A longtime southern Alberta builder has announced a new project - an upscale hotel.
Medican Construction of Medicine Hat says it's planning an "internationally branded" hotel in Crowsnest Pass. Work on the 50- to 75-room facility should start later this year, an official says.
It's a new direction for Medican, developer of hundreds of condominium units in Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer, Grande Prairie and other cities over recent years.
Bill Cooper, vice-president of sales and marketing for Medican, says the Crowsnest Pass is long overdue for greater choice in accommodation and dining.
"It's fortunate the opportunity is still there for us," he says.
Details will be outlined at an "open house" session on Tuesday, at 7 p.m. at the Elks Hall in Blairmore.
Medican has signed an agreement with the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass covering property at the western edge of Blairmore, Cooper reports. The hotel - with an indoor pool and hot tub, restaurant, sports bar and meeting rooms - will be next to the Tim Hortons outlet, near Highway 3. Adjacent retail spaces are also planned.
"There are exciting things happening in the Crowsnest Pass and we are excited to be bringing forward this hotel and commercial development," Cooper says.
Lethbridge architect Alvin Reinhold Fritz is developing a design for the hotel, he adds. Alberta investors are backing the project.
Group Vachon, a Calgary-based firm working in hotel start-ups and management, is expected to complete the franchise arrangements. Cooper says recent Vachon projects have involved hotels opening with Hilton, Marriott or Best Western branding.
"With its central location between Lethbridge and Fernie, the Crowsnest Centre site is perfectly located to become the destination stopping area for travellers through the southern Rocky Mountains," he said.
It's planned as a family friendly facility, he adds, with a play area, green spaces and a dog run.
Medican developed the large Sierra condo complex on part of the former College Mall site in Lethbridge, as well as three valley-view condo projects near Scenic Drive downtown. But Cooper the company has no projects currently in southern Alberta.
In Red Deer, however, it's large developing an adults-only condominium complex adjacent to the 280-unit assisted living complex it built recently for Extendicare. Cooper says Medican is selling units in the final phase of a 148-unit condo unit aimed at spouses of seniors who've moved into the health-care facility.
A similar Medican project in Lethbridge was hit by a recession, but Cooper says it could possibly be resurrected in improved market conditions.