Trans Mountain boom means few rooms to rent – Clearwater Times

Some out-of-town teams were unable to attend the Under-15 hockey tournament at the Sportsplex recently because they could not find accommodation in Clearwater.

The mayor and council raised concerns about the situation on Nov. 16, saying the Trans-Mountain pipeline project means there are fewer hotel and motel rooms available for visitors.

Borough Council Lucy Taylor said if Clearwater wins the tournament, the lack of accommodation in town “could have longer term impacts.

“Clearwater has a good reputation for hosting tournaments,” she said.

Mayor Merlin Blackwell said the mayors of Valemount and McBride told him that after Trans Mountain completed its expansion project in Jasper and Mount Robson parks in 2008, there were serious repercussions for the industry. tourism in these communities.

Before the project began, for example, snowmobilers in the Prairie provinces filled almost all hotel and motel rooms during winters. After the project began, pipeline workers occupied almost all of these rooms, meaning snowmobilers and other travelers often couldn’t find a place to stay.

It took Valemount and McBride five years to rebuild their tourism industry, Blackwell said. With the Trans Mountain expansion project now underway, tourism operators in these two communities are leaving space for snowmobilers and other travelers, even if that means leaving rooms empty that could otherwise be rented out to pipeline workers.

“They want to keep these winter tourists coming, whether they are snowmobilers or skiers. We haven’t learned that lesson here and it’s a big mistake, ”he said.

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