Iconic Last Chance Saloon goes up for sale
CALGARY -- The hamlet of Wayne, Alta. isn't what it once was. In its heyday, it boasted nearly 2,500 residents and 12 coal mines. It now claims 29 residents.
But the old saloon built in 1913 has operated continuously, and long after the last miner moved on, it still hosts motorcycle rallies, a music festival and campground.
Now it's up for sale.
The Last Chance Saloon is listed for $925,000 and comes complete with historic artifacts, tall tales, ghost stories and no end of lore.
The sale will also include the attached Rosedeer Hotel, built by the Rosedeer Coal Company to help house miners.
At one time the beer parlour would be packed with hard working and sometimes hard fighting miners, leading to its long ago nick-name "The Bucket of Blood Saloon."
It's more of a family friendly roadhouse now, but that tough character lingered for decades. There are still three large bullet holes in the wall, fired from a revolver in the 1970s by a bartender named Lawrence who was fed up with a belligerent patron who refused to pay their tab.
As the story goes, the bar tab was promptly paid while the patron's ears were still ringing and gun smoke hung in the air.
Owner Dave Arsenault said he'll be sad to see it go. He bought the business in 2013 and said he's always felt a responsibility to keep the stories and the history alive. While the pandemic has taken a bite out of business, he's adamant it had no bearing on his decision to sell.
Loyal customers, along with a few new ones, still roll through at a steady pace on nice days. Arsenault said he hopes to give the eventual new owners a hand to keep his dream going and the legendary Alberta saloon pouring suds and creating memories for many years to come.