Morden mayor Ken Wiebe, owner Peter Klassen and Morden Community Development Corporation chair John Wiens broke ground on the Best Western site on July 4.
A new hotel is coming to Morden and could be finished as soon as spring.
The 35,000 square foot Best Western is going up on Loren Drive, just east of the Morden sign. The hotel will have three floors with 63 rooms, a pool, hot tub, water slide and will serve continental breakfast. The Best Western will also have several long-term stay rooms with kitchenette suites.
“We were looking at Morden being a growing development,” Peter Klassen, one of five partners involved in the project, said. “We see Morden as experiencing growth both in the business sector and the general population, and so we feel that there is a need here for a new and modern hotel and we’re hoping to service the people here and give them an experience that they will look forward to having.”
There is no definite start date yet, but Klassen said if the start date comes in the next few weeks the hotel could be completed by spring. The hotel will staff about 20-25 people, both full- and part-time positions.
“Tourism is great here,” Klassen said. “I think the business sector has really increased dramatically here. It’s a growing community and we look forward to doing business here.”
Klassen said the group is also considering a conference centre as part of the second phase of the project. “We do have the property here available to us to do that expansion,” he said. “We also want to make sure that we have expansion room for rooms as well. We feel that the growth is going to be sufficient enough that we will need to add rooms.”
Mayor Ken Wiebe said that the hotel is part of the growth of the community. “You don’t invest in a hotel unless you have confidence in the community,” he said. “I think we’ve shown developers that they have reason to be confident. With our tourism industry growing, with our industrial park growing, our residential areas growing, our population is increasing, we have a really great immigration program that is proving to be very successful, it’s a great community to be in.”
Wiebe also said the hotel would be useful for sporting events in the future. “We could definitely use some more rooms,” he said. “It’s not just for big sporting events, it’s even [for] the tournaments they have locally in the wintertime. This will be a great boost to that. As it is now, we fill up our hotels here quite regularly in the wintertime with hockey tournaments, so this will be a good addition.”
Morden Community Development Corporation chair John Wiens said the organization’s attitude has been a positive one when working with potential new businesses. “Council has cooperated with us in getting to the ‘yes,’” he said. “We’re very pleased. We’ve had a hotel on our horizon for a while, hoping that we could get one and that somebody would come calling, and they came calling. MCDC is in a very positive mode at this point.”
Wiens said he hopes a project like this could have a ripple effect on the community. “I was happy to hear [Klassen] say they would support local trades and so on, we think that’s very important because it helps the rest of the economy grow.”