The pre-opening showcase for the new downtown hotel, Homewood Suites by Hilton, gave people a chance to have a look at the first new hotel opening in North Bay in eight years. While the hotel doesn’t face Lake Nipissing, a number of rooms do have a view of the lake. It also won’t have a Starbucks on site like had been rumoured in the past, but it will have a coffee shop of some kind. An area that resembles a drive through is already built on site.
Homewood Suites General Manager Carrie Delongchamp says the original plan was to have the hotel face the lake, but the idea was shot down because it would block out the vantage points of Lake Nipissing for other downtown buildings. Delongchamp says three rooms on every floor have direct access to a lake view, and in almost every other room people can see a large part of the lake.
Vrancor, the development company for the hotel, believed in the area after seeing the focus the City of North Bay is placing on the downtown area. Regional Director Karen McQuade says once the hotel opens its doors, people will begin to see the downtown change. McQuade says the hotel will attract people to want to come into this area, and adds they will want to search for business opportunities in the immediate vicinity. She also says getting the hotel open is just the first phase of their development.
McQuade says there are still plans for a full-service restaurant development, but couldn’t confirm which restaurant chain. She says they believe tourism doesn’t re-circle money in the community, it attracts new money into the community. McQuade finished by saying it’s one of those vitality industries that does, in fact, lift all boats. Homewood Suites is expected to officially open its doors on or around June 29th.