No room at the Calgary Inns? More hotels needed to keep up with BMO influx – Calgary

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If the city doesn’t want to miss out on thousands of tourism dollars, the Chamber of Commerce says it needs an additional 3,000 hotel rooms to meet the expected influx of visitors to future conferences at the BMO Center.

Calgary Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Deborah Yedlin says now that the expanded BMO Center is open, the focus must shift to ensuring there are enough hotel rooms to meet the increased demand that the largest convention center in West -Canada will pick up.

“We need to create between 2,500 and 3,000 additional rooms to address this shortage,” Yedlin said. “If this shortage is not addressed, we will not realize the full potential of what the BMO Center expansion represents as it could result in more than 100,000 lost nights by 2031.”

Yedlin says it has already helped attract dozens of conferences, many of which would not have been possible without the expansion that allows the center to host up to 33,000 guests at once.

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“And as a hub for visitors, it will contribute to our global reputation as a leader in hospitality,” she added.

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The problem, however, is that the city currently does not have enough hotel rooms to accommodate the excess number of visitors, meaning the city would also lose out on tourism dollars for the city’s food, beverage, retail, entertainment and transportation sectors.

Calgary Hotel Association’s Sol Zia echoes these sentiments, saying the expansion is great for the city’s tourism sector, but more hotels are needed for a city that only has about 15,000 hotel rooms for 1.2 million square feet of convention space.

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More importantly, there are only about 5,000 hotel rooms in the city center where delegates would want to stay to be close to the conference centres.

“If you compare us to cities like Toronto and Montreal, we are not even close to the capacity to host a congress of 15,000 delegates,” he says, adding that there are also other travelers we take into account have to keep.

“So we will feel a significant shortage of rooms, especially in the center. And that is why we hope – together with the Chamber – to see plans for at least 1,100 rooms on the Stampede grounds and in and around the BMO Center.”

Zia said he believes the city should break ground on the hotel within the next 10 months.

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“We are not going to push for construction to start this summer – we know that is not feasible,” he said, adding that the process must be started at least by the end of the year to meet the need to more hotels in the city center. .

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