Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Delta Hotel Winnipeg Renovations

Delta Hotel Winnipeg
The exterior renovations in 2012 cost $1 million and now roughly $9 to $10 million worth of renovations are taking place inside Winnipeg's largest hotel, the Delta Winnipeg beside the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg.

The hotel on St. Mary has been the largest hotel in the city since the 1970s with 393 rooms. Sometimes it seems as if renovations take place there all the time and in truth, it is around every 10 years according to industry standards. This latest work is stretched out over three years.

The convention centre next door was built for $23 million in 1975 and it triggered $50 million in private spending by Lakeview for a five tower complex that included a Holiday Inn, office tower, parkades and two residential towers. It is often believed that that convention centre came first and the hotel after but construction on the Lakeview development was well underway with hotel and one residential tower complete.

The hotel at 17 stories and constructed in 1972 has had three names since being built. The Holiday Inn was first and many years later became the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza or simply Crowne Plaza. It was an attempt by the Holiday Inn company to distinguish difference between some of their hotels. And in their mind, the Crowne Plaza beside the Winnipeg Convention Centre was a marquee product.

In 2000, the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza became the Delta Hotel Winnipeg and so began a dizzying name change for hotels in the city. Previously, the Delta had been on Portage Avenue in the old Northstar Hotel (now the Radisson). At the time of the conversion, the hotel underwent a $12 million renovation.

And so it goes again for the Delta, a very intensive reno to the outside and now the inside. Apparently, the reconstruction was already in the works and was not triggered by the $180 million expansion of the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg.

New Skywalk connection completed in 2010
Delta exterior renovations in 2012
The Delta will continue to be the largest hotel for the foreseeable future and the primary hotel for the convention center. The two and now three block convention site area will likely be joined by one or two more hotels in time. However, talk about those hotels has gone on just under 10 years.

The underground parking and skywalk connections has made the area a prime convention site. Delta has 170 underground stalls off of St. Mary. The RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg has 560 parking stalls and will be adding 150 more in the new building. The Lakeview Square lot off of York Avenue has 512 parking stalls. All in all, quite a few spaces to accommodate people coming in for trade show and conventions and needing hotel space.

Photo by Esquire on Skyscraper Forum
The parking lot at York that is the site of the convention centre expansion is land the province has squatted on for years. It has been a parking lot for provincial workers during that time. By my calculation and I have not seen it listed, there were around 300 cars parked on the site. The parkade under the 340,000 expansion will have 150 stalls. I doubt very much whether provincial workers will get monthly parking there.

If and when Lakeview develops a new hotel on Edmonton across from the convention centre, a further 75 or so stalls will built over although I suspect the hotel will have underground parking to make up for it.

None of the missing parking on the surface will be mourned. The Delta Hotel, Lakeview Square and RBC Winnipeg Convention Centre did the right thing and put parking below grade. They also ensured mixed use of retail, restaurants and in the case of Lakeview, residential buildings.

The Delta Hotel is also doing a major upgrade on Elephant and Castle. This is a good thing as people forget how important the restaurants such as Boston Pizza in Cityplace and Elephant and Castle do for foot traffic.

It will be curious to see how long the Delta Hotel will continue to be the largest hotel in the city. It has held that position for decades and there seems to be no threat to that position even now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I stopped keeping track of the downtown hotel names about ten years ago. They change names so frequently, that it is quite difficult to keep track. So now, it is just "You know, the hotel at the corner of such & such."
Great news for downtown. Keep up the good writing Dobs!