Work is expected to begin this August on a 72-room hotel in Blackfalds — a project that could spur other commercial development nearby.
BCP Construction Ltd. of Three Hills plans to build a nationally branded hotel on the east side of Hwy 2A. The identity of the franchise cannot be disclosed until a deal is finalized, but BCP owner Billy Coles said the facility will include a swimming pool, a hot tub and an exercise room.
It’s expected to cost about $7.5 million, and should be ready for guests late next spring, said Coles. He thinks it will fill a void in the rapidly growing community.
“In Three Hills, we only have 3,200 people and we have a Best Western, a Super 8, a Rest-Easy and another small hotel,” said Coles, noting that Blackfalds has a young population and regularly plays host to sports tournaments, weddings and other events that create demand for local accommodation. “Everybody goes to north Red Deer.”
He’s also been impressed with the town’s rapid growth, even during the current economic downturn. Although his hotel project is in its early stages, with development approval still to be issued by the town, Coles said he’s already getting inquiries from other entrepreneurs.
“We’ve had calls for franchised restaurants, which the town needs as well.
“Every time a hotel goes in, usually a Tim Hortons or a Boston Pizza or something like that is right next to it. These are the kind of companies that have been phoning me in Blackfalds.”
BCP constructed the 66-room Best Western Innisfail Inn, which opened last fall. Coles partnered with Jeff Carlson and Mac Fletcher on that project, but is tackling the Blackfalds hotel on his own.
He said BCP has participated in the development of more than 150 hotels across Western Canada.
In addition to having more rooms than the Best Western Innisfail Inn — which was built for about $6.5 million — the Blackfalds hotel will have bigger units, more suites and amenities like a small convenience store, said Coles.
“It’s Innisfail on steroids.”
Coles said he’s encouraged by the success of the Best Western Innisfail Inn, which has been attracting good traffic despite the economic slowdown. It will celebrate its grand opening on June 5.
“In the last month here it’s really taken off,” he said, pointing out that the Boston Pizza that popped up next door has also had a successful start.