From www.theobserver.ca Article "New hotel to be built", Posted by Cathy Dobson, "The Observer"
July 23, 2008
A hotel developer is waiting to finalize financing and is expected to begin work shortly on a 105-room Country Inn and Suites in the city's east end. Warren Adamson, CEO and President of Innland Hospitality Corporation, said he will provide details of his plans by the end of this week.
Meanwhile, zoning for a 1.6-acre site just east of the A & W Restaurant on Exmouth Street is in place to accommodate a hotel, said Kim Bresee, a senior planner at city hall. The site plan review process with the city is nearly complete as well, he said. "The next step is to take out a building permit." The site plan calls for a four-storey building on a property now occupied by a couple of houses.
A new hotel in the area makes business sense, says John Dickson, who is interim general manager at Tourism Sarnia-Lambton. "We've all watched tourism fall by at least 10 per cent this season," he said. "But to many people's surprise, the one bright spot is the local hotel industry." The Holiday Inn, The Best Western Guildwood Inn and the Village Inn all report healthy occupancy numbers, Dickson said. "If I was a hotel developer, I'd break ground now."
Tourism was expected to take a hit on both sides of the border this year because of rising gas prices, an economic slowdown and a trend by Canadians and Americans to spend their holidays at home, he said. But Dickson said those pressures won't continue indefinitely. He said that InnLand Hospitality's location is a good choice because it is easily accessible to both Highway 402 and Highway 40.
It's also close to the Lottie Neely soccer fields and the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre, Bresee noted.
"I believe the hotel developer sees the potential here, as do I," said Dickson, who took the position with Tourism Sarnia-Lambton about a month ago.