Thursday, August 28, 2014

Major revamp for local hotel

The Adventure Inn here will re-open as the Copper River Inn and Conference Centre next month after recently being purchased by Bryce Campbell and his mom, Sheila, of Reston, Man.
And the new owners are in the midst of giving the facility a complete face-lift.

“We want to create an awesome facility,” Campbell enthused last week.
“We just see a lot of potential in this property.”
While this will be the Campbell’s third hotel (they also own the Walla Walla Inn in Rainy River and the Rest’n Inn in Manitoba), it will be their first full-service one.
And nearly every inch of it is being revamped, with a “north woods” appeal throughout.
“The whole plan is to take the surroundings and bring it indoors,” Campbell explained.
“Because Northwestern Ontario is so beautiful.
“The whole business is dedicated to the area it is in,” he added.
Campbell said the theme will be highlighted by tree murals on the walls in the hallway, a water feature near the lobby, and fireplaces throughout.
And they are beginning the renovations first with the 39 guest rooms on the west side being refurbished.
“We will be doing all of them but this is the first phase,” Campbell stressed, noting the rooms are going to be getting all new furniture, as well as Keurig coffee-makers, fireplaces, and flat-screen televisions in each one.
They also will be updating the pool area with new tiling, and adding a sauna and hot tub, as well as revamping the banquet room to include carpeting and a crystal chandelier.
The pair also are redoing the coffee shop, dining room, and bar areas.
“They have been gutted,” Campbell said, explaining they will re-open with new names, a new look, and new services.
He noted the coffee shop will be called “Copper River Coffee Company,” the dining room will be known as “Bistro North,” and the bar as “Aurora Bar and Grill.”
“The coffee shop will be like a cafe with cappuccinos and lattes, the higher-end coffees, and then sandwiches,” he remarked, adding it also will feature a bakery.
“So it will be a nice place to go for lunch or for coffee.”
This part of the facility also will house “River Wood Fire Pizza,” which will be available for take-out and delivery.
“We’re getting a wood fire pizza oven that’s coming in from California,” Campbell said. “So that’s going to be something new and exciting for the area that no one else has.”
“Bistro North,” meanwhile, will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
“It will be an upper-casual dining room,” Campbell noted, saying the new menu will feature higher-end burgers, in addition to steak, pasta, and salad.
“We’re trying to stay away from fine-dining but give people some options,” he explained, comparing the atmosphere of the restaurant to something like “Moxie’s.”
The bar area also will include food services.
“It will be a place where you can come after work for a drink or some appetizers and watch the game, but still be able to promote sociable drinking to get that good mix,” Campbell reasoned.
“So it’s not just a bar anymore. We want to find the mix between a lounge and a bar.
“That’s the ultimate goal,” he added, noting they also will update the patio in the spring.
Campbell said they also hope to utilize the banquet and meeting facilities more than in the past.
“We’d like to start making that a larger revenue stream than it used to be,” he remarked, noting they have the banquet room, which seats 300, as well as the meeting room and boardroom.
And he plans to put an emphasis on customer services for the new business.
“We’re making lots of improvement not only to the facility, but also the staff training; the atmosphere to create and capture a new guest clientele,” he stressed.
“We want to make it like it was 24 years ago,” echoed Monique Gall of Rainy River, who will be managing the Copper River Inn and Conference Centre.
“We want to bring the hotel back to its glory days,” agreed Campbell, saying despite the money he’s putting into renovating the business, he feels it is worth it.
“The state of the economy here worries me a little but not a lot,” he admitted, alluding to the recent shutdown of the paper mill here.
“It’s devastating for everyone,” he acknowledged. “But when you look at it from the outside, we see all of the good things that are still in town.
“I think the town has a very promising future,” Campbell added, noting he expects the proposed gold-mining projects will help to restore what the mill has taken away.
“I’m sure the tough times will be short-lived for the town,” he remarked, adding that while his new business won’t create the number of jobs the mill did, he feels he will be helping out a little by hiring a staff of 50.
With an updated facility, Campbell conceded the room rates likely will increase—but will continue to remain competitive.
“I think it will be a very good value for what people get,” he reasoned, noting there also will be some customer loyalty programs implemented.
And while they don’t have an opening date set, Campbell said they’re expecting to re-open under the new name sometime in March.
“We’re hoping everyone will want to come check it out,” he enthused.

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