Kwa’lilas Hotel Update

Workers are pushing hard towards a June opening of the Kwa'lilas Hotel (formerly the Port Hardy Inn).

Workers are pushing hard towards a June opening of the Kwa’lilas Hotel (formerly the Port Hardy Inn). In an exterior walking tour, K’awatsi Economic Development General Partner Corporation (KEDC) Executive Director Conrad Browne pointed out the new cedar siding going up on the exterior of the building.

The cedar was specially cut for this project with oversized dimensions. “We are thrilled with the quality. It’s really bringing home the big house feel,” Browne said. Behind those walls, about 50 construction workers, 25 that belong to the ‘kawa’si Construction company owned by KEDC and 25 hired from North Island firms are focused on getting the job done.

“We’ve basically got the lion’s share of the people who are in construction working for us,” said Browne. To date, Browne estimates the economic impact on the North Island (from Campbell River north) to be “a couple million dollars.”

Workers are booked into the KEDC’s other Port Hardy property, the Pierside Landing, and are spending their dollars on dining out, replacing broken tools, etc.Inside, workers are at the paint and drywall stage, but before they reached that point, the hotel was basically torn back to the studs – revealing one of the biggest surprises – no vapour barrier, said Browne. So all new insulation was put in, the barrier was installed, along with drywall that is double the thickness of the old material.In addition, the hotel received all new electrical, wiring, plumbing, heating an cooling system, roof, windows, and even a traditional smoke hole.

There will also be a new grand entrance.Furniture arrived last week and was stored in the pub area so it could be moved right into rooms as painting and flooring was completed. “We’re planning a soft opening for June 1 and be full on by June 15. Is it going to be a big push? You bet it is,” he said. “We’re taking it as a very personal challenge” to be ready on time.

In addition to the rooms, construction is also happening on the conference centre portion of the hotel which “will take a few extra weeks.” This work includes raising the ceiling from eight feet to 12 feet. The pub, pool and restaurant will also be renovated in time to be open this summer. Once complete, the Kwa’lilas Hotel is going to be “something that the Nation is going to be proud of and the whole community can be proud of,” say Browne. “We’re trying to be ‘that’ place.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Collaborative effort removes salmon farms from BC coast

The first farms to be removed were those in closest to the Ahta and Viner Rivers.

North Island Concert Society: Marc Atkinson Trio coming to the Civic Centre

The concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Port Hardy Civic Centre.

MP Blaney welcomes feedback on medical assistance in dying legislation

Over the next two weeks the Government of Canada is holding consultations… Continue reading

Picture perfect: Get the most from your wedding photography

Stop by the Comox Community Centre on Jan. 26 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.!

VIDEO: North Island Atom Eagles run over Victoria Racquet Club B2 Kings

“This team has come so far this year, from a tough time in tiering to where we are now”

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

BC Ferries hybrid ships arrive in Victoria on Saturday

The battery-operated vessels will take over smaller routes

Theft victim confronts suspects with baseball bat on Vancouver Island

RCMP in Nanaimo seek to identify of two people alleged to have used a stolen credit card

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

Most Read