April 20, 2017

ABLE BC extends our sincere congratulations to the winners of the inaugural BC Hospitality Industry Awards, presented at SUMMIT 2017 on April 3, 2017 in Victoria. These awards recognize the province’s most exceptional hoteliers, liquor retailers, and publicans. Recipients were nominated by their peers for their outstanding contributions to their communities, leadership in business, and the inspiring impact they have had on our industry.

This year’s award winners are:

Liquor Retailer of the Year: Paul Rickett, Bowen Island Beer and Wine Cellar

With all the changing liquor laws, running a great liquor store while turning a profit can be daunting. But the 2016 Liquor Retailer of the Year makes it look easy. That’s probably why nearly half of the nominations our nominations committee received were for this business.

Partly, it’s because Bowen Island Beer and Wine Cellar is just a great retail store. Although it’s a small footprint, the store has a wide product selection, expanded craft beer and cider sections, regular product tastings and events, knowledgeable and friendly staff, and most importantly a reputation for going above and beyond for customers. But it’s also that Paul Rickett takes real pride in his business and is heavily involved in his community and the industry at large. He’s a huge supporter of BC’s wine industry and is committed to promoting local products and teaching his customers about them. In 2017, the store is expanding so he can further increase product selection and host more events, tastings, and festivals. We can’t wait to see what he does.

Publican of the Year: Paul Doherty, The Blarney Stone Irish Tavern in Big White

Pubs are a tough business. In today’s changing marketplace, getting customers in seats seems to be getting harder every day. Our nominations committee was thoroughly impressed by Paul Doherty’s ability to find the Blarney’s Stone niche so they could thrive in the challenging seasonal resort environment, and of course by the pub’s impressive Guinness sales on St. Patrick’s Day. We are excited to see what 2017 will bring for the Blarney Stone.

The BC Hotel Association also presented the following BC Hospitality Industry Awards:

Hotelier of the Year: Michelle LeSage, Oak Bay Beach Hotel

Hotelier of the Century: Terry Farmer, Stay’n Save/Accent Inns

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