The Discovery hotel in Iqaluit may block off some rooms to house extra clients from the city's boarding home, should it run out of space.

This change is happening because Nova Hotels, owner of Iqaluit's medical boarding home, has bought the Discovery hotel from Tower Arctic.

The new owners say not much is changing, but the hotel's relationship with the Tammaativvik boarding home will be the main difference, says Debbie Hannah, chief operating officer for the Nova Group.

Currently, Tammaativvik can slot overflow patients into empty rooms at the Discovery when the boarding home is full. Hannah says now the idea is to give more assurance to the boarding home that it will have space available for its clients.

"Over time we will hopefully be able to block those rooms as needed for the boarding home, but that's really a lucky guess because we never know who's going to arrive in the community or who's not," said Hannah.

Tammaativvik medical boarding home

The Tammaativvik Medical Boarding Home has 90 beds and faces a capacity crunch. Nova is planning an expansion to the building. (Jordan Konek/CBC)

Nova will add a second bed to a number of rooms in the hotel, so the boarding home will eventually have access to 22 more beds than it does now.

Otherwise, the rooms will remain the same and when they are not needed by the boarding home, they will continue to be rented to tourists and those visiting on business.

Hannah acknowledged the shortage of hotel rooms in Iqaluit and said the Nova Group has plans to address this by building a more corporate-styled hotel across the street from the boarding home.

The company has also commissioned a designer to figure out how to connect an expansion to the boarding home. Right now, she says the application for the land for an expansion is with the City of Iqaluit and she expects it to be built within the next two years.

At which point, she says the boarding home should need to rely less on the rooms at the Discovery.

Other changes minimal

But for the moment, other changes will be minimal.

"This property [Discovery hotel] is in super shape, we don't have to invest any renovation money at this point," said Hannah.

The hotel's restaurant, the Granite Room, will continue its operations, but Hannah says the plan is to spice up the menu.

The Mrdjenovich family, which owns the Nova companies, also owns bison ranches, and will be sending bison meat to the restaurant in addition to other specialty products including wagyu beef, a high-end fatty beef.

The staff at both the restaurant and the hotel will remain the same.