The new six-storey hotel in Penticton's north end officially broke ground on Wednesday afternoon, with local dignitaries gathering to celebrate.
Penticton City Council was joined by MLA Dan Ashton, along with representatives from Valley First, the Mundi Group and other business leaders.
“I’m probably the happiest mayor in Canada at the present moment. I’ve been fighting for a new hotel, a good size hotel, to come to Penticton for at least 30 years, maybe more,” Mayor John Vassilaki said after the ceremony on Wednesday.
“I want to see Penticton start to grow and our tourism to grow with it, and without proper hotel rooms to support our convention centre, we couldn’t go very far.”
The 105-room complex will have a rooftop patio, swimming pool and on-site restaurant and will be operated by the Mundi Hotel development group under the Four Points by Sheraton brand.
They currently run the Coast Hotels in Oliver and Osoyoos as well as the Penticton Marriott.
“The hotel is going to be the best for the tourists, because even as Canadians start to travel again, I think Penticton is the best place to travel, the best place to spend time with your family,” Ron Mundi, the president and founder of the Mundi group shared.
The city issued a request for proposals in 2020 that offered the city-owned lot at 905 Vernon Ave for development, eager to fill an empty lot.
The hotel project was pitched to boost the appeal of the neighbouring Penticton Trade and Convention Centre and South Okanagan Events Centre for out-of-town conferences and event bookers.
“We have been in the same business for the last 25 years,” Mundi said. “We know that this hotel will help work with the convention centre to bring in more guests for Penticton.”
“We can have proper rooms and proper accommodations for all those folks that have disposable income and stay here. Instead of coming here to just look at the scenery and then go to sleep in Kelowna. That's not what I want,” Vassilaki added.
The property was sold to Mundi in 2020 after a competitive bidding period, and as part of the deal, the city agreed to assist with construction of a direct pedestrian access path to the PTCC.
The hotel is anticipated to be open sometime in the summer of 2023.