SASKATOON — P.R. Hotels Ltd., as the developer for College Hotels LP, and the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) broke ground last month on a brand new, nine-storey hotel development that will provide an exciting mix of services for the university and surrounding community.
College Hotels LP is jointly owned by P.R. Hotels Ltd., owned by Lawrence and Patricia Rychjohn, and Normandale Holdings Ltd., owned by Ian and Alice Van Norman. The Rychjohns and Van Normans have a long history of developing and owning commercial, residential and hotel properties together, with one of their more notable projects in Saskatoon being The Centre at Circle and 8th mall.
Under the terms of the partnership, and as a general partner on behalf of College Hotels LP, P.R. Hotels (University) Ltd., will be responsible for the capital and operating costs of the hotel, and the university will provide a long-term lease on a parcel of land within College Quarter.
Located on College Drive, just east of the Stadium Parkade, the dual-branded hotel development will combine two separate hotels, a Holiday Inn Express and a Staybridge Suites, in one building. The two distinct hotels will offer both short- and long-term accommodation to campus visitors—including visiting lecturers and researchers, meeting attendees, parents, athletes, students and their families—as well as the general public.
The hotel was designed by Calnitsky and Associates Architects and is being constructed by Meridian Developments. It is expected to open by April 2018.
Jeff Krivoshen, chief operating officer of P.R. Hotels Ltd., said he is excited about the opportunities this partnership presents.
“The extended stay hotel will meet demand at the university,” he told CLN. “There are researchers and scientists involved with synchrotron [light] research, infectious diseases, the cancer clinic and the first and only Children's Hospital in the province.”
Krivoshen added that the unique, L-shaped building will include the 123-room Holiday Inn Express featuring mid- to upper-scale rooms meant for shorter stays, while the 97-room Staybridge Suites will offer suites with kitchen facilities for longer-stay guests. “We are very honoured to partner with the U of S and to be entrusted to develop on its land.”
Hotel amenities, Krivoshen continued, will include complimentary breakfast facilities for each brand, along with a shared lobby, swimming pool, and fitness centre, as well as a business centre and free Internet. Three meeting rooms, all on the ninth floor with panoramic views of the campus and the city, will be available for rent by guests, members of the campus community and the general public.
Home Ice Campaign donation of $1 million
During the ground-breaking ceremony, the Rychjohns and Van Normans made a surprise announcement that they have decided donate $1 million to the University of Saskatchewan’s Home Ice Campaign to build a new ice facility on campus. The two-storey, twin-pad ice facility in Saskatoon will have increased spectator seating, sufficient dressing rooms for both Huskie hockey and community groups, as well as dedicated space for coaches, trainers, referees and equipment storage.
“Giving back to the community will benefit our project and enhance the student experience,” Krivoshen said. “The city as a whole benefits from a strong university and an active student base.”
P.R. Hotels Ltd. owns and operates six other hotels including the Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites and the Holiday Inn in Saskatoon. The university chose P.R. Hotels as its partner back in 2013 following a request for proposals process.
“We are very lucky to have such generous supporters of the U of S,” said Stoicheff. “I am deeply grateful to Lawrence and Patricia Rychjohn, and Alice and Ian Van Norman, for their contributions not only to this hotel development, but also for their gift for our new ice-facility.”
“The hotel is an important part of our vision for College Quarter, which is an extension of our main campus,” said U of S President Peter Stoicheff. “While the university isn’t in the business of running hotels, nor should we be, we do have a consistent need for hotel services, and that’s where this partnership comes into play.”