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Suites hotel development on tap for Dryden this spring

Studio 6 franchise awarded to Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation
Conceptual supplied by Rideout Bay Developments and Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation.

A hotel and commercial real estate developer is admittedly “bullish” on Dryden’s economic future with the announcement of a new suites hotel and mixed-use development on the community’s main drag.

Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation and Rideout Bay Developments issued a joint announcement this week of a new $25-million Studio 6 extended stay suites hotel and commercial development at 559 Government Street.

The nine-acre commercially-zoned property to be developed is on the site of a former RV park that was acquired by Wabigoon Lake’s WLON Real Properties LP on Dec. 20. WLON was awarded the Studio 6 franchise and will be the hotel owner. 

Construction begins June 15 and should take a year’s time to complete. 

Government Street is part of the Trans-Canada Highway, which runs through Dryden, and hosts shopping, other hotel accommodations, restaurants and equipment and parts suppliers.

The hotel will offer 70 suites and meeting space for 60. When complete, there will 75 job positions available for people in Dryden and nearby Wabigoon Lake members. 

“We are very bullish on Dryden’s prospects,” said Rideout Bay CEO Ben Cohen in an emailed reply. His Winnipeg-based firm is the property developer on behalf of the owner, WLON Real Properties.

With a flurry of mineral resources activity occurring the area that could lead to multiple mines, and the possibility of siting a nuclear waste repository to the east, the forestry mill town of Dryden stands to boom as a bedroom community and supplier for industry. The municipality is already making plans for a surge of newcomers to arrive.  

What the commercial side of development will look like in terms of new retail or dining is still under development, Cohen said. The rear of the property will be landscaped in an “extensive green space.”

In a news release, Rideout Bay said this is their fourth Studio 6 hotel property under development in the region.