Hotel breaks ground in Thornhill

A 93-room Holiday Inn is set to be built across Hwy16 from Copperside and the Northern Motor Inn outside of Terrace

Local hotel and motel accommodations options are about to increase again now that ground has broken for a 93-room Holiday Inn across Hwy16 from Copperside and the Northern Motor Inn in Thornhill.

The structure between Desjardins and River Drive will be a full-service hotel of four storeys and is aimed at capitalizing on the promise of a regional liquefied natural gas industry, says one of the development’s backers, Min Tark from Vancouver.

Proximity to the Northwest Regional Airport figured in the plans for the establishment which is scheduled to be completed by May 2016, he said.

“We have the airport here, so if your final destination is Prince Rupert then people may stay in Terrace and then go to Prince Rupert, that is our main idea, people will stay here and commute to Prince Rupert or Kitimat,” Tark said.

He said last year’s drop in oil prices, which caused observers to predict a chill in LNG development, caused the hotel’s partners to reconsider the project but that a recent meeting, the decision was made to go ahead.

“We had many meetings, because right now the oil price is quite low so we had three or four meetings together to discuss whether we should go in now or we should wait until the oil price comes back, then at our final meeting we [decided] the oil price is a big cycle, right now it is low and we think this is the bottom and we think it will go up from here,” he said.

The hotel partners also pointed to a federal tax break to be given to LNG developers in which they can write off construction costs faster than normal as a reason to be optimistic about the industry here, said Tark. He added that the investors consider Terrace and Thornhill as being one and the same in deciding on a location for their development.