Construction has officially begun on the new Burns Lake Band hotel, located next to the Rainbow Gas Bar in Burns Lake.
Chief Dan George turned the first sod for the $8-million project on April 26, 2016.
The 42-room lodge will include an exercise room, a business centre, a breakfast café and a two-storey entrance lobby that will display cultural and historical photographs and art.
Chief George said the new hotel will not only create jobs, but it will also provide a better option of accommodation for visitors in the Lakes District.
“It will be good to everyone,” he said.
The Burns Lake Band will hold a job fair in a couple of weeks. However, Chief George didn’t know how many jobs the hotel will create.
“We got a management firm to manage it for the first couple of years,” he said.
Britco, a WesternOne Inc.’s modular manufacturing division, will manufacture the permanent modular hotel and lodge property for the Burns Lake Band. Production of the lodge has already begun in Britco’s manufacturing facilities, and delivery and installation on site is expected to take place later in 2016.
According to the Burns Lake Band, the architect of the project, Boni Maddison, along with the remainder of consultant team and Britco have gone through a “thorough review of the original project design to make it as efficient as possible.”
“We are excited to enter into this agreement with the Burns Lake Band,” said Peter Blake, CEO of WesternOne. “Britco has a long history of working with our Indigenous partners to design and build custom buildings that suit the needs of our partners and their communities.”
Britco and its construction group have also reviewed the site to ensure that issues such as parking, traffic circulation, grading, site drainage, building positioning, soils removal, and other aspects of the project are correctly organized and planned.
A few years ago, when the Burns Lake Band first approached the Village of Burns Lake with the possibility of building their hotel, there were questions on whether the fire flows at that location were adequate.
Since then, village staff has commissioned a reputable engineering firm to develop a water model for the municipality.
Britco has also met with the Burns Lake fire chief and has had numerous discussions with officials from the Village of Burns Lake to make sure that all aspects of firefighting and connections to municipal services are properly addressed.
Chief George anticipates the new hotel will be completed by the end of the year.