Kitimat should anticipate two new hotels by year’s end

Two planned hotels in Kitimat will wrap up construction this year, one along Haisla Boulevard and another attached to CIty Centre Mall.

Two hotels in Kitimat are slated for completion by the year’s end.

The Microtel hotel on Dadook Avenue, near Rosarios, is still shooting for an August opening as construction crews worked through the heavy snow to keep work moving.

The hotel, which will be branded Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham once opened, has even opened up for job applications for their general manager as they shoot for an August opening of the place.

The company is sticking to that opening in six months, according to Eric Watson, MasterBuilt Hotels’ chief operating officer.

The plans for a secondary hotel on the site is up in the air while the company awaits news on what happens with a liquefied natural gas industry in Kitimat.

“We’re certainly waiting to see what happens with LNG projects, in terms of our second hotel,” he said, which would include a restaurant.

The current hotel under construction will have 87 rooms, a meeting space, a small store for guests and will include extended stay suites.

This is among the first hotels by the company with this look in Canada.

The weather, beyond snow storms, hasn’t hampered construction, said Watson.

“The rain is one thing because you get the moisture…that’s just part of building in those climates, but so far we’re still on schedule,” he said.

As for the snow, “Weather was really good up until you guys got a couple inches of snow…Our guys were back at work pretty quick.”

While employment levels depends on business, he said typically their hotels have about 15 to 20 employees, and there will likely be job fairs in the near future to get staff to operational levels.

Meanwhile the M Hotel will open before the year closes, says City Centre Mall owner Jerry Minni.

“All the concrete work in there has been completed,” he said. “We’re waiting for the weather to break and then they’ll start framing up top.”

The snow storm didn’t slow down the work at the M Hotel since work was mostly interior in the basement and main floor but as they move towards working on the roof bad weather could slow them down, but it’s otherwise a pretty fast process once work begins, said Minni.

The hotel is still planned for 42 rooms, and about four months before opening they’ll begin the hiring process, including for a general manager.

The hotel will employ about 10 people in total, he said.

The hotel will be attached to a new restaurant, and he said the space will be turned over to them sometime in October for their setup.

Minni says improvements to the mall itself will directly follow the hotel, including flooring, lighting, and facade improvements to the front.

“That will just happen right after the hotel. We’ll just move the crew across,” he said.