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'The Ho' is back

"Exciting times are ahead for the property ... we are proud to say that 'The Ho' (Canmore Hotel) is coming back."
Half Hitch
Contractors scrape off Half Hitch Brewing decals off the Canmore Hotel windows on Monday (Aug. 26). JENNA DULEWICH RMO PHOTO

CANMORE – Less than a year after hosting the grand opening of Half Hitch Brewing in Canmore, contractors were scraping decals off the windows on Monday (Aug. 26) in preparation for the grand re-opening of the Canmore Hotel.

"Exciting times are ahead for the property ... we are proud to say that The Ho' is coming back as an affordable place to drink and eat, all while being an energetic venue," wrote Robby Aurora, owner of the Canmore Hotel, in an email.

Re-opened last fall after being shut down for a year and a half for renovations, the 129-year-old historic Canmore Hotel doors are closed once again – for a couple of days – before the grand re-opening this Thursday (Aug. 29) after ownership was transferred back to the Canmore Hotel owners.

Half Hitch Brewing co-founder Kyle Heier, based out of Cochrane, Alta., confirmed the Canmore location will no longer be part of Half Hitch Brewing as of Aug. 29, noting it was a "mutual, amicable decision."

"It was just a matter of lining up our priorities together," Heier explained over the phone.

"It made a lot of sense to continue our support to the Canmore Hotel ownership group while we allow ourselves to focus on things more pertinent to our beer operations."

With four staple Half Hitch beers and seasonal rotating tap, Heier said the company has expanded beer sales to Saskatchewan and British Columbia with their eyes set on United States sales next.

"Beer is our bread and butter. These [future] models are more friendly towards what we are trying to accomplish ... but we learned a lot, it was a great community and we were proud to be able to support community and value and cherish the time we had out there," Heier said.

Known as Canmore's only designated municipal resource and the town's oldest building, Heier also admitted people missed "The Ho's" atmosphere.

"Even when we were operating, people missed the Ho'," he said.

And it was something the Canmore Hotel owners noticed as well.

"Our friends at Half Hitch and the landlord company have mutually agreed to transition operations to the Canmore Hotel company who is bringing back the legacy of the iconic Canmore Hotel bar – 'The Ho.' We received feedback from the local community that they 'love the beer' but 'miss The Ho' and so we listened," Aurora wrote.

"We are bringing back some of the old bar feel and prices, all while being very beer-forward."

In addition to the restaurant, the Main Street building also hosts the Canmore Hotel Hostel with 75 beds in different dorm style accommodations with additional beds in five private bedrooms with prices ranging from $38 to $55 per bed a night and the recently opened Canmore Cannabis Company, which is operating in the back retail store.

The grand re-opening of The Ho', located on Main Street, is kicking off Aug. 29 with a performance from the Hilties band in the evening.