© Paul Hutchings
Charlie Payne, left, and Lloyd Coish work on the canopy at the Holiday Inn Express in Deer Lake. The hotel is scheduled to open in May.
DEER LAKE — The Holiday Inn Express should open in May. In fact, the company is accepting reservations on its website for the new Deer Lake facility as of May 21, 2012.
The hotel will employ close to 50 people and should have between 80-100 rooms.
Workers have most of the exterior completed, with only the drive-thru canopy at the main entrance left to be finished. Site foreman Frank Compton said his team of about 36 workers is completing the interior of the four-storey building one floor at a time. Working from the top down, Compton said the top floor is about 98 per cent finished, the third floor 75 per cent and the second floor, he estimated to be approximately 30 per cent completed. The building’s interior design will begin late winter.
Compton said there haven’t been any hitches as his crew prepared to finish for the Christmas holiday.
“The weather gave us some problems when we were working on the exterior, but now we’re mainly inside, so it shouldn’t be a problem,” he said. “Everything is hooked up and it’s all going good.”
Compton said he was unsure if there would be a ramp leading from the highway to the hotel, explaining that it was in the plans at the beginning of the project, but nothing has been mentioned since and there is no evidence of one being built.
As it stands now, visitors will have to take the exit from the highway onto Nicholsville Road and turn onto Bennett Avenue to access the hotel.
Compton said he is receiving a lot of positive feedback about the project.
“People are pretty happy about this,” he said. “They’re telling me they are looking forward to it being finished. I know there are a lot of people asking about it.”
In 2011 the Deer Lake Regional Airport set a record for the number of passengers using the airport, while the Newfoundland and Labrador Snowmobile Federation has stated its looking to attract more riders from outside the province, and the Deer Lake Chamber of Commerce is also pleased with a new business opens in the area.