'A win-win situation': Proposed hotel economic boost for Carbonear, says mayor
Hotelle Crockers Cove could be ready for guests as early as 2020
An Ontario couple is planning to build a "luxury boutique" hotel in Carbonear, and the town's mayor says it will bring more people — and more money — into the community.
The developers are also reassuring residents that they will be welcome on the property.
"Different hotels have a gate and they don't allow people that are not a guest to come through. We're not going to have that. It's going to be open," said Janet Whittle-Bailie, who wants to build on oceanfront land in Crockers Cove.
It's "a win-win situation," according to Mayor George Butt Jr.
"It'll bring a lot more people into our town in the mix with all the small conferences. Right now there aren't enough accommodations here for any of that kind of stuff to take place," he told CBC News.
"Of course, the more people you bring into town, they're not only supporting that hotel but also the rest of the businesses in town and our galleries and boutiques."
'Entire peninsula to yourself'
The idea for Hotelle Crockers Cove came to Whittle-Bailie and her husband, James Bailie, about a year and a half ago when they noticed the point of land as they were driving into Carbonear.
"I thought, 'wow, wouldn't that be a nice place for a house?'" said Whittle-Bailie, who is originally from Newfoundland.
"You can have the whole entire peninsula to yourself ... but it was going to cost multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars to [build] a road ... and I thought it is really not feasible to buy [for] a home."
That is when the conversation went towards using the plot for a business — a hotel.
The couple has proposed a hotel with 50 to 60 rooms, each with an ocean view.
The town has agreed to rezone the land but the provincial department of municipal affairs has to sign off on the proposal before an application to build is submitted, according to the mayor.
He said the hotel could open in 2020, if all the pieces fall in place.
Criticism of project
Although most residents are on board with the project, some have concerns, which they voiced at a public hearing in July.
"There are traffic concerns," Butt said. People are also wondering whether they will continue to have access to a hiking trail in Crockers Cove.
"That is going to be available for people to still enjoy." said the mayor. "The hotel will be placed on the piece of land back 23 metres."
Butt called the hotel a "win-win situation," saying it will create about 50 jobs. He is also confident that residents will be able to enjoy it.
"There is going to be a high end hotel, but still the restaurant part of it is going to be affordable," he said.
"The plan is, there is going to be an art gallery there, with all Newfoundland art in it, and that will be available to everybody, so [people] are pretty excited about that."
Whittle-Bailey said it is important to her that residents are behind the hotel and feel it is part of their community.
"Its not just a developer coming in. It's actually someone with Newfoundland heritage and wants this to be beautiful and work, not only for us but to complement the community," she said.