Veteran Winnipeg hoteliers get ready to build Suburban Extended Stay Hotel on Moak Crescent

Accommodations North Ltd.and AP2 Developments Ltd., the management companies behind Thompson's newest hotel, are getting ready to begin construction of the 70-room Suburban Extended Stay Hotelon Moak Crescent, says Angelo Paletta, a veteran Winnipeg hotelier.

"We are proud to announce that construction of our new 70-room Suburban Extended Stay Hotelwill commence in the coming weeks in Thompson," said Paletta in a recent statement.

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To be located next to the City Centre Mall, "Suburban Extended Stay is a member of the Choice Hotels family of international hotel brands," he added. "The Suburban will feature 70 newly constructed quality suites each fully equipped with kitchenettes, ample work area,and restful living space. Whether you are travelling for one night or staying for months at a time, the Suburban can ensure a pleasant stay in Thompson."

Al Can Global Development Inc., of Selkirk exercised an option to buy the property last winter. Mark Matiasek, general manager of Thompson Unlimited noted in March, "This type hotel operates following a different model than more traditional hotels. The hotel is designed to accommodate persons expected to stay in Thompson (or the immediate region) for a length of time. No restaurant, no pool, en suites amenities and extra light housekeeping characterize this model. More rooms of a different nature for Thompson visitors results."

At the time, Matiasek outlined how Thompson Unlimited helped Al Can Global Development Inc., of Selkirk, get to the stage it was ready to exercise its option to buy the property.

"Thompson Unlimited was contacted by NorMan RDC and advised of preliminary discussions involving a popular national hotel room chain about expanding into the Northern Manitoba market," Matiasek said. "Thompson Unlimited engaged the contact directly and commenced discussions about expanding into Thompson. Discussions further evolved to include a preliminary trip to our city to tour and meet others face-to-face. Positive discussions were enjoyed and subsequently lead to an investors' forum being organized by Thompson Unlimited involving the director of franchise sales and potential local investors," Matiasek said.

"Additional tours of the city followed involving the

director of franchise sales and major investors by Thompson Unlimited, and a shortlist of vacant undeveloped lots were created. Site selection practices were utilized to select a preferred parcel of land from the shortlist. Further discussions ensued involving the city, local contractors, the director and Thompson Unlimited, which culminated into verbal, followed by written, agreements in a careful process to bring about a business transaction," he said.

The are currently about 450 hotels rooms in the city, probably averaging a 70 per cent occupancy rate, Keith MacDonald, president of the Thompson Chamber of Commerce and general manager of both the Burntwood Hotel and Thompson Inn, owned by Manfred Boehm of Winnipeg, said earlier this year.

Other local hotels include the Days Inn, Meridian Hotel, Country Inn and Suites, Interior Inn, Mystery Lake Motor Hotel and Northern Inn & Steak House.

"Having contractors utilize this extended stay model of accommodations," Matiasek said, "may help divert some contractors from staying in more traditional hotels and thus make room for tourists who would be more compelled to stay in the traditional hotel (restaurants, taverns, pool, daily housekeeping, etc.).

"As part of their due diligence in considering their expansion into the Thompson market, the hotel chain collected and analyzed data to determine the demand for their product. In determining whether to make a multi-million dollar investment in our community, they had to be sure that they would earn their return on investment. The fact that they optioned the land is evidence that they see a business opportunity here," he added.

AP2 Development's principals - Joe, Anthony, and Angelo Paletta - have been in the hotel business for more than 30 years.

"Whether you are a sole proprietor or a REIT (Real Estate Investment Trust)," says a company brochure. "AP2 can develop and manage the ideal hotel for your target market. We understand what hoteliers want out of a development /management company because we are hoteliers ourselves. From turnkey hotel constructions to business planning and management contracts, AP2's involvement in your hotel will ensure the maximum return on your investment.

"From luxury resorts to business class hotels, AP2 offers a broad spectrum of hotel expertise. AP2 understands hotels and has the know-how to develop and execute the appropriate plan for any specific market. Whether you are a sole proprietor or corporation, franchisee or independent, AP2 will enhance your hotel venture and fortify your investment," the company says.

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