When it comes to planning corporate meetings and events, combining the right venue and hotel accommodation location can offer many benefits.
Calgary is adding an exciting new option for planners with the announcement of a new convention centre hotel. Construction on the hotel will begin in 2024 and connect directly to BMO Centre, which is currently undergoing an extensive expansion.
Matthews Southwest Hospitality (MSWH) will create the first hotel at Stampede Park and connect an expected 220 plus rooms directly to BMO Centre, set to be Western Canada’s largest convention venue when completed in 2024.
Designed by Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects, the project is being planned as a boutique lifestyle hotel with four food and beverage offerings, and expanded amenities including a fitness centre and 11,000 sq. ft. of meeting space to support the needs of convention goers and visitors alike.
The $80 million development is a joint partnership between MSWH, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and the Calgary Stampede.
“With the expansive construction on the BMO Centre moving along, we have been focused on securing a development partner to support the evolving needs of conventions and events in this area,” said Kate Thompson, CMLC’s president and CEO. “Matthews Southwest Hospitality brings deep experience in hotel development befitting of the world-class convention venue it will sit adjacent to. This development agreement is a very positive indication of things to come, and just one example of how investment in the district, and in projects like the BMO Centre expansion, is already generating economic benefit and spurring further development in the area.”
The hotel site, a 31,000 sq. ft. parcel on the southwest intersection of Stampede Trail and 12 Ave S.E., is in a prime location in The Culture + Entertainment District, at the north entrance to Stampede Park and just steps away from the expanded BMO Centre, the Saddledome, Cowboys Casino and dozens of restaurants and retailers.
The BMO Centre Convention Hotel will also front the redeveloped Stampede Trail which will serve as a vibrant retail and commercial corridor, a multi-modal connector and, for special events, a pedestrian-only space.
An expression of interest for a hotel development was issued in 2019, and MSWH was selected as the preferred hotel partner. Since that time, CMLC has completed feasibility studies, site analysis and land use amendments to ensure the hotel is developed in alignment with the needs of the new convention venue.
Next steps will involve a comprehensive design stage to plan its thoughtful integration into the District and physical connection to the BMO Centre.
“A best-in-class venue like our expanded BMO Centre will be well supported by a hotel of this caliber, with premium amenities and unique product offerings directly aligned with our renowned Stampede hospitality,” said Joel Cowley, Calgary Stampede’s CEO. “As we prepare to welcome the world to Western Canada’s largest convention venue in 2024, we look forward to working with CMLC and Matthews Southwest Hospitality to realize the vision for this important addition to Stampede Park.”
Matthews Southwest Hospitality has a proven track record of developing successful convention center headquarter hotels within urban cities, including their successful delivery of the Omni Dallas Convention Center Hotel and the W Element Convention Center Hotel in Philadelphia, as well as the Bow Tower in Calgary. Matthews Southwest Hospitality has proven expertise and capacity in designing hotels with a lens toward sustainability, functionality, connectivity and activation that contributes to successful projects during both design and construction phases.
“The vision for this area grabbed our attention from the very beginning and we look forward to applying our experience and expertise in convention hotel developments to this exciting and evolving district in Calgary,” said Mike Garcia, president of Matthews Southwest Hospitality. “Along with our architectural partner Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects, we are excited to create a unique hospitality experience and design a hotel that fits the dynamic district vision and complements this world-class, year-round gathering place.”