Stuart Back is vice-president of operations for the Banff Jasper Collection, Pursuit.
Calgary’s Business: Can you describe the extent of the damage the Mount Royal Hotel suffered in a fire a couple of years ago and the estimated cost to rebuild?
Back: The Mount Royal Hotel experienced extensive fire and water damage after a fire tore through the hotel in December 2016. As a result of the damages, we initiated a full restoration and construction of the historic property, with total renovations costing approximately $45 million.
CB: When do you expect the hotel to reopen?
Back: Pursuit is pleased to announce that the hotel will officially reopen its doors to welcome guests on July 1. The hotel is currently taking reservations and bookings can be made at mountroyalhotel.com.
CB: What will be different in the new hotel from the old hotel?
Back: The new Mount Royal Hotel design features historically-inspired décor and remarkable amenities including the much anticipated rooftop lounge with outdoor hot tubs. A custom-designed museum and a hotel library will provide unique spaces for guests and the community to connect and share stories. Well-appointed and spacious guest rooms will showcase stunning mountain views. Every element of the redesign has been carefully curated to ensure historical elements from the old hotel have been represented in the new design.
CB: How have you preserved the history of the hotel in spite of the fire?
Back: We were inspired by the hotel’s rich history and knew we had to incorporate it into the design, while providing a unique experience for today’s modern traveller. To do so, we engaged the local community, collaborated with world-renowned design and construction firms, and challenged ourselves to create an entirely unique hotel experience in Banff.
CB: What kind of tourist season do you expect for Banff this year?
Back: The town of Banff is an iconic travel destination that welcomes visitors from both Calgary and around the globe each year. We’re anticipating another busy season in Banff and look forward to officially opening our doors to the public and welcoming guests to the new Mount Royal Hotel. Pursuit is also host to other iconic Rocky Mountain experiences, including the Banff Gondola, Glacier Skywalk and Maligne Lake Cruise in Jasper.
– Mario Toneguzzi
Respected business writer Mario Toneguzzi is a veteran Calgary-based journalist who worked for 35 years for the Calgary Herald in various capacities, including 12 years as a senior business writer.
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