Iconic Saskatoon hotel general manager set to retire

Watch above: Long-time Bessborough Hotel general manager checks out

SASKATOON – The Delta Bessborough is an iconic building in Saskatoon and over the decades the historical hotel has seen a number of managers come and go.

Another one is set to retire at the end of the month.

“At its core it’s about people looking after people,” said Andrew Turnbull.

Turnbull worked his way up from front desk clerk at the Royal York Hotel in Toronto to eventually become the general manager of the Bessborough.

After 32 years and three stops in the industry, Turnbull is calling it a career.

“As beautiful as it is from an architectural stand point, it’s really the people that bring it to life at the end of the day; it’s those relationships I think are truly meaningful,” he said.

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In his almost 15 years at the Bess, he is one of the longest serving GMs in the hotel’s history.

When he arrived back in 2000, the hotel industry was a bit disjointed in Saskatoon and he helped turn it around.

“I think we really set the tone for how a heritage hotel can have a more contemporary feel without detracting from its natural roots,” explained Turnbull.

As a send off, it’s hotel tradition for his name to join the likes of John G. Diefenbaker and past staff in the rafters of the Bessborough.

“We all come and go but Andrew has been special, he’s been here to guide us through some great years of the hotel and he’s even given, me personally, the opportunity to grow,” said Stefan Deprez, the hotel’s sales and marketing director.

“He’s been very supportive in celebrating the history and preserving the history of this hotel, he’s left us at a good time in a good place.”

Raising his family is part of what drew Turnbull to Saskatoon and family is what’s taking him back to Ontario.

He and his wife bought a heritage property in Collingwood, Ont.. It predates any of the hotels he’s worked at but Saskatchewan will hold a special place in his heart and he will be back; they’re keeping their cottage at Emerald Lake.

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Turnbull’s last day as GM of the Delta Bessborough is Oct. 31.