Surrey’s infamous Flamingo Hotel faces last call

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Flamingo Hotel
Developer Charan Sethi hammers into Flamingo Hotel demolition | Photo: Charan Sethi

The infamous Flamingo Hotel and its associated strip bar and lounge in Surrey’s Whalley neighbourhood was demolished June 23 to make room for a trio of condominium towers.

Since 2005, Tien Sher Group of Companies and its president Charan Sethi have been sparking redevelopment in Whalley with a series of mixed-use new home condominium developments in the blocks around King George Highway and 108th Street.

Tien Sher celebrated the dramatic next phase of redevelopment by holding a neighborhood farewell party on the block containing the historically notorious Flamingo Hotel, Pancho’s and Leftys’ and The Byrd exotic bar.

“We have been rebuilding Whalley for the last 13 years and we are now taking the next step of the revitalization with three iconic towers which will visibly welcome visitors and residents into Surrey City Center as they drive up King George Highway from the Pattullo Bridge,” Sethi said as he balanced a hammer at the site. “We’ve designed a walkable community to bring 3,000-plus residents and a number of new businesses to the neighbourhood where you can live, shop and work.”

The demolition drew Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and about 200 local citizens. Pyrotechnics erupted as McCallum took the first blow at the Flamingo with a backhoe. 

Heavy machinery and sledgehammers continued the demolition of what had included one of the last stripper bars in the Lower Mainland.

The Flamingo was built in 1955 and the Byrd review opened in the mid-70s. The entire complex was closed down last February.