Banff and Jasper are resort communities that have developed a thriving convention business — perhaps Sylvan Lake can do the same.
This was part of the motivation behind Best Western “Plus” Chateau Inn, a 72-room hotel that’s nearing completion on Lakeshore Drive between 50A and 51st streets. A key feature of the building will be banquet facilities large enough to accommodate about 100 people, with catering service available for those who book the bar-equipped room.
“We’ll be offering full meals — breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said Rick Piegsa, one of the partners behind developer Chateau Inn Ltd.
These facilities and services should open the door for weddings, anniversaries, corporate gatherings and other functions, he said. Currently, the local options for such bookings are limited, with the Sylvan Lake Golf and Country Club and the town’s community centre the main choices.
“There is no direct competition with this,” said Piegsa. “That’s why we brought it on.”
He and his partners, Bert Messier and Kevin Halsey, think prospective banquet clients from outside Sylvan Lake will consider the scenic town if it has a suitable facility for their needs. These include Calgary- and Edmonton-based energy companies.
“They take off to do a retreat or a meeting, and they’ll go to Jasper or Banff,” said Piegsa. “We’re saying, why can’t we attract some of them here? Each of you drive an hour and a half, and boom — we can do everything.”
Banquet bookings are already being made at the Chateau Inn, which is only a few weeks from completion, he said.
Other amenities at the hotel will include a pair of boardrooms, a pool and hot tub, fitness facilities and a breakfast room for guests.
The total budget for the project is about $10 million.