New development planned for Redvers
February 15, 2023, 1:12 pm
Sierra D'Souza Butts
A full crowd showed up at a public meeting in Redvers last Tuesday, to hear about Steel Creek Developers’ plan for building a hotel, or a mixed facility that would serve as a hotel and senior living facility, in the Town of Redvers.
There were a lot of questions and engagement from the community with about 50 residents coming out.
“It’s really nice to see the turn out we have here tonight, give yourselves a hand for supporting our community and thank you all for coming out,” said Brad Bulbuck, Mayor of Redvers.
“We got a community here that we’re very proud of and we want to develop into the future. I want to introduce Ken Rempel, he is with Steel Creek Developers. He’s done a number of hotels/apartment building projects throughout Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
“We’ve been talking to Ken for probably six months to a year now, and he has some good ideas that we would like to present to everyone tonight.”
Ken Rempel, the president of Steel Creek Developers, proposed building a 30-room hotel building in Redvers.
“The advantage of a quality hotel in a community is that when you have hockey tournaments, when you have weddings, if you have any events in town, people come and they stay, and when they stay, they spend money in your community,” said Rempel.
“We built our first hotel in Souris, Manitoba. A year after it was built, I went to visit them and asked them if they had seen any difference in that year and every one of them said they had seen an increase in their business. I think it’s pretty safe to say that same thing will happen here.”
Rempel said Steel Creek Developers are proud of their unique hotel room designs, where the bathroom in each hotel room is down the middle, dividing the beds, as it fits the needs for customers who pass through small communities.
There are also rooms built that are best suited for sports teams who are staying as a group, as well as large families. Rempel stated their hotel buildings also include a meeting room that the community can use for public or business events.
During the meeting, quite a few residents showed their interest in having a building in town that would work as an assisted living facility.
Although Rempel said the company has only built mixed facilities as a hotel and apartment building, they are interested in creating a model that would work as a hotel and assisted living building in Redvers.
“The way we build our hotels, generally, we put them in a lot so that it’s a business you can expand and add on to (in the future) without a lot of extra costs,” Rempel said.
“The reason for that is because want the shareholders to make a good return and empty hotel rooms don’t make you any good money. We much rather add on because of the need for it, than build it too big at the start and have it losing money.
“Another thing is our room design has some of the features purposely designed for, let’s say, someone else came to town and built a massive hotel and your hotel becomes obsolete, overnight we can turn this hotel into assisted living.
“That’s one of our models, if there’s a need for assisted living and if we could get enough shareholders to do it, I would really support it.”
If the community wishes to move forward with the project, Rempel spoke about needing local investors to cover the cost of the project.
“For anyone that is really interested, we would have another meeting and I would bring my son out and he could run through numbers,” he said.
“No one is going to say they’re going to invest unless they really feel comfortable that the numbers will get them enough return. We would have some really serious meetings before we would expect people to say they would do it. We would have to provide numbers that are based on current prices.”
With the estimate cost for building a 30 room hotel being $7 million, the community would have to come up with 50 per cent of the funds before construction can start.
However to get the project to fruition, local investors are highly encouraged, Rempel said.
“The reason why we work with communities to have local investors as much as possible because we found that they all would help support it,” Rempel said.
“We haven’t done our homework yet, but we’re suggesting a hotel with 30 rooms. If the previous hotel had 64 rooms in Redvers and that was too big, I think with 30 rooms we should be pretty safe because we only need half of those rooms filled and we’re making money.
“If you fill 15 rooms on average then you’re doing okay, you’re not making a lot of money, but you’re, probably, making a 10 per cent return on your investment.”
Rempel said he does not have a location in mind for where the hotel would be located in Redvers, but recommends the local investors and shareholders to pick what they think is best for the town.
Mayor happy with turnout at event
The mayor of Redvers said he was happy with how many people from the community showed an interest in the public meeting for the hotel.
“I think the meeting went okay, I think there’s some apprehension,” Bulbuck said.
“I think everyone was tentative, they were here to find out information and ask questions.
“The ones who are interested in investing, they aren’t going to talk tonight, they’re going to talk in private. They don’t want to have conversations in public about investment opportunities.”
Bulbuck said he was thrilled to see so much community engagement happen during the meeting.
“First of all attendance wise, we had about 50 people here. Someone asked me last week how many people do we hope to have, if we expect to get 10 or 20, and I said I don’t think we’ll be a success unless we get 50,” he said.
“In a town of 1,000 people I think that’s fire.
“The attendance was good, the engagement was good, the questions were challenging because people want to know that they’re getting into a venture that’s going to be successful.
“Let’s face it, people don’t want to throw good money after bad.
With multiple questions being asked by residents about the development for the town, Bulbuck was asked what he thought was the biggest concerned raised.
“I’m hearing a need for assisted living. When we originally thought about this project, the first time with him, we spoke about an assisted living component and a hotel component” he said.
“The more council and I talked to him, I thought with what’s happening with the Saskatchewan Housing Authority and the private sale of that unit, that depending what someone does with that, maybe it will just be a hotel unit, but again, we don’t know what that’s going to look like until that property sells and that development comes in.
“It would be nice to nail that down. Having said that, what I’m hearing tonight is there is a need for assisted living in Redvers.
“What level of care that is? We don’t know at this point, but I think that’s where the community engagement is important.
After the meeting, Rempel met with members from the community and took down any further questions they had.
“There will be follow up phone calls that Ken will be making where he will find out what people are looking from us,” he said.
Bulbuck said he saw a balance of investors and residents who came out at the night of the meeting.
“Tonight there were people in the community who wanted a hotel because they need a place for family and friends to stay when that come here,” he said.
“There’s people in the room who were looking for information with respect to assisted living and there were people in the room who are here for investment purposes. That’s the cross-section we want.
He was asked what the next steps are to move the project forward.
“I think the next steps are to follow up with the people that are here, see where what their thoughts were,” he said.
“Then, we can get together as a council and re-evaluate at that point, then to have more conversations with Ken and see what the next steps are with him.
“I think that’s important, we have to gage the community interest as well.” Tweet