Construction is moving along at the expansion of Penticton Lakeside Resort, but more is on the way as they estimate a spring 2018 opening for a new convention centre.
Elizabeth Cucnik, of the Lakeside, said the anticipated 18,000 square feet of convention space, that will be built where the casino previously was at the resort will feature state-of-the-art technology, a 12-foot patio and glass all along the Okanagan Lake side to bring in light and for visitors to soak in the views. The atrium area in the east wing will also be updated to host small parties or cocktail receptions.
“We will have a high-level conference and convention centre that can compete with many in B.C. With the space we already have in the ballrooms and this new area we hope to bring a lot more of the conventions from around the province here,” said Cucnik. “Our goal is to attract people to Penticton. We want those people to see what Penticton has to offer — state-of-the-art facilities and a world-class destination.”
Greyback Construction, which has approximately 95 people working at the hotel room expansion site, will also work closely on the convention centre project. Cucnik said they already have interest from two large conventions and one conference to use the space when it is anticipated to open next spring. First, she said they need to finish the designs and bring them to city council to be approved.
Architect Nick Bevanda, who recently died, worked in conjunction with the Lakeside on the vision of many of their projects including the convention space, hotel expansion and the Hooded Merganser Restaurant.
“A lot of this place is thanks to his vision. He was the one that really pushed for the Structurlam wood beams in the expansion rooms that will look amazing. We definitely will have a dedication of some sort on the property to honour the work he has done,” said Cucnik.
The hotel room expansion project is getting close to installing Kingspan panels on the exterior to match the colours of the main building. Crews are working on paving, drywalling, tiling and getting the elevators installed. The six-storey, 70-room expansion will feature exposed wood ceilings and the panels that separate the units on the deck. It will bring the resort’s room inventory up to 273 units.
Mass timber, cross-laminated panels in the hotel room expansion were supplied by Structurlam, which is based out of Penticton with a manufacturing facility in Okanagan Falls. Renovations are also taking place in the main building hotel rooms with new wallpaper, furniture and updates to the rooms that are expected to be complete for the opening of the expansion on June 22.
“We have such a special place in this city — right beside the lake, close to downtown and amenities — that David (Prystay, general manager of the Lakeside) almost feels a responsibility to offer a modern resort,” said Cucnik. “It really is a win for everybody when we can attract more people to our city and boost the economy.”