New ho­tel an­nounced for Bay Roberts

De­vel­oper wants con­struc­tion to start this sum­mer

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

Our in­ten­tion is to be open for next April or May.

Glenn Squires

De­vel­oper Glenn Squires is op­ti­mistic his plan to in­tro­duce a branded ho­tel into the Con­cep­tion Bay North mar­ket will be a suc­cess­ful busi­ness ven­ture.

The CEO of Pacrim Hos­pi­tal­ity Ser­vices has signed a 20-year deal to de­velop 40 Red Roof Inn prop­er­ties in Canada. The first four will be built in At­lantic Canada, in­clud­ing two in New­found­land and Labrador — one in Grand Falls-Wind­sor and the other in Bay Roberts.

Ac­cord­ing to Squires, land and con­struc­tion costs in ur­ban mar­kets have be­come some­what cost-pro­hib­i­tive, but that’s not the case in places like Bay Roberts. As a Nova Sco­tia based de­vel­oper who was born and raised in New­found­land, Squires also feel com­fort­able start­ing out in mar­kets he’s al­ready plenty familiar with. His grand­mother’s fam­ily was orig­i­nally from the Bay Roberts area.

“We want to build the first few prop­er­ties close to home so that we can be close to them and find out what re­ally works well and where we need to make ad­just­ments,” he said. “All of th­ese mar­kets are dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres or re­gional cen­tres, to an ex­tent, that have min­i­mal branded or ac­tual ho­tel in­ven­tory.”

The ho­tel in Bay Roberts will fea­ture 61 rooms and cre­ate ap­prox­i­mately 20 jobs. A restau­rant in­cluded in the ho­tel devel­op­ment could gen­er­ate an­other 2025 po­si­tions, ac­cord­ing to Squires.

Dis­cus­sions be­tween Squires and town of­fi­cials have been on­go­ing for a num­ber of years. He told The Compass last week there is a pre­ferred lo­ca­tion in mind, though he is still look­ing at oth­ers in the mean­time. If all goes ac­cord­ing to plan with ob­tain­ing the nec­es­sary per­mits, Squires hopes to see con­struc­tion start in July or Au­gust.

“Our in­ten­tion is to be open for next April or May,” he said.

Lo­cal re­ac­tion

The mayor of Bay Roberts was very pleased to hear last week’s news.

“I think it’s not only ex­cit­ing news for the town of Bay Roberts, but it’s also ex­cit­ing news for the CBN area,” Mayor Philip Wood told The Compass Tues­day, not­ing it should in­crease the num­ber of avail­able ho­tel rooms in the com­mu­nity to 100. There are al­ready two ho­tels op­er­at­ing in Bay Roberts — Bay Roberts Ho­tel and the Sil­ver­wood Inn Ho­tel.

“We were sup­posed to have a gov­ern­ment meet­ing here, for ex­am­ple,” Wood said. “It went from 20 rooms to 60 rooms … It’s now gone to Port aux Basques.”

His thoughts were echoed by Lor­raine Brown, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Mariners Re­source Op­por­tu­ni­ties Net­work, a group ded­i­cated to spurring eco­nomic devel­op­ment in the Bac­calieu Trail area.

“I guess the big thing is be­ing able to at­tract larger events. The more ac­com­mo­da­tions you have, the more chance for larger sport­ing events, larger meet­ings,” she said.

“Bay Roberts is only a hop, skip and a jump from Car­bon­ear; it’s only a hop, skip and a jump from the Whit­bourne area. So we see it as a bonus with re­spect to bring­ing in larger events.”

There are ap­prox­i­mately 400 Red Roof prop­er­ties in the United States, em­ploy­ing over 4,500 work­ers.

Squires has a 50 per cent in­ter­est in a part­ner­ship with Chi­nese in­vestors to form Canada China Cul­ture Hos­pi­tal­ity Devel­op­ment Inc. to fund the ho­tel project.

Two years ago, Pacrim Hos­pi­tal­ity Ser­vices ex­pressed in­ter­est in set­ting up a ho­tel in the Pla­cen­tia-Ar­gen­tia area. Squires told The Tele­gram that off­shore ac­tiv­ity would dic­tate the need for ac­com­mo­da­tions there.

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