The new four-storey Comfort Inn and Suites will soon be rising downtown. Pictured here on the building site are (from left) Jim Joyce of Titan Construction and business partners Jonathon Shead

Hotel ready to rise in downtown Campbell River

Foundation work is already underway to build the new 55-room Comfort Inn and Suites

Framing on a new four-storey hotel will begin within the next two weeks on yet another big downtown building project. Foundation work is already underway to build the new 55-room Comfort Inn and Suites on the Campbell River foreshore. It’s going up between the Tyee Plaza and the new, six-storey Berwick By The Sea retirement residence which is due to open later this year.

“A high percentage of the rooms will have an ocean view and it’s one of the best views on the coast,” said Jonathan Shead of the new hotel.

Many people know Shead as the owner of Intersport, but his 14-year friendship with fellow South African Colyn Clay has led to other business ventures.

Now the two have teamed up, along with Clay’s son, Ken Clay, to build the Comfort Inn and Suites which is part of the Choice Hotels group.

“They’re all over the world and there are more than 300 in Canada. They’ve also surpassed one million for their loyalty rewards program,” said Shead.

The hotel will be a coastal design, wood-frame construction with plenty of exposed beams in the lobby. The majority of hotel rooms face east overlooking Discovery Passage and islands, and the Coastal Mountains, while the suites face west to the city and mountains of Strathcona Park.

The hotel amenities include an indoor pool, fitness room, business centre and two meeting rooms. Titan Construction of Langley is the general contractor and Shead said they’re trying to use local subcontractors wherever possible.

And after some construction delays, the builders are anxious to get going. With no further delays, the hotel is expected to open this September.

Shead will be the general manager and he’s gone through a steep curve to learn the complexities and nuances of the hotel industry.

“You always need a challenge,” he said. “I was actually playing too much bridge. It used to be four times a week! Now, since we’ve been working on this (hotel), I haven’t played since December 2012.”