The Best Western Plus Mission City Lodge is growing in size with an extension to its building. The Mission hotel has finished construction on 40 new rooms, increasing its capacity by 50 per cent.
Tourism Mission manager Clare Seeley says the addition will help the city retain tourists for overnight stays.
“One of the issues that we have currently is that due to the lack of hotel rooms, we have to primarily promote ourselves as a day trip destination, rather than an overnight destination,” Seeley says. “The addition of 40 rooms is phenomenal for us, with [Best Western] currently being our only hotel option in town.”
With Diamond Head Motor Inn closed, Seeley says the Mission City Lodge’s extension will help offset the impact of losing accomodation space.
Best Western Plus Mission City Lodge manager Chester Huan says the new space won’t have an effect on tourism until spring and summer because business is slower during the winter.
“We’re hoping that it will help us out in the summer when we have the raceway open, weddings and sports teams [looking for accomodation],” he said. “Having the extra rooms will make it a lot easier for us to be able to accommodate bigger groups.”
Huan says capacity is steady at 50 to 60 per cent annually, but the extra capacity will help on summer weekends with overflow and keep tourists from staying at nearby locations in Abbotsford and Maple Ridge.
“Quite often people coming in for larger events end up staying in surrounding communities,” Seeley said. “All of their economic spend tends to be within those communities. So I also think we’ll see big benefits in the fact that we’ll see increased expenditure for local restaurants, gas stations, cafes and shopping.”
Seeley says the hotel expansion will also help accomodate film and television productions that want to shoot in Mission and could provide year-round business.
Construction on the project began in 2019 as an idea by Mission City Lodge’s late owner Josef Karel Calhoun Sr. to improve the business.
“He always wanted to extend the hotel and near the end of his life he wanted to do one final project,” Huan said. “We knew Mission was growing and we had the funds. He passed away at the beginning after we broke ground.”
The hotel is awaiting permits for occupancy and final inspections from Best Western before it can open the rooms to the public. The hotel is expecting the new space to be available in January 2023.