Calgary convention hotel gets go-ahead

Pictured: the site for the BMO Centre Hotel planned for Calgary.
Canadian developer Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and community organisation Calgary Stampede have formed a joint partnership to develop a new convention centre hotel in the city.

The new accommodation will complement the expansion of Calgary Stampede’s event hub, the BMO Centre.

Convention connection

The partnership will also incorporate private real estate development company Matthews Southwest Hospitality (MSWH). The first hotel at Stampede Park will connect an expected 220+ rooms directly to western Canada’s largest convention venue.

The hotel site will be a 31,000 sq ft parcel in the city’s culture and entertainment district, at the north entrance to Stampede Park. The BMO Centre Convention Hotel will also front the redeveloped Stampede Trail which, when completed in 2024, will serve as a retail and commercial corridor, a multi-modal connector and, for special events, a pedestrian-only space.

Design steps

The next steps on the approximately C$80 million dollar development will involve a comprehensive design stage to plan the hotel’s integration into the district and physical connection to the BMO Centre. The hotel is being planned as a 4-4.5 diamond boutique lifestyle hotel offering four food and beverage offerings, and expanded amenities including a fitness centre and 11,000 sq ft of meeting space.

MSWH has partnered with hospitality design architectural firm Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects to design the hotel.

Moving forward, the team will advance the project into the design, financing and permitting phases. As part of that process, a hotel brand flag will be selected. Construction on the hotel is anticipated to begin in 2024.

Generating benefits

Kate Thompson, CMLC’s president and CEO, said: “With the expansive construction on the BMO Centre moving along, we have been focused on securing a development partner to support the evolving needs of conventions and events in this area. MSWH brings deep experience in hotel development befitting of the world-class convention venue it will sit adjacent to.

“This development agreement is a very positive indication of things to come, and just one example of how investment in the district, and in projects like the BMO Centre expansion, is already generating economic benefit and spurring further development in the area.”

Premium amenities

Joel Cowley, Calgary Stampede’s CEO, commented: “A best-in-class venue like our expanded BMO Centre will be well supported by a hotel of this calibre, with premium amenities and unique product offerings directly aligned with our renowned Stampede hospitality. As we prepare to welcome the world to Western Canada’s largest convention venue in 2024, we look forward to working with CMLC and MSWH to realise the vision for this important addition to Stampede Park.”

Mike Garcia, president of MSWH, added: “The vision for this area grabbed our attention from the very beginning and we look forward to applying our experience and expertise in convention hotel developments to this exciting and evolving district in Calgary. Along with our architectural partner Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects, we are excited to create a unique hospitality experience and design a hotel that fits the dynamic district vision and complements this world-class, year-round gathering place.”