Family-owned-and-operated Super 8 changes hands

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For 44 years, the Super 8 Motel in Port Elgin has been family-owned-and-operated.

Andy Kuperus immigrated to Canada at the age of 19.  As a home-builder he found employment but, according to daughter Jennifer, had always wanted to have a motel and, when the Super 8 became available in Port Elgin, he took the leap.

In 1979, they purchased the motel in Port Elgin and, Jennifer, a child at the time, remembers that their living quarters were part of the motel. “We would be in the living room and watch as people came in to register. My parents worked 24/7 because we lived and worked at the motel.”

What began as a 24 room motel is, today, with three additions, a 55-room facility with an indoor pool and spa.

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Daughter Jennifer, went on to a career as a teacher, teaching French, but returned after marrying Tom Evans from Stratford.  Together, the couple became involved in the operation of the motel, taking it over for some 22 years.

The couple has two daughters, one who lives in the Ottawa Valley with the couple’s six-year-old grandson and the other who lives in Toronto and is part of the music industry.

“We realized the kids are not interested in taking over the business so we decided it was time to sell,” said Jennifer Evans. “We are still young and active and want to move on in life, although we don’t know yet what we want to do.  We do know that we will not be leaving Port Elgin – it’s home.”

Each is involved in their own activities.  Tom belongs to the local Masonic chapter and the Sportsmen’s Association while Jennifer is involved with PRANCE equestrian riding for those who are challenged, and supports the maintenance of one of the horses.

A company of three partners, from Burlington, has purchased the Super 8 property with the stipulation that staff is retained.  “We were very particular when it came to potential new owners,” said Jennifer.  “We explicitly had it written into the sale agreement that staff would be retained.  Our family has always been hands-on when it came to the Motel.  The  new owners however are not on-site, as they own several properties from Sudbury to New Brunswick, and are quite happy to keep all the staff on as they basically run the business.  The staff will ensure that service will stay the same for customers, some of whom have been coming here for 30 years.”