OLIVER - Oliver’s quest for a highend resort hotel may be at an end.
Oliver Mayor Ron Hovanes says the town has received an offer to purchase two acres of town property near the city centre with the view to building an 80 room hotel with a pool and restaurant.
“We’ve been hoping to attract a hotel to Oliver for many, many years, so this is really good news,” Hovanes says.
Prior to 2008, a hotelier was interested in locating in the town, but the economy turned and interest faded. In 2012, a feasibility study ndicated the community could support a highend hotel.
“This January we put out a call to hoteliers, and we’ve had a number of hits. This group has come forward with a pretty exciting proposal,” Hovanes says.
The Mayor noted that Oliver is less known as a resort municipality as it is an authentic farming community, but still has a vast number of attractions.
“We certainly depend on tourism... with two great golf courses, one on band land and one off. We’ve got hike and bike trails, we’re home to many cycling and sporting events, and many wine events," he says.
Hovanes says many of the visitors to the area probably don’t stay in Oliver.
“We’ve got some nice motels, some great bed and breakfasts, highend rooms in different vineyards, but we’ve always lacked a nice hotel, so this is quite exciting.”
The propesed hotel would be built at the Centennial Trailer Park property, one block away from Main Street and across the street from Oliver’s community centre.
He says the timing for a new hotel is good with 300 new employees at the Okanagan Correctional Centre expected to attact some visitors to the region, the invegorated Baldy Mountain Resort and the Area 27 car racing track on the Osoyoos Indian Band lands.
"I’ve always told these hoteliers, you really want to be the first player out, you don’t want to be the second or third,” he says.
The trailer park’s lease is expected to run out the first weekend of October, with the hotelier taking possession on Oct. 9. Hovanes says the hotel could be up and operating in time for the 2018 tourism season.
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