From Shanghai to Iqaluit: New hotel ships pre-assembled rooms across international waters
Plan will speed up construction by one year and save $6 million, says Qikiqtaaluk Corp. president
A new hotel in Iqaluit is cutting construction times by shipping its rooms from the other side of the world, its owners say.
The hotel’s 94 rooms and 12 suites were pre-constructed and assembled in Shanghai, says Qikiqtaaluk Corp. President Harry Flaherty.
Everything from beds and chairs to televisions and microwaves are already set up and strapped down in the rooms, Flaherty said.
“It’s just a matter of hooking them up.”
The hotel, located on Federal Road, began construction in the fall of 2018. It will include a 600-person conference centre, dining room, bar and gym.
Flaherty said the QC decided to order the assembled rooms to save time and money.
“Based on our evaluation and assessment, we found the best way was to proceed and build this in modular units … we would reduce our completion date by a year. And also at a cost saving of about $6 million,” he said.
The rooms left Shanghai on June 2 and are set to arrive in Iqaluit on July 24 on a chartered ship called the Happy Dragon, which Flaherty said will be “hard to miss.”
“It’s all yellow. It will be shining there out on the ocean when it’s coming in,” he said.
The rooms will arrive in 64 units, with some of those units containing two joint rooms.
And because the units are made out of steel, they will be completely soundproof, Flaherty said.
When those units arrive this week, nonstop construction will begin immediately.
“Construction crews will be working 24-7 with two crews working 12-hour shifts, one in days, one in nights, until the transfer of these units is completed,” Flaherty said.
Using cranes sent up on sealift, the construction crew will take the units off the ship, place them on trailers, and drive them to the site. From there, cranes will begin stacking the units into place, Flaherty said.
“Once we transfer them to the site, we’re going to have to assemble them right away.”
The units are labelled with numbers that indicate where each room is to be placed. The hotel will have five floors in total. Four of those floors will be occupied by rooms.
Flaherty said he hopes the hotel will be ready to open officially by mid-April or mid-May 2020, but its website will be open for bookings starting in September of this year.
Flaherty was unsure how much a room would cost per night, but he said the prices would be comparable to other hotels in the city.
Once up and running, the hotel will have about 60 full-time employees, with a goal of hiring Inuit employees, Flaherty said.