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Laker folds MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2010
ess than six months after it opened its doors, the Chestermere Laker has ceased operations. “It was a tough decision to shut it down,” said co-owner and publisher Mike D’Amour. “But at this moment, it’s the right decision.” D’Amour said the paper had been “bleeding” cash and there were no Band-aids in sight. Still it was a difficult decision to abandon his vision of opening the Chestermere paper. “I really did dream of opening this paper and it was a thrill when my fiancé (Sandy McKinlay) and actually did it,” D’Amour said. “But, you know you when put
tens and tens of thousands of your own dollars into something and it doesn’t work, you have to cut your line before you get dragged overboard and drown.” D’Amour said he was grateful to the Chestermere businesses that supported the upstart community paper. “But simply put, we were unable to sell the amount of ads we needed to stay afloat.” A stressed economy and the inability to lure qualified commissioned sales people were other contributing factors in the decision to close the Laker, said D’Amour. Yet the rookie publisher said he took personal responsibility for the paper’s demise.
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“I said it before, I made every known business mistake out there and probably invented a few more,” he said. “I guess as a businessman, I was a pretty good reporter.” In all, the Laker put out just 15 issues from July to November. “I know that wasn’t a whole lot, but I was, for the most part, proud of what we did,” said D’Amour also praised the work of Laker reporter Mickey Dumont and sales rep Michelle Woodruff. “I could not have asked for better people,” he said. D’Amour also had high praise for the columnists inside the Laker’s pages.
“(Organizing Guru) Lynne Ring, Rick Dennis (of Lights, camera, action!) and, most recently, (crime writer) Pete Smith, are all fantastic and I truly hope they’re picked up by other papers.” For now, D’Amour said he plans to return to Vancouver Island to “lick my wounds” and decide what to do next. “But tell our readers not to count me out just yet,” he said. “If there’s one good thing about making mistakes it’s the opportunity to learn from them and I learned a lot. “You never know, I just may be back in a couple of years.”
— Chestermere Laker staff
Published on Nov 22, 2010