Iqaluit developers expand hotel room space

A sign of the times: Iqaluit to get its first executive suites hotel.


Nunatsiaq News

IQALUIT — Iqaluit’s supply of hotel rooms is about to get a major boost, with plans for one brand new hotel and expansion of another well underway.

Calgary-based Urbco Inc. is now erecting a new executive suites hotel, and Nunastar Properties Inc. is about to go ahead with plans to add two new floors to its Regency Frobisher Inn hotel.

The two projects combined will add 64 new hotel rooms to Iqaluit and will increase the supply by about one-third.

Urbco is now building a three-storey, 40,000 square foot building behind Iqaluit House, said Kenn Harper, Urbco’s vice-president of Nunavut operations. The building will have 18 executive hotel suites and 22 apartments.

The Executive Suite Apartment Hotel will target both long and short-term visitors to Iqaluit, Harper said. The suites will include kitchenettes, a bedroom and a separate sitting room for working in, Harper said. Guests can stay for extended periods.

It will be Iqaluit’s first executive suites-style hotel

The hotel will not be full service, and will not include a bar or restaurant.

“It will be a quiet and comfortable place to stay and work,” Harper said.

Urbco already has a similar executive suites hotel in Yellowknife. Because Iqaluit is now a eat of government, Urbco is banking on more long-term business travel to the capital.

“There’s a market for it in Yellowknife, there’s a market for it in Ottawa, there will be a market for it in Iqaluit,” Harper said. Urbco has received a “good” response to its Garden Apartments hotel in Yellowknife, and Harper expects a similar reaction in Iqaluit.

Urbco plans to have the building complete by the end of April.

The expansion of the Frobisher Inn targets a different market, said Nunastar president Doug Cox. His development will go after the short-term visitor, in town for banquets and conferences.

Ten of the Frobisher Inn’s rooms will be suites and will include jacu is. Other rooms will have kitchenettes.

But the new competition from Urbco doesn’t put a damper on Nunastar’s plans, Cox said.

“I think the market is certainly capable of handling the addition of a long-term stay project of the size they’re talking about,” Cox said.

Nunastar hopes to have the addition complete by December. The expansion is just part of its plans to upgrade the entire Astro Hill Complex. Nunastar wants to revamp the retail portion of the mall and bring in new tenants, Cox said.

Nunastar also plans to keep a watch on the new Urbco hotel. If it succeeds, Nunastar may convert some units in the six-storey high-rise building into executive suites.

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