but the old conumdrum will remain - though the hotel is not perhaps a very profitable operation, it cannot be allowed to be torn down. It has become a landmark in the Province and the Maritimes, and seems will remain that way as long as history is a component of the St. Andrews experience.