New hostel opens next week 

The municipality is finalizing the paper work needed to hand over the athletes' village hostel to Hostelling International on June 30 th .

On Friday, council held a special public meeting to put the final touches on the housing agreement.

Through the agreement, if Hostelling International cannot run a successful hostel business, the municipality has the first option to purchase. And the hostel, appraised at $9 million, can be sold either as a single building or as strata units for $250 a square foot.

Bill Brown, manager of community planning for the municipality, stressed if the building is not used as a hostel, it must be employee housing.

Hostelling International will officially open its doors to the public on Canada Day, July 1, with the new 188-room hostel where travellers will be able to rent beds for $30 a night.

"We are pretty excited to expand this property into the community," said Alistair McLean, CEO of Hostelling International.

Hostelling International previously operated a hostel on Alta Lake Road. That property now belongs to the municipality.

"We had our small hostel of 25 beds for many years and have been looking for a long time for a new property."

It is not clear how much Hostelling International is paying to take over the hostel this summer, although McLean said the travel company is covering the cost through a mix of financing and cash.

Meanwhile, the municipality's legal fees associated with transferring the hostel are $8,000. That money was not in the municipality's budget, so council unanimously agreed on Friday to amend the budget and cover the cost through the two per cent hotel tax.

A public hearing on the housing agreement will also be scheduled soon.



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