Many people said they wanted hotels along the Trans-Canada Highway in Revelstoke, and not a shopping mall.
Now, they may get their wish, thanks to a proposal from a group of businesspeople out of Golden.
Canwest Hotels Ltd. is proposing to build a hotel and restaurant on the Revelstoke Crossing property off the Trans-Canada Highway.
The company is owned by a Golden, B.C., group that includes Paul Deutsch, the owner of the Rockwater Grill and Whitetooth Bistro; and Mike Dhami, the owner of the Ramada Inn and Days Inn.
Together, they have applied to for a development permit to build an 85-room, four storey Ramada Inn on the prime Revelstoke highway property.
The plan also calls for a restaurant to be built on the property at some point in the future, though the application at this point is only for the hotel.
“Revelstoke and Golden are very similar communities, both being on the Trans-Canada Highway, and both being tourism communities,” Deutsch told the Review. “I think that parcel of land is the last piece in Revelstoke that’s waiting for some love.”
The group has been working on the development for about a year and a half, said Deutsch. They were in talks with Hall Pacific when that company was planning its highway mall development, and were planning on building on a smaller portion of the Revelstoke Crossing property, next to the proposed mall. When the mall was defeated, the two groups started work on another proposal, but that fell through when Hall Pacific pulled out at the last minute, said Deutsch.
At that point, Deustch and his partners decided to proceed alone and set up Canwest Hotels to develop the property. “We’ve taken it as a full-piece there,” he said.
They are hoping to bring their expertise in hotels and restaurants to the growing Revelstoke market. “The tourism numbers speak for themselves in the area,” said Deutsch, who also used to own the Cooper Horse Lodge at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.
The property is zoned for hotels and restaurants but the development would require the property to be subdivided, as well as approval from the Ministry of Transportation before it can go forward, says a staff report by Dean Strachan, the City of Revelstoke’s manager of development services.
“The proposed hotel development would make a positive contribution to the aesthetics of the highway corridor and fits with the form and character of area development,” writes Strachan. “The proposed development meets the regulations of both the Official Community Plan and zoning bylaw.”
According to the plans, the 1,478-square-metre hotel would include a pool and water slide, a patio at the rear, and 102 parking spaces.
The hotel application was submitted by Horizon North, a Calgary-based construction company that specializes in camp accommodations for resource companies.
As for the restaurant, Deutsch said they were in discussions with several chains to try to find the right fit for the site.
“A chain with a good following would bring people off the highway and into the Ramada Inn,” he said.
Revelstoke Crossing is the property owned by Steve Platt that was targeted for a shopping mall development last year. It was re-zoned years ago for a hotel development, but that failed to move forward. Last year, the company Hall Pacific came forward with a shopping mall proposal for the site, but it was rejected by council after a controversial re-zoning process during which many people called for council to adhere to the hotel zoning for the site.
It is the second major hotel proposal for Revelstoke this year. The Revelstoke Land & Development Company is planning to build a 5.5-storey, 68-room hotel in the Farwell neighbourhood.
As well, developer David Evans has been planning a hotel development for lands next to Revelstoke Mountain Resort for several years. Sicamous businessman Jason Stutzke proposed a 19-room hotel near the western boundary of the city in June.
Council was set to discuss the application on Tuesday, Sept. 13