A new hotel under the Choice Group Canada Hotel chain name will be built at the westbound entrance in Blind River providing 72 rooms when it is operating.
Developer Dan Tache of Tache Construction in North Bay was on hand on Nov. 20 for a sod-turning ceremony announcing the plan to build the four-storey facility on an almost two-acre parcel of land between the OPP station and the town's tourist information centre. Tache estimates the project will cost about $10 million to get it open for business some time in 2025.
The company has assisted the hotel chain with development of other Choice Group facilities.
“We approached them (Choice Group) to come and do a market study here,” Tache said of the work to determine whether a hotel would be viable in the town. “We had to look at the market here.”
The work attracted investors Gurjot Gill and Gaganpreet Maan who own the A&W across Highway 17 and with whom Tache has worked with previously. It was the findings of the market study and experience the business people have with the town that prompted them to go to the hotel chain with a plan.
“The developer and manager for Choice Hotel is a good friend and this is a market they want to be in.”
Tache said his company has a number of trades available to undertake construction. The developers are in the process of finding an architect to design the hotel, although the exterior will likely be similar to other Choice facilities.
No decision has been made about whether a restaurant will be part of the hotel and at this early stage Tache said nothing has been decided about the number of staff the hotel will eventually hire.
In a statement to ElliotLakeToday, Tache expressed gratitude to Katie Scott, the town's CAO-clerk, and Karen Bittner, director of facilities and community services, for their "exemplary work, continuous support."
Gill, Tache, and Maan joined Deputy Mayor Paula Summers for the sod-turning. Also joining in were Scott and Bittner.
“The Town of Blind River is eager to welcome its newest investor who will help the municipality through its future growth plans,” a town press release stated.
“A new Choice Group Canada Hotel will greet westbound visitors entering the community. Conveniently located along the Trans Canada Highway 17, it is complemented by several businesses within walking distance. The town recently completed an active travel initiative that resulted in new sidewalks along Causley Street to link downtown to its east end.”
“This investment is critical to our municipality,” Summers said. “We are watching contractors spend their nights out of town, projects delayed due to sold-out accommodations, as well, tournaments and gatherings restricted by local availability.”
Added Mayor Sally Hagman, who was unable to attend the sod turning, “We want our restaurants, stores, and recreation spaces to be bustling year-round. We will accomplish this with many more heads in Blind River beds. Council is thrilled that Blind River is viewed as a lucrative market for private investment, and we are embracing our 'Stay, Play, Live' motto.”
“We are excited to bring our Comfort Inn and Suites and brand to this beautiful Northern Ontario rural community,” said Graham Marsh, the national director of franchise development for Choice Hotels Canada.
"Blind River is the perfect location for brand-name lodging, and we are thrilled to be a part of the town’s growth."
“Our residents told us loudly and clearly in our strategic plan and economic development strategy that they want brand-name lodging," Scott added."It was a repeated feedback item throughout the year-long community-driven project. Staff and Council worked to bring this wish to reality."