Downtown Nanaimo hotel project moving forward as coronavirus pandemic continues

Downtown Nanaimo hotel project moving forward as coronavirus pandemic continues
PEG Developments/Photo
Artist rendering of a Courtyard by Marriott hotel at 100 Gordon St. in Nanaimo. (PEG DEVELOPMENTS image)

The coronavirus is not stopping a development company from moving forward with its plans to build a hotel in downtown Nanaimo.

PEG Developments says they’re proceeding with the construction of their $23-million 172-room, nine-storey Courtyard by Marriott hotel at 100 Gordon St. The hotel, once built, will be located across from the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

“At this point, Courtyard by Marriott Nanaimo has not experienced any delays due to COVID-19, and we don’t anticipate any in the foreseeable future,” Ali Monsen, director of marketing and public relations, said in a statement provided to CHEK News.

The Utah-based company also said that over the next “several” months they will be drilling pilings on the site and carrying out other work while maintaining proper physical distancing.

“Because that responsibility is limited to just one small group, they continue to work while maintaining safe social distancing standards. We feel optimistic in our ability to make progress on the project as long as it is safe to do so, as directed by public health and government leaders,” said Monsen.

PEG’s statement comes less than five months after they held a groundbreaking ceremony at the Gordon Street site, where they announced plans to hire members of the Snuneymuxw First Nation to work at the hotel once it is completed.

Plans for a hotel on the Gordon Street property have been around for years. In 2018, PEG purchased the property for $750,000 in 2018, after the SSS Manhao International Tourism Group cancelled their plans to build a hotel on the site in 2015.

Nanaimo mayor Leonard Krog said he remains confident that PEG will deliver and build the long-awaited hotel.

“I have ever confidence that it will be built and by the time it is operational and ready, it is going to be a real beacon for our community,” Krog said. “In the meantime, like all construction companies, I am sure all the people involved will be doing what they can to ensure the virus doesn’t spread. But, people need employment and this is a very important project for the city.”

Kim Smythe, president of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, said he has seen evidence of work on the downtown hotel site in recent days, calling it a positive sign. He said the pandemic has hit the local economy, including the travel and tourism industry, really hard.

“It’s been ugly,” Smythe said.

The downtown Nanaimo hotel is slated to open in summer 2021.

READ MORE: New hotel breaks ground next to Nanaimo’s conference centre






Nicholas PescodNicholas Pescod

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