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The Seagull Mishap That Got A Hotel Guest Banned for 17 Years

The Seagull Mishap That Got A Hotel Guest Banned for 17 Years
Jeff Edwards

Nick Burchill freely admits that he is responsible for trashing a luxury hotel room, but after nearly two decades, he has finally convinced management there was a perfectly innocent explanation.

Nick Burchill took to social media on March 31, to gleefully announce that he had received a “pardon” from the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC. Burchill had been banned from the property following what he describes as, a “string of unfortunate events” in 2001.

In a letter asking for the hotel’s forgiveness, Burchill recounted the unlikely saga that led him to become persona non grata at the waterfront hotel. Years later, the hotel staff is finally ready to laugh about the tale of how a new job, a reunion with navy buddies and a poorly chosen souvenir snack food led to absolute mayhem in a fourth floor room.

Burchill explained that the business trip to Victoria with his new job also afforded him the opportunity to reunite with navy buddies while in town. As a gesture, he brought along an entire suitcase filled with “Brothers Pepperoni” for his former shipmates who didn’t have access to the favorite Halifax regional treat which was not at the time available on the west coast.

Faced with a lack of proper refrigeration, Burchill made the fateful decision to spread the wrapped pepperoni in front of an open window on a brisk April day in the hope of keeping the meat at a safe temperature. When he returned to his room several hours later, he immediately realized his mistake.

“I remember walking down the long hall and opening the door to my room to find an entire flock of seagulls in my room,” Burchill wrote in his plea for clemency. “I didn’t have time to count, but there must have been 40 of them and they had been in my room, eating pepperoni for a long time. In case you were wondering, Brothers’ TNT Pepperoni does NASTY things to a seagull’s digestive system.”

Burchill soon learned that startling a flock of spicy-sausage-gorged-seagulls with over-strained digestive systems is not a good idea. The resulting damage to hotel property became the stuff of legends.

“They immediately started flying around and crashing into things as they desperately tried to leave the room through the small opening by which they had entered,” he explained. “Less composed seagulls are attempting to leave through the other CLOSED windows. The result was a tornado of seagull excrement, feathers, pepperoni chunks and fairly large birds whipping around the room.”

As Burchill surveyed the damage and shooed the remaining seagulls out through now open windows, he couldn’t have guessed that things were about to get much worse.

One particularly stubborn seagull was determined to stay until the entire meat buffet was finished. A spine-chilling battle between man and seabird ensued – the result of which was a towel-covered seagull, a substantial portion of pepperoni and one of Burchill’s shoes nearly hitting hotel guests walking to tea four stories below.

Unfortunately, Burchill’s tale of woe didn’t end there. After retrieving his only matching dress shoe from the ground and finding himself already late to an important business dinner for his brand-new job, Burchill attempted to quickly clean his battle-worn shoes. In his haste to dry the footwear, he managed to drop a hair dryer into the sink, knocking power out to a portion of the hotel.

At this point, he had no choice but to fess up to the rather hard-to-explain predicament he found himself in. He sheepishly asked for “someone to come help me clean-up a mess” in a rather tense phone conversation with the front desk.

“I can still remember the look on the lady’s face when she opened the door,” Burchill recalled. “I had absolutely no idea what to tell her, so I just said ‘I’m sorry’ and I went to dinner.”

[Photo: Shutterstock]

View Comments (5)


  1. GetSetJetSet

    April 4, 2018 at 7:16 am


  2. eng3

    April 4, 2018 at 8:30 am

    I guess that’s why windows should have screens. though I dont know if that would really stop a seagull

  3. howtofreetravel

    April 5, 2018 at 5:00 am

    how much should you tip the maid for that?

  4. 2lovelife

    April 5, 2018 at 10:26 pm

    You realize this is a abricated social media story, right?

  5. chrisny2

    April 14, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    @2lovelife : I think he realizes this since the first words of the story are: “Nick Burchill took to social media on March 31, to gleefully announce…”

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