The Valley is growing. The number of tourists and residents is increasing; they all need places to stay.
Indigenous Nations have been stepping up to make it happen.
The Huu-ay-aht Group of Businesses, Tseshaht First Nation and MasterBUILT Hotels Ltd have just partnered up to build a hotel.
According to the project’s partners, it is desperately needed.
Alberni is a travel hotspot for tourists moving through to Tofino and more rural areas.
It’s also a central point for Nuu-chah-nulth people and other Northern Island residents travelling south for necessities like healthcare services.
Plus, there are all the sporting events.
“The Valley hasn’t had a hotel built since 1980 (the Best Western Barclay Hotel). I’ve heard from hockey clubs saying we really need a new hotel in the Valley,” said Tseshaht First Nations Chief Councillor Wahmeesh (Ken Watts) to Alberni Valley News.
The 39,000-square-foot hotel featuring 76 rooms, a pool and a water slide will fill this much-needed infrastructure gap – as well as provide employment and training opportunities to both nations and Alberni Valley residents.
“As we move on to the next phases of the amazing project, we know it will be supported by all as we address economic development, employment and training, accommodations, tourism and First Nations working together,” said Wahmeesh.
But beds for visitors are the only thing the Valley needs. Ahousaht Nation is making moves to provide for valley residents struggling to keep up with rising living costs.
They’ve just begun demolition on the old school building on Cedarwood St. It will be replaced with affordable housing to benefit the more than 500 community members living in the area.
The multi-purpose čitaapi Mahtii building will stand four stories high and provide 35 affordable housing units.
Project Consulting Team and čitaapi Mahtii Housing Society Greg Louie told Ha-Shilth-Sa they hope to begin construction in early September.
“We will be looking for employees during the construction,” said Louie. They can be experienced, or they could be willing to be trained. “We will need people for construction and for trades like electrical,” said Louie.
Island West Coast Development will be taking resumes. You can contact Tina Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
The space will also have a gathering place for cultural activities and feature Indigenous art inside and outside. Artists are invited to send conceptual drawings to Wally Samuel at email@example.com.
Both projects are setting up new paths forward for the Valley, and we love to see it.