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This northern Ontario hotel sticks vehicles in the parking lot snowbank each year

People who drive by the Quality Inn in New Liskeard, Ont., will be welcomed by this unique display. (Submitted by Sean Mackey - image credit)
People who drive by the Quality Inn in New Liskeard, Ont., will be welcomed by this unique display. (Submitted by Sean Mackey - image credit)

For the third year in a row, a northern Ontario hotel has found a unique way to promote itself, and the town of New Liskeard.

People who drive past the Quality Inn on Highway 11 this winter will see four vehicles jammed into a giant snowbank, with a sign that reads "Try our new valet parking!"

"It is great advertising for the hotel but that's definitely not, not the reason why we do it," said Sean Mackey, the hotel's general manager and co-owner.

"Not very often can you be driving by and see, you know, four vehicles jammed into a snowbank. The highest one is probably a good 15 feet off the ground."

Mackey said he enjoys seeing the reactions, and laughter, from passersby when they spot his annual displays.

The first year Mackey and his team decided to create a roadside attraction in the hotel parking lot, they found a van that was no longer roadworthy and used an excavator to place it in a snowbank.

"We just put it in there as a bit of a gag," Mackey said.

"I knew it was unique, but didn't think we would get the coverage that we've gotten. I mean, last year we made, you know, the national news."

Supplied by Sean Mackey
Supplied by Sean Mackey

The next year they were inspired by the 1989 movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and put an old recreational vehicle in a snowbank. That display also included a fuel line and cardboard cutout of the character, Cousin Eddie.

Mackey said for this winter's display used a couple of old company cars that were no longer driveable. A local business, Loach's Radiator Service, also supplied them with a couple of scrap vehicles.

Mackey added that every year, people have been respectful of the displays, and have kept a safe distance.

"We drive by three or four times a day just to make sure that the vehicles are safe and are not going to fall on onto someone," he said.

In the spring, when the snowbank eventually melts, and he said the vehicles end up sitting safely on the ground.