Lethbridge travel entrepreneur, former alderman Steve Kotch dead at 73 – The Lethbridge Herald – Alberta News

Lethbridge travel entrepreneur, former alderman Steve Kotch dead at 73 – The Lethbridge Herald – Alberta News


By Mabell, Dave on March 30, 2017.

Stephen Kotch was announcing to the media plans for the 53rd annual Christmas Lights Tour in this file photo from December 2015. Herald file photo by Tijana Martin

Dave Mabell

Lethbridge Herald

dmabell@lethbridgeherald.com

Pioneering Lethbridge travel agent and Disneyland tour conductor Steve Kotch has died.

Best known as organizer of the city’s Christmas lights tour – for more than 50 years – the entrepreneur died in hospital here Tuesday, at the age of 73 years.

Family members in the U.S. say funeral arrangements will be announced when completed.

Then known as Stephen Kotch Jr., he took over the family’s transportation business at age 20, when his father died young in 1964. His grandfather, the first Stephen Frederick Kotch, opened a limousine “touring car” business here in 1927.

Later, with coal mines operating north and west of the city, he started Lethbridge Northern Bus Lines and ran commuter service to mining communities as far north as Picture Butte and Turin.

Branching into the bus tour business, the family added long-distance ighway coaches and organized family-oriented tours across Canada and the U.S.

Steve Kotch Jr. opened Exotic International Travel Agencies here in 1969, booking airline and cruise ship travel and accommodations.He was also one of Western Canada’s first to offer holiday travel in tall-windowed luxury Prevost coaches built in Quebec.

Kotch was a member of Lethbridge City Council from 1969 to 1974, when he ran unsuccessfully for the mayor’s office. At the same time, he was a director of the organization that brought the Canada Winter Games to Lethbridge in…



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