Hotels bookings will be full in 2018/19
The Portage Citizen
Book your room now, when construction ramps up, you might not get one.
By many accounts, 2017 was a good year for local hoteliers and 2018 continues to build a head of steam. With spades poised to dig or already in the ground to construct the Roquette pea protein plant or the Simplot expansion, the coming years will be boom times in the room-for-rent industry.
“Roquette and Simplot are identifying between the two of them at their peak expected to be in November of this year, there will be about 1,100 trades daily working between those two sites,” says Vern May, Portage Regional Economic Development (PRED) executive director.
“We’re trying to find solutions so we avoid the situation where both of those companies simply elect to house all their workers in Winnipeg and bus them in and out daily. We would lose a lot if they go that route,” May said.
Meetings last week between the municipalities, major project officers and provincial government to look at challenges gave a clearer picture on timelines and how each party could provide assistance.
“As an example,” May explained, “Roquette reached out to us and asked, ‘can you help us identify an inventory of hotel rooms that we may be able to rely upon’.
“We reached out to all of our local service providers as well as those within a 45-minute radius of Portage la Prairie. When we engaged the hoteliers, some were ready to block rooms. Now we have firm timelines, we’re better position to assist,” May said.