Developer Looks at Building Hotel in Sun Rivers

This article was written by Cam Fortems of the Kamloops Daily News on March 16th, 2012.

A Kamloops developer is in the midst of preliminary work on an 80- to 100-room hotel to be located at the heart of the Sun Rivers commercial and residential area.

Darryl Caunt, president of Mibroc Group of Companies, confirmed Friday he is pursuing the idea, which remains at the conceptual stage.

“It was in the master plan right from the beginning,” Caunt said of a hotel at Sun Rivers. “But that was located farther up the hill.”

Rather than developing the hotel far from the Talasa multi-family development, Caunt said he is looking at including it at the town centre.

“We’re putting concepts together. We still have to attract an owner-operator and flag (affiliation with a chain). We’re putting concepts to paper and have to solicit.”

Sun Rivers, the golf-course and housing development on TIB lands, commissioned an economic study to determine if a hotel is feasible.

“We know the numbers. We know the summary and we know it’s very good,” said Sun Rivers vice-president Leslie Brochu.

“It’s looking exceptionally positive and we’re looking forward to something happening next year.”

Brochu said the study found the Talasa development within Sun Rivers — multi-family units that will be anchored with a commercial and amenity area — was the best location for a hotel.

“We’ve determined the best site is in commercial centre and zoning is there.”

Tourism Kamloops chief executive officer Lee Morris said she’s not surprised at the plans because the local hotel sector has “had a good, five-year run of increases.”

Morris said the hotel would likely cater to a higher-end traveller and the corporate market, seeking views and golf.

She also noted major reinvestment at city hotels, including the new Kamloops Coast Hotel and Conference Centre in Aberdeen and Hotel 540 downtown.

“There’s enough optimism in future growth that reinvestment is happening, and we believe it, too.”

Caunt — a builder and developer who is donating his time as general contractor for a new indoor baseball facility for the Kamloops Minor Baseball Association — said whatever design comes out of planning must ensure residents who purchased units at Talasa are at the forefront and lends itself to creating a busy and vibrant atmosphere.

Mibroc has completed its third phase at Talasa and sold about two-thirds of the homes in that phase.

He also said the hotel won’t affect a commitment to build commercial space and a residents’ centre, including fitness club, what Caunt called “our original commitments to our homeowners.”