Pine Dale celebrates 30th

By Jurgen Herrmann

In June 1978, Erwin and Luzia Schottroff began the dynasty that was to become the Pine Dale Motor Inn. Erwin and Luzia gave up farming and moved to Grand Bend with their three girls, Mary-Jo, Jackie and Barbara. What was to be a five year stay turned into a lifetime of hard work.
On June 15, 2008 they will have been in business for 30 years with three generations having contributed to the success of the Pine Dale. The inn started out with 23 rooms and eight cottages and remained that way for about four years before the Schottroffs expanded to the 41 rooms, two conference rooms, games room, and licensed lounge now on-site. Guests share meals in the park-like setting out back, and share a drink at the Bavarian pub.
An outdoor swimming pool became an indoor pool when the building was upgraded in 1982, and is now open year round. The saltwater pool hosts swimming lessons, aerobic groups, youth and church groups, and many people simply looking for a casual swim.
The inn has a committed staff, some on the payroll for 26 years. Wherever you see a staff member cleaning rooms, gardening or shoveling tons of snow, the odds are good that you’ll see them working shoulder-to-shoulder with a Schottroff family member.
The Schottroffs believe supporting the community keeps it alive, and that’s one reason they purchase most of the hotel’s supplies locally. Erwin has served on the Chamber of Commerce executive for many years, and was recently awarded the Ontario Volunteer Service Award for 25 years of outstanding volunteerism.
One point of pride is seeing guests who arrived as children return with their own kids for a stay. Family is important at the Pine Dale, and perhaps one day, you’ll see a fourth generation manager running the inn.
To celebrate the Pine Dale’s 30th anniversary, the Schottroffs are hosting an open house at the Inn June 16 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.