Ground recently broke on Clearwater’s newest hotel project, which is expected to be completed in late summer or early fall.
The 72 room Best Western, that’s being built on Eden Road beside the Clearwater Lodge, is sized to handle a couple tour bus loads worth of guests, and has been in the works for roughly three years, said Mayor Merlin Blackwell.
“Last year it was almost ready to go, then I believe it fell through and we were a little bit behind the summer building season to get it underway (at that point), so they were raring at the bit to get shovels turning this year as soon as the snow was gone far enough and get it put in place,” he said.
“I think it’ll be up and operational late summer or early fall and put (the owners) in a great position for when Trans Mountain goes ahead and provide some accommodations for that moving forward; then it’ll be fully tuned, staffed and set up for next summer’s operations for tourism as well.”
The projected is expected to cost a little more than $8 million and serves as an indication of how Clearwater is starting to catch up with the demand for more services that’s been increasing as the town’s slowly been growing, he said.
Blackwell added the need is definitely there for more hotel rooms in Clearwater with the town at full occupancy in the summer when tourism peaks.
“More importantly, (the need) for quality, new style rooms like that, there is definitely a demand, especially for rent-a-car and travelling type people as well as the bus tour companies or people who’d like a bit of a new standard,” said Blackwell.
“That’s where the need has been and the branding part of it really helps. Having a Best Western as a recognized brand—a lot of people travel on discount points for different hotel chains, so they’re looking for things associated, there are two or three brands associated with Best Westerns and people tend to follow those brands around the world and book from one to the next once they get into that.
“I’m very excited about it, I can’t wait to see it go up.”