Turkey Point Hotel under new ownership

TURKEY POINT — The Turkey Point Hotel is under new management.MacDonald Turkey Point Marina moved quickly to acquire the property after learning that Dick and Mabel Assel – owners of the popular entertainment establishment since 1961 – were preparing to retire.The MacDonald family recognized that developers would find the 1.22-acre property attractive and worried it might be demolished to make way for condominiums. The MacDonalds struck a deal and have leased management of the facility to a local but as-yet unnamed restaurateur.“It’s a beautiful property,” Danny MacDonald said Tuesday. “Developers would’ve been lined up with deposits for it.”In a news release, Josh MacDonald said “We are looking to preserve the traditions that make the hotel the hotel. The last thing we wanted was a developer to sneak in, buy this and then turn it into condos. The hotel is important for this town.”An announcement on the new management is pending. Danny MacDonald said a lease has been negotiated, adding the partner will be responsible for food, drink and entertainment “lock, stock and barrel.”“People will be pleased when they hear who it is,” he said. “He has a ton of experience and operates a favourite restaurant in the area.”The vision for the Turkey Point Hotel was provided by Vittoria tobacco farmer Alois “Louie” Assel.When the Assel family acquired the property in 1961, the former Charlotteville Township was dry. The hotel and the 12 cottages on site slept 108 people a night and was popular with anglers and hunters.Son Larry Assel  of Vittoria said his late father organized an alcohol plebiscite for the township so he could obtain a liquor permit. The plebiscite was successful and the good times have rolled ever since.Management of the facility fell to older brother Dick Assel and his wife Mabel. They’ve parted with the property after more than 50 years at the helm.Many great music acts got their start in Turkey Point or passed through the cottage community on their way to stardom. This week, Dick Assel says his memory of them is a bit foggy but he’s sure a good time was had by all.“There were a lot of good parties,” he said. “I had a number of musicians do their first shows here before they went on to the top in North America. I’m sure the parties will go on. It will be great.”[email protected]

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