Ramada plans timber tower
Kirk Penton - Dec 11, 2019 - Biz Releases

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It’s worked so well in Penticton that they are going to give it a try in Kelowna, too.

The Ramada by Wyndham Kelowna Hotel and Conference Centre, located at the corner of Harvey Avenue and Dilworth Drive, wants to build a 12-storey tower that will feature approximately 83 new rooms. The big difference, however, is it will be constructed with primarily mass timber.

Penticton Lakeside Resort built a six-storey addition two and a half years ago using mass timber, and now the Ramada is going to follow in its footsteps.

“This mass timber construction is admired both by young and old, which is kind of key,” Lakeside Resort general manager David Prystay said. “Anybody who is concerned about the environment and concerned about the future of this planet should embrace this type of technology.”

Prystay plans to oversee the project with Ramada Kelowna GM Stan Martindale, as both hotels are properties of RPB Holdings Ltd. Prystay said it was a “no-brainer” to go with mass timber for the Ramada expansion after seeing how successful it has been in Penticton.

“It’s a different clientele we’re going to be attracting now with this style of wood,” he said. “People are willing to pay a little more to experience this style of room and this style of construction. It does cost a little more than regular construction, so the price is passed on to the consumer, but we’ve never had anybody balk at the numbers, which are not bad at all.”

The Ramada, which currently has 125 hotel rooms, will submit its development plan to the City of Kelowna by Dec. 20. If all goes well, the shovels will go in the ground next summer or fall. It will take between 18 and 24 months to build, Prystay said.

“It’s a renewable resource,” he said. “It’s very green. It’s good for the environment. It helps combat global warming. It’s all the good things in life.

“It creates jobs in B.C. It’s all B.C.-based jobs for the wood, the timber and for the development through Structurlam and Greyback Construction.”

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