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Indigenous partners purchase Thunder Bay hotel

HT Norwester LP are the new owners of the Best Western Plus Nor'Wester Hotel & Conference Centre
The Best Western Plus Nor'Wester Hotel & Conference Centre in Thunder Bay has new owners.

A group of Indigenous investors has purchased the Best Western Plus Nor’Wester Hotel & Conference Centre in Thunder Bay.

HT Norwester LP was announced as the new owner on June 21, the deal's closing date.

The limited partnership is a joint venture of Kingfisher Lake, Wunnumin Lake, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, Neskantaga, Wapekeka, Nibinamik, Kasabonika Lake, and the Landmark Inn Group.

“Together, we will form our future growth with more confidence and create even more value for our employees, customers, and shareholders,” said Luke Reynolds, president of HT Norwester LP, in a social media post announcing the deal.

“Our group combination will form a stronger business.”

Located on Highway 61, less than 10 minutes from the Thunder Bay International Airport, the 89-room hotel features a fitness centre; a heated indoor pool, hot tub and sauna; a self-serve business centre; and an airport shuttle.

It's a popular spot for business meetings and conferences, with six function rooms that can accommodate up to 350 people.

An on-site restaurant, the Cliffhanger Restaurant & Bar, features international dishes, and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

In 2023, the facility was awarded the Best Western Hotels & Resorts’ Chairman’s Award, which recognizes facilities that meet the brand's quality assurance standards related to cleanliness, maintenance, design, and customer service.

In an interview with Dougall Media, Reynolds said the hotel will continue to operate as a Best Western Plus, and there are no plans to make changes to the facility's management or staff.

“We just look to capitalize and kind of keep money in our family for our First Nations,” said Reynolds, who is a member of Kingfisher Lake.

The partnership also owns Happy Time Tours and Travel, a Thunder Bay-based travel agency that books vacation packages, corporate travel, aircraft charters, and more.

Reynolds told Dougall Media the group is also interested in taking over the arena when the lease expires in a year.

— with files from Dougall Media