The old Lakeland Hotel – which has now been renamed ‘Tweedsmuir Hotel’ – is expected to open its doors in the spring of 2017.
Skin Tyee First Nation (STFN) purchased the hotel and announced major renovations and upgrades in 2015. Although the original plan was to reopen the hotel in the fall of 2016, plans changed after a few setbacks, explained Adele Gooding, STFN’s general manager.
The new hotel will create approximately 15 jobs once it is completed. Positions needed will include cooks, housekeepers, front desk attendants, bartenders, maintenance workers, restaurant manager and general manager.
Gooding said that so far STFN has been focused on hiring locally.
“Initially we tried to hire two individuals from each of our six local First Nations,” she said. “Although some nations are not represented anymore, that’s how it started out.”
“We’ve been trying to keep our dollars here in town instead of [hiring] a large contractor,” she continued. “It’s been a really good experience for everybody involved.”
“It’s amazing the talent and the expertise here in Burns Lake and the Lakes District,” she added.
The old Lakeland Hotel was once considered people’s favourite breakfast place. The STFN took this into consideration when they planned a new restaurant with a breakfast theme. The new hotel will also have a sports pub and grill with a stage for performances of local musicians.
In addition, the hotel will have a convention centre that can host events for up to 150 people, an interpretive centre, and a gift shop where local First Nations artists will be able to display and sell their artwork.
“We’re trying to incorporate the Indigenous and pioneer theme,” explained Gooding. “We’re looking at marketing the Aboriginal experience through Aboriginal tourism.”
“We also wanted to keep a lot of the old aspect of the hotel,” she added.
The new hotel will have 23 rooms with soundproof windows. Some of the rooms will be themed and have hot tubs, and one of the rooms will be for people with physical disabilities.
In addition, the building will have a new fire suppression system and its mechanical and electrical systems will be replaced.
Over the next few months, STFN will start a contest to choose the hotel’s new logo.
People interested in working for the hotel can send an e-mail to Adele Gooding at firstname.lastname@example.org.