The popular Nordik Spa-Nature in Chelsea is poised to start construction of a $10-million hotel next year – a “dream” the company’s CEO says has been 15 years in the making.
The company was originally incorporated as Le Nordik Inn and Spa in the early 2000s, but limitations on local water and sewer services prevented the firm from executing on the hospitality side of its business plan for more than a decade.
However, recent infrastructure upgrades and a key municipal council decision earlier this week that eased height and building size restrictions cleared the way for Nordik Spa-Nature to move forward with plans for a 60-room hotel.
“We’re so happy that we’re realizing our dream,” CEO Martin Paquette told OBJ. “This will attract more tourists – that’s good for us and the region.”
He said the new hotel would create 50 new jobs and would be positioned as a meditation and yoga retreat, used for wellness programs during the week.
Mr. Paquette said the next step is to finalize architectural drawings. He hopes work crews can begin preparing the site over the winter, with construction beginning in earnest in mid-2018. That would allow the hotel to welcome its first guests in spring 2019.
The Chelsea facility currently attracts more than 200,000 guests a year, approximately 25 per cent of whom are out-of-town visitors to the region, Mr. Paquette said.
He hopes the new hotel will push that figure even higher and make Nordik Spa-Nature a must-do for international tourists, similar to Iceland’s Blue Lagoon geothermal spa.
In addition to expanding the Chelsea facility, the Nordik Group is also growing its footprint outside its home market.
The company opened the $11-million Thermëa spa in Winnipeg in early 2015 and is on the verge of announcing a construction timeline for a new facility in Whitby, east of Toronto.
Meanwhile, the company moved into a new 27,000-square-foot corporate office at 75 de la Technologie Blvd. off Highway 5 in Gatineau in June.
Mr. Paquette said the company now employs some 475 staff, including 275 at the Chelsea spa and 50 at the corporate office.