STONEY NAKODA – The Bearspaw-Kananaskis Travel Centre will officially be open for business by the end of the week.
Workers inside the 6,000 square-foot building, which includes a Tim Hortons and ESSO gas station, spent the past few days installing signage and ironing out some last minute glitches with its point of sale system.
When it’s completed the travel centre is expected to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“I can’t nail down exactly when we will open, but this week I am expecting to be fully open,” said Rob Shotclose, CEO for the Bearspaw First Nation.
“The only thing that will take a bit longer will be the cardlock where the big diesel trucks and semi trucks fill up. That will not be open this week.”
Located beside the Stoney Nakoda Casino and Resort, the new site also includes a 1,200-square-foot mezzanine on the second floor, a gift shop and a private lounge area for truckers, however that area is not yet open to the public.
The project was originally supposed to be completed in the summer, however due to design concerns from Tim Hortons the project was delayed.
“It’s been a lot of work behind the scenes to get it open and I know people are very anxious to see it open, but there’s a lot of moving pieces,” said Shotclose.
He said the travel centre is expected to create at least 35 new jobs and help generate $65,000 per year in revenue for the entire Nation for the lease of the land. Any profits from the travel centre will be funnelled back to the Bearspaw band.
To help the project get off the ground, the provincial government provided $625,000 in grant funding, while the federal government kicked in another $700,000.