It won’t be long until guests can book a hotel room beside Dakota Dunes Casino.
Whitecap Dakota First Nation broke ground Thursday on a new $38-million hotel and convention centre, slated to open in 2020.
The hotel project will feature Indigenous themes and decor with 155 rooms, a fitness centre, business centre, restaurant and rooftop pool.
“We’ve got the golf course, the casino and next the hotel. So these are things we said we would do long ago,” Chief Darcy Bear told reporters at the unveiling.
Bear said the greatest challenge was getting the equity together.
Chief and council successfully lobbied the federal government to increase the cap — originally $3 million — of funding through its Community Opportunity Readiness Program.
“It was a lot of work behind the scenes, but finally it’s all put together,” Bear said.
Through the program, Indigenous Services Canada contributed $8.6 million to the project. The rest will be covered by the private sector and Whitecap Dakota First Nation.
The hotel and convention centre is expected to generate $8.5 million in annual revenue, providing 230 construction jobs and 150 jobs once open.
“We have a master plan for a Dakota Dunes Resort,” Bear said. “The next phase after that (the hotel)will be the spa project that we will announce once market analysis has been done.”
Bear teased the plans for a Nordic spa — just like the ones in Ottawa and Winnipeg — during his announcement speech Thursday.
The hotel project is expected to generate $230 million in economic benefits for the Saskatoon regional economy over ten years and $13-million in annual government fiscal benefits.