Sidelined by the pandemic, work has begun on a new $16 million hotel at a shopping mall in St. Thomas.
The five-storey, 95-room Holiday Inn Express and Suites Hotel will be added to the Elgin Centre — a move that will create a “huge advantage, not just for the city but for the mall,” said Sean Dyke, chief executive of economic development in St. Thomas.
“It will help them attract the right mix of new tenants and it will help the tenants already there,” he said. “Really, it becomes another hub for the community.”
The concept for the new hotel came into fruition nearly two years ago, but construction was put on pause due to the pandemic.
Now, with demolition underway, the hotel will seek to fill a gap for accommodation in the city, Dyke said, noting the limited spaces available for people to stay, including motels and the Comfort Inn on the city’s outskirts.
“As an overall standpoint, we need somewhere for people to stay,” he said. “And for the benefit of the city, it puts us in a different position … A lot of the dollars that were coming in were actually leaving and going to London for people that were staying overnight. This gives us that opportunity to capture some of that and keep it in town.”
He said the city had seen a lot more growth in recent years, including a lot more interest from people outside the region.
The hotel will span more than 5,700 square metres, with 25 suites and various facilities, including a swimming pool, hot tub and fitness centre.
Also in the mix is a business centre with more than 185 square metres of meeting space, an outdoor terrace and a walkway to the Elgin Centre mall.
The official grand opening of the hotel will be in October, 2022.
The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada
Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press