A ground-breaking ceremony was held for the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Gordon Street in downtown Nanaimo on Wednesday. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Developer holds groundbreaking ceremony for downtown Nanaimo hotel

PEG Developments plans to build nine-storey hotel across from Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Construction on the downtown hotel has officially broken ground.

PEG Developments held a ground-breaking ceremony on Wednesday morning that featured remarks from company officials, local politicians and members of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. PEG, a Utah-based company, is planning on building a $23-million, nine-storey, 172-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel at 100 Gordon St., which is a vacant piece of land across from the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

RELATED: Hotel developer assures Nanaimo city council groundbreaking ceremony is coming

During the ceremony, PEG announced it intends to hire members of the Snuneymuxw First Nation to work at the hotel and will work with the SFN to cross-market the project.

“We are so excited to start this venture, this partnership with Snuneymuxw First Nation,” said Cameron Gunter, founder and chief executive officer of PEG Developments.

Gunter said PEG has an “affinity” for helping communities and other people in the industry and called the opportunity to involve Snuneymuxw in the business is a “wonderful opportunity.”

Snuneymuxw Chief Mike Wyse said the property was once the site of an ancient village and has significant meaning to his people.

He also said meetings with PEG to ensure “economic inclusion” in the project began a year ago and that it is important for the Snuneymuxw to be included in the project.

“Snuneymuxw participation in this project not only contributes to the strengthening of the Snuneymuxw economy but also creates jobs for our people and a source of income that will help to continue to strengthen our Snuneymuxw families,” Wyse said.

story continues below

RELATED: ‘We are all worried:’ Downtown hotel developers to meet with City of Nanaimo

RELATED: Downtown Nanaimo hotel project facing deadlines

RELATED: Developer of downtown Nanaimo hotel hopes to begin construction by November

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said the hotel will benefit the city in numerous ways and is a step in the right direction for the downtown area.

“It’s an exciting time for Nanaimo and the hotel is key to the continued revitalization of our downtown…” he said. “The positive impact of this hotel through the creation of jobs, enhancement of Nanaimo’s downtown vibrancy and increased competitiveness in our city’s tourism, sport and conference sector is really quite wonderful.”

Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell said she’s thrilled to see the project break ground.

“It has been something top of mind to have this happen in the community…” she said. “I am so happy and so pleased to have this come to the community because I know the benefits will be tenfold.”

Construction on the hotel technically began last year, as PEG started site work in order to beat a Dec. 31 deadline that would have seen its building permit expire.

Wednesday’s ceremony also comes nearly six years after the SSS Manhao International Tourism Group held ribbon-cutting ceremony on the Gordon Street property to mark the beginning of construction on a future 21-storey hotel. That project was later cancelled by SSS Manhao and the property was repurchased by the city in 2015. PEG purchased the property from the city in 2017 for $750,000.

RELATED: Downtown Nanaimo hotel project moving forward

RELATED: City of Nanaimo issues building permit for Gordon Street hotel

RELATED: Tax exemption approved, hotel project moves forward

Speaking to the News Bulletin afterwards, Gunter said everyone at PEG is pleased to finally get the project underway after so many delays. He said PEG is very serious about seeing the hotel come to fruition.

“We’ve got the contract signed and ready to go and all the financing in the place,” Gunter said. “We don’t break ground unless we are going and we’re confident we’re moving forward.”

Gunter also said Nanaimo has been supportive, understanding and accepting of PEG Developments. He explained that the delays were largely due to rising construction costs, which he believes can be blamed on strong economies in both the United States and Canada.

“Construction costs in today’s market are very high and trying to figure out how the economics of the deals work, it’s slowing a lot of the projects that we are doing down across Canada and the U.S.,” Gunter said. “The economies are doing well and because of that construction costs are going up. So the risks are a little bit higher and we try to be conservative.”

Construction on the downtown hotel will be completed in 18 months’ time, according to Gunter.

RELATED: Nanaimo city council approves Gordon Street sale

RELATED: City announces buyer for 100 Gordon Street

RELATED: City of Nanaimo seeks offers on conference centre hotel site

Tourism

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Firefighters put out structure fire on Dockside Way in Nanaimo

Incident happened just after 5 p.m. in detached building close to house

Nanaimo sheep farmer voices fears over flung dog feces

Deborah Wytinck worries parasites in dog feces tossed into pasture could infect her sheep

UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP now unsure what vehicle missing teen and man may be travelling in

Mary Cyprich, 17, missing since Thurday, believed to be in company of Force Forsythe, 36

Nanaimo school district to develop learning plan to account for COVID-19

Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district superintendent advises parents keep kids at home

Firefighters put out structure fire on Dockside Way in Nanaimo

Incident happened just after 5 p.m. in detached building close to house

Nanaimo doctors asking for donations of masks and gloves during COVID-19 fight

Nanaimo Division of Family Practice co-ordinating efforts to collect supplies

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read