Mission’s iconic landmark, the Bellevue Hotel, has been confirmed sold by owner Brad Fletcher, meaning it will change hands from a Fletcher to somebody outside the family for the first time in nearly 80 years.
The hotel has been in the clan since 1935 when Brad’s grandparents, George and Mildred Fletcher, operated the Bellevue Lodge, consisting of 16 rooms and a cafe.
Then in 1948-49 the hotel was completely rebuilt and the structure as it currently looks opened on July 27, 1949.
Brad says he didn’t go looking for a buyer or decide to put the landmark up for sale himself. He was approached by a realtor who had clients interested in purchasing the hotel, though he would not yet reveal their names.
“There was a large number of reasons that, when combined, persuaded me to sell the business. Among the more prominent factors were, the building is 63 years old and a challenge to maintain; the bar business has been in decline for a number of years and I believe that trend will continue; I did not think it was a good career for my daughter to become involved in,” he said.
Brad will continue to operate the Bellevue until June 1 and the new owners will take over operations on June 2. He said they will continue to operate the business as is for the time being, though they will be relocating the liquor store to a new location in the future.
When asked about the legacy his family leaves behind by changing hands, Brad was modest.
“I’m not sure if it’s a legacy, but the fact is for the past 75 years anyone who stopped into the hotel could probably find a member of my family. All three generations were “hands on” operators; my grandparents lived in the building, as did my father (Bob) for a number of years.”
Although Brad doesn’t live at the hotel, he spends a lot of days and evenings there and said loyal patrons have already told him that it will be strange to visit the hotel without coming into contact with a Fletcher.
Brad doesn’t have any immediate plans once the hotel changes hands, but will spend his winters in Arizona where he has a second home, and his summers in Mission.
He plans to have a “Nostalgia Day” celebration on Saturday, May 26 when people can come and share in the memories of the Fletcher family’s business and old photographs will be put on display.