Hotel construction to start this month
Business: 82-room Best Western project has been years in the making
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 01:43 pm
It’s been many years in the making, but work on an Okotoks Best Western hotel will finally get underway later this month.
The hotel’s owners have revealed they are planning to break ground on the project on March 20.
Hotel co-owner Roanne Bodnarchuk said there’s a great need for another hotel in town, particularly to support the growing “sports tourism” market in the area. As a regular billet for the Okotoks Dawgs, she has often heard about the need for another hotel.
“The feedback from the billets has been, ‘There’s nowhere for our parents and our families to stay,’” she said. “We started looking into it four years ago after we had our first billet.”
Located next to Costco on Okotoks’ east side, the full-service hotel will boast 82 rooms, a banquet facility, indoor pool, waterslide and meeting rooms. There will also be a restaurant in a separate building on the site and Bodnarchuk said they are working to attract an “upscale” restaurant name.
The Okotoks resident and her husband Greg own BWO Hospitality Inc., which is developing the project.
It has been a lengthy planning process that began several years ago.
The Okotoks Municipal Planning Commission (MPC) approved the proposed Best Western in November 2011.
The developers had one year to meet a number of conditions set out by the MPC and they received an extension in November 2012 giving them until the end of June 2013 to meet the conditions of the approval.
The developers still have a number of steps left to complete before they can break ground.
Okotoks planning officer Wendy Cardiff said a development permit will be issued once the development agreement for the hotel is submitted to the Town and executed.
Bodnarchuck said the final designs for the building have been completed and they are awaiting final approval from the Town on the development agreement.
Medican, the contractor hired to build the hotel, said they are ready to go when they get the signal.
“All of our ducks are lined up and waiting to go and we’re just waiting for that green light, which we know is coming,” said Bill Cooper, Medican vice-president of sales and marketing.
Shane Olson, Okotoks’ economic development team leader, said he believes there’s a strong need for another hotel in Okotoks and has been working to get a new hotel built in town for some time. There are only three hotels in Okotoks. The 64-room Lakeview Inn and Suites is the largest hotel while the smaller Okotoks Country Inn and the Royal Duke Hotel are the other options in town.
He said Okotoks has lost out on several opportunities to host events, major sports competitions and tournaments in particular because of a lack of hotel space in town.
“We believe the regional field house is a huge hook and huge anchor and a reason to build a full service hotel in that area,” said Olson.