Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Too Much Room At The Inn?

Does Saskatoon need more downtown hotel rooms? Earlier this year local developer Remai Ventures decided to cancel a proposed mineral spa and hotel because they felt the project wasn't economically viable. Now it's been announced that the recently closed Pacific Cinemas building will be knocked down to make way for a 140 room Holiday Inn. Others in the local hotel industry think such a project is unneeded given a stable hotel market. The backers of the new project are presumably banking on it being across the street from the recently expanded TCU Place, aka the Centennial Auditorium, such proximity resulting in convention goers and other out of town visitors to the site staying in the new hotel.

It seems to me that if I were interested in building a hotel I'd be more likely to consider a location on Saskatoon's east side. There is currently only one hotel on this side of town, the Colonial Square Motel on 8th Street. All the other hotels are located on the west side. There had been some talk about a hotel perhaps going on the current site of the Chrysler dealership on 8th Street, but they seem in no hurry to move at the moment. One would presume an east side hotel would do well given that it would be convenient for those visiting Saskatoon whose reason for visiting is located on the east side, especially given that many hotels are located near the airport.

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