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New Thunder Bay hotel will be a Hyatt House

Tourism Thunder Bay manager Paul Pepe expects to see more hotels built as demand remains high

THUNDER BAY — The developers of Thunder Bay's newest hotel are familiar with the city's market, and believe they've found an ideal location for it.

TBnewswatch reported earlier this month that Manitoba-based Genesis Hospitality is building a six-storey, 129-unit hotel on Oliver Road between Golf Links  Road and the Thunder Bay Expressway.

Now, additional information has been provided by Genesis' executive vice-president, Kevin Swark.

He revealed the new hotel will be a Hyatt House extended-stay facility "with kitchenettes and such, and the rooms for guests to stay on a little longer basis than a normal one or two nights."

Swark cited the proximity of Lakehead University and Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre as one of the keys in making the site suitable for a hotel.

"Thunder Bay's a great market. We've been in that market for 30 years. We've owned and operated the Victoria Inn on Arthur Street and recently sold it, in April of this year," he said. "We're no strangers to Thunder Bay."

The company also has plans for a franchise restaurant to be located in a separate building on the same property.

It's expected that the hotel will open by the summer of 2025.

Paul Pepe, manager of tourism for the city, wasn't surprised to hear that another major hotel would be built in Thunder Bay.

"There's definitely room for more hotel inventory in our market," he said, noting that it has consistently ranked among the top hotel markets in Canada over the last four or five years.

Pepe pointed to this July, when there was an average occupancy of 84 per cent, "and a huge lift in average daily rate charge per room."

He said "the city sells out more often than I think people realize. We had a lot of sell-out nights this summer," and noted that hotels were also virtually sold out just recently during the Central Canada Resource Expo.

"It wouldn't surprise us at all to see more builds, and certainly from our experience over the last decade, when new builds come online, particularly the ones that are associated with a national or international brand, they have that brand recognition, they have their loyalty programs, they have all that marketing effort behind them, and those are strong performers in this market."

— TBnewswatch