Casual commentary about political, cultural and economic issues with a particular interest on the city of Winnipeg by John Dobbin
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport Part 5
The Grand Hotel to be built in 2012.
The future Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport
Arrivals area of Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport
Departures level of new terminal at Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport
I've been to the airport a few times in the last months and each time there have seen the progress on the creating the new terminal. It won't be long before building opens to the general public.
The above pictures show what the layout and amenities will be for each floor.
I remember a time when I found the old terminal to be old fashioned with its modern art walls and limestone walls and floors. I still think the art takes getting used to but I've found the building is functional and efficient and the second floor retailing is fairly good. Overall though, given the needs of security and in the interests of comfort, the airport has been adequate although not particularly flashy or filled with some of the extras that some other airports have.
Over the last few years, a number of hotels have been constructed in the airport area to service as well as complement the Polo Park shopping district. The Sandman Hotel took an awful long time to build but came into service in 2007. It also came with Winnipeg's first CHOP restaurant and a return of Denny's to the city. The hotel sits along Sargent Avenue which to this day still have above ground hydro lines which mar the sight-lines of the street. One wonders why the city couldn't get developers like Rona, Superstore and others over the years to help pay to bury the lines.
I won't review hotels here. Everyone has different price points and looks for different amenities and service can be an issue so I will refrain from commenting. The only thing I will say is that newspapers stories and anecdotal evidence suggests that airports are often a target for car break-ins or thieves. The Sandman has been no different on this count.
The Greenwood Inn and Suites just north of the Sandman on Wellington has the benefit of being on the street that leads to the main entrance of the airport. It was built in 2000 and is part of a trend to place more suite hotels in the city for those who might be in the city for a longer stay and might require additional room services.
Also built in 2000 was the Four Points by Sheraton at the airport. It is presently the only hotel on airport grounds and is currently being expanded to service the new terminal.
All of the current construction at the airport has triggered construction of three more hotels in the area. The first is the MainStay Suites on Route 90 close to Sargent Avenue. It is scheduled to open in October. Construction has also begun on Marriot Fairfield Inn on Ellice Avenue. I haven't seen where this one is actually located but will check it out next time in the area.
The last hotel to be built is the Grand Hotel for 2012. This is supposed to be a boutique hotel of the highest level. The picture of what it is to look like appears above.
One hotel that still seems to be standing is the former Howard Johnson. It still has Howard Johnson signage on it. Hard to tell what is happening there.
The three hotels being built will join the 12 already in the airport/Polo Park area.