John Parker & Maureen (Mo) Hutchinson-Parker
We’ve worked together for 35 Years in Hospitality & have been married for 25 years…
We have a combined 84 YEARS in the HOSPITALITY BUSINESS! Wow!!
Time flies when you are having fun!
We’ve owned this place for almost 2 DECADES. Our 18th Season has been incredible & we close for the Season October 15, 2017. We enjoy spending our winters renovating the Motel. Online Reservations have Saved our Souls. The Booking Platform is AMAZING! It keeps track of pricing, room inventory, never allows a double booking, and sends automatic email confirmations. Everything is in writing, and there’s no confusion.
Phone Reservations are a thing of the past.
We only take Online Reservations & Cancellations MUST be made in writing, through Email.
We LOVE the Hospitality Business (It’s not for everyone), and have received many Awards over the years
- American Express Hospitality Award
- Alberta’s Gold Key Hospitality Award
- Multiple Tripadvisor Awards for Best Bargain and Excellence
I grew up in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, John grew up in the Toronto area. We met in 1982 at the Convention Inn Hotel in Edmonton (Now the Delta Inn South). I worked at the Top of the Inn Dining Room for 20 years. John, the Executive Chef of the Hotel worked there for 16 years. Oh how we LOVE and MISS that Hotel & everyone that worked with us.
The Top of the Inn Diningroom staff gave us an AWESOME going away present (Of course it hangs in our Motel Office). The Top of the Inn Dining Room closed shortly after we left. It’s now a Banquet Room. 🙁
Through the 80’s and 90’s, we lived for Travelling and Gambling. We drove through 46 States and 9 Provinces, collecting Casino Chips along the way. Some Chips were FREE, some cost us a FORTUNE. lol!
Playing Blackjack with John was so much fun, that I thought it’d be great to learn how to deal Blackjack for Klondike Days each summer.
We were tired of being happy, so we got married in 1992.
In 1999, we moved back to Ontario to be closer to our families. We enjoyed the Hospitality Industry so much that we decided to “GO ALL IN” and buy the Northern Lights Motel. Our BIGGEST Gamble Ever!
We ran the Motel year round in the first 5 years, and created the “Canadian Snow Gauge” 4 Beer Cases High, in 2003, Years before Social Media and Facebook. We ran the Snow Cam for 13 years!
One time, while going to photograph Black Trout Lake’s ice for the Snowmobilers, we hit Black Ice and slammed into a Rock Cut head on…. was Airborne, then crashed onto the middle of the highway! Yes, we were still smiling because we were unhurt and ALIVE! (We always look at the Positive)
It’s been such an interesting ride in Wawa (Pardon the Pun) – John became quite the handyman and I tried my hand at painting billboards. We were thrilled to have won this award 7 years ago.
Shirley Mills Wrote a nice story about us ~
After the loss of 12 Rooms in the 2012 Disaster, we never thought that we would reach “Review Quotas” for Awards again. But our Guests are amazing and posted a lot of great reviews. We won Best Bargain 2015 and an Excellence award in 2015 & 2016! A big Thank-you to all of our Wonderful Guests that gave us such nice Reviews & have supported us through the Years!
I LOVE photographing the wildlife and I post the pics on our FACEBOOK page.
March 2016 – My photo of Penelope, our Coyote, dons Chalet 2’s kitchen.
April 30, 2017 – I must find a frame for Charlie! Isn’t he so cute? Like the Whack-A-Mole game! lol!
In 2015, I made a couple of videos YouTube Channel
September 2016, I have a NEW OBSESSION! I make puzzles out of my pics on www.jigidi.com
My handle is nlmotel
I’m pretty fast at putting Puzzles together! Try to beat my time!
Our life at the Northern Lights has been through many changes in 17 years. We’ve always accepted our challenges and have never been daunted by them. We continually morph with the times, and figure out how we are going to make this place the best that we can for our valued guests.
We just turned 40 when we bought this place, and for 3 years, we slept with the “Vacancy” on, in our clothes, and allowed highway travellers to door-bell us out of bed for a room. (We look back now and can’t believe it! lol!) When we turned 45, we could stay up till midnight, and then put the “No Vacancy” on and go to bed. We turned 50, and could stay up till 11 PM. We turned 55, and could only stay up till 10 PM. Now that we are reaching 60?? We need to find a “Self Serve” Check-In. LOL! The 16 hour days, 7 days a week are not for SENIORS. (Well, they are only for insane motel owners! Hahaha)
Of course the biggest change here, wasn’t just us going from 39 & 40 years old to SENIORS – It was the flood destroyed 3/4’s of our Business & closed it for a year. The Disaster made the National News and the Trans Canada Highway was closed for a week while they rebuilt it.
At that time, no one thought our business could be saved, so the Ministry of Transportation did not rebuild our entrance. 🙁 It was upsetting, but it didn’t stop us! We rebuilt and renovated EVERYTHING we possible could and SAVED our new and improved “Mini Motel”.
Can you believe it?? July 2017 – 5 years later, we got our Pull Through Parking Lot Back! Yay!
With 12 less Rooms (The equivalent of other “Mom & Pop” Motels), and all of our neighbouring Motels, gone….. We will continue to morph this place and we plan to be here for many more years to come!