Highway widening spurs hotel boom in Kelowna

Kelowna businessman Saug Sekhon is tearing down a perfectly good hotel near the corner of Highway 97 and Highway 33 in Kelowna.

“Kelowna is a destination for tourists and this product wasn’t good enough from our experience,” said Sekhon.

So it’s coming down. In its place: A brand new hotel with American flair.

Microtel — a hotel chain you’ve probably never heard of — is staking a claim in Kelowna.

“It’s going to be five storeys high with underground parking,” said Sekhon, who is pumping $9 million into the new hotel — the price you have to pay, he says, to stay in the game.

Two new hotels have already been built in the area, with two more to come. The recent widening of Highway 97 has helped spur commercial growth.

“I think Kelowna is going to be booming and we didn’t want to stay behind the times and we want to keep up with it,” said Sekhon. “The longer you wait, the more it’s going to cost you, so we thought the timing was perfect for us right now.”

And Selhon says don’t let the word ‘micro’ throw you off.

“No,” he said, “there’s nothing small in this hotel.”

Construction will be completed by no later than December 2019.

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