Trailblazing hotelier Bob Pomeroy mourned

Bob Pomeroy, who built a hotel empire throughout the B.C. and Alberta Peace regions, has died. The founder of Pomeroy Lodging died June 11 at the age of 72.

"Bob will forever be remembered for his passion, tenacity, and living the entrepreneurial dream; and for Bob, no dream was too big," family said in his obituary. "Bob was a known trailblazer in the hospitality industry and, over the years, built a legacy that will continue to live on in his name."

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The Pomeroy name has long had ties to the hospitality industry in the Peace region.

It started in 1941 when Ralph Pomeroy bought and opened the first Pomeroy Hotel in Fort St. John at 100 Street and 100 Avenue.

Bob, Ralph's nephew, would follow in those footsteps, building the foundation of Pomeroy Lodging as it is today more than 30 years ago. 

He began his career in 1983, as manager of the Holiday Inn in Fort St. John. In 1994, he bought his first hotel in Grande Prairie — the Igloo Inn.

"Seeing a great opportunity to differentiate himself in the industry, he pioneered the first continental breakfast and sharing of market intelligence with his competitors," reads the program for the 2018 Western Canadian Lodging Conference.

By 2006, the company had rooted itself with headquarters and an extended stay hotel in Grande Prairie.

Bob appointed his son Ryan as president of the company to oversee operations while he handled the buying, selling, and building of properties. The two focused the company's growth in the oil and gas markets in northeast B.C. and northwest Alberta, and revived the Pomeroy Hotel brand in Fort St. John in 2008.

Bob and Ryan Pomeroy at the Chances Fort St. John grand opening in 2008. -

Today, the company has a portfolio of some 2,500 rooms with 24 properties throughout the B.C. and Alberta Peace, as well as destination hotels in Alaska and Kananaskis. Pomeroy won a number of industry awards as a developer and operator.

An online tribute site has been launched for Pomeroy as a formal funeral can't be held at this time due to COVID. Those tributes have already started pouring in.

Tara Neighbour remembered how Pomeroy sponsored her when she was playing volleyball for Grande Prairie Regional College.

"My mom started working as his assistant not long after that and I truly learned the great man that he was," she wrote. "And the hard times he went through to get to where he did. He was a down to earth, big hearted man."

Laura Lindsay recalled Pomeroy's love for horses. They used to work together at the Pomeroy Arabians Stables in Grande Prairie.

"It was during the open house, I remember Bob walking people throughout the stables and telling everybody what horses were what and what they have won," Lindsay wrote. "It was awesome to see he loved and cared about his horses. They were definitely not just a nice thing for him, they really meant something to him. I loved seeing that."

Bob Pomeroy during a lead line class. He was remembered for his love of horses. -

Pomeroy was predeceased by his sister Marie, son Tim, father Ross, and his mother Martha.

He is survived by his children Kim, Ryan, Connor, and his partner Teela, her son Daxton and their daughter Kingsley, as well as eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and two sisters.

"To say Bob was larger than life is an understatement," family said.

"His presence filled a room, and people from all walks of life were naturally drawn to him. The impact he has made here on earth to his many friends and family is simply immeasurable, and we are left with countless special memories and moments that we will cherish for a lifetime. Throughout his extraordinary life and his many different ventures, but his greatest accomplishment was always his family."

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