Penticton approves major addition to the Lakeside Resort
RPB Hotels is showing its confidence in Penticton with a new 70-room addition to the Lakeside Resort.
Construction will begin in March on the six-storey, all-wood building. Architect Nick Bevanda spoke to council on behalf of the Prystay family and RPB Hotels and described the building as a unique addition to the city.
“People are watching this project. It will be one of the leading projects in North America if it gets built,” said Bevanda, who explained there is an increasing trend of using wood construction in larger buildings.
“Technology has changed, and wood is now viable material for buildings taller than six stories,” he said. “The greatest hurdle is the public misconception of wood construction and the North American building codes.”
David Prystay, general manager of the Lakeside resort, said going to wood construction wasn’t his idea. That came from Bevanda and Structurlam president Bill Downing.
“I was dead set against it,” said Prystay, adding that his opinion changed after the pair talked to him about the benefits of wood construction and he toured the Structurlam operations in Penticton and Okanagan Falls.
Prystay said another important factor was that Structurlam, which will be supplying the cross-laminated timber to construct the addition, is a local company, employing local people.
The resort currently has 203 rooms available, making this 70-room addition a major expansion. Though it will take up a large portion of the parking lot bordering Rotary Park, Mayor Andrew Jakubeit commented that parking shouldn’t be a problem.
“They (Lakeside Resort) had the vision back in 2002 to overbuild their parkade to deal with future capacity and development,” said Jakubeit, joking with Prystay about the size of the parkade the city required, which the resort disputed when it was built in 2002.
Jakubeit was very supportive of the new project.
“It will be a very modern, iconic building that I think is going to really add to the waterfront, and add to our hospitality offerings, something we have been lobbying for,” he said.
The main building of the resort will also be getting a makeover, according to Prystay, with a new colour scheme and the incorporation of wood bringing its look more into line with the new building.
Construction on the new building is expected to be finished in time for the 2017 summer season. A planned expansion to the resort’s convention facilities will take place after current tenant Gateway Casinos leaves in May 2017, but Prystay said preliminary design work has begun on that project and he is getting marketing staff in place now to begin selling time in the expanded facility.
Prystay wasn’t surprised that council voted unanimously to approve the development permit, saying that there never was any doubt about the outcome.
This is just the latest addition to the resort which began construction in 1980, followed by the addition of the Lakeside Casino in 2000, the parkade in 2002 and the Hooded Merganser restaurant in 2004.