Town of Ber­wick study­ing po­ten­tial devel­op­ment of branded, mid-scale ho­tel

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - [email protected]­tynews.ca

a ho­tel devel­op­ment and coun­cil wanted to in­ves­ti­gate the fea­si­bil­ity of such a pro­posal.

About two months ago, the town con­tracted Squires for a six-month pe­riod. Payne said they are hope­ful there could soon be a pro­posal be­fore coun­cil. The town doesn’t have a pre­ferred lo­ca­tion in mind but the study iden­ti­fied the close prox­im­ity of Ber­wick to High­way 101 as a pos­i­tive.

“I as­sume that any­where on the north­ern end of town would be pre­ferred, as far as what the study pro­posed were con­cerned,” Payne said.

He said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, at least to this point, has been pos­i­tive. A ho­tel has the po­ten­tial to serve as an eco­nomic devel­op­ment driver for the town, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing there is lim­ited ho­tel space in west­ern Kings County.

Hav­ing a ho­tel in the Ber­wick area would com­ple­ment the KMCC and other ameni­ties nicely. It would make Ber­wick more at­trac­tive as a des­ti­na­tion for events held over mul­ti­ple days – and the town isn’t far from 14 Wing Green­wood.

Payne said since the town has in­vested in a study and a con­sul­tant and there is in­ter­est in iden­ti­fy­ing po­ten­tial lo­cal in­vestors, a pub­lic an­nounce­ment about the pro­ject was made at the Christ­mas reception.

Mayor Don Clarke said the town has seen con­sid­er­able growth dur­ing the past few years and a ho­tel devel­op­ment would be “a great ad­di­tion to the town and area.”

He said dis­cus­sions of the pos­si­bil­ity of a ho­tel go back at least to the time that the KMCC was built and it has been men­tioned as part of var­i­ous eco­nomic devel­op­ment ini­tia­tives.

Re­cent de­vel­op­ments such as the sec­ond phase of the KMCC and the in­clu­sion of a curl­ing fa­cil­ity have led peo­ple to spec­u­late if there isn’t a busi­ness case for a ho­tel in the Ber­wick area.

“The lack of a ho­tel space is a prob­lem,” Clarke said.

He said the study had pos­i­tive re­sults and it looks like a ho­tel would be a vi­able pos­si­bil­ity. The town met with po­ten­tial in­vestors but Clarke said it quickly be­came ev­i­dent that they had to en­gage some­one with ex­per­tise to see if the idea could be taken to the next level.

He said Squires has made sig­nif­i­cant head­way dur­ing the past cou­ple of months and they are hope­ful the an­nounce­ment of the pro­ject could spur some in­ter­est among po­ten­tial lo­cal in­vestors.

As the in­ves­ti­ga­tion pro­gresses, Clarke said there would be a need to en­gage the pub­lic in dis­cus­sions sur­round­ing de­tails such as lo­ca­tion.

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