The city is
In the run-up to this
city’s hosting of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Vancouver is in
the midst of a building boom, with eye-catching structures rising
at a rapid clip. It can’t hurt that this British Columbian city
recently topped the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global
Liveability Ranking. Now all the city has to do is hope for
The Vancouver Convention &
Exhibition Centre, undergoing a major US$823 million
expansion since November 2004, has pushed back its completion date
to March 2009. The delay is due to a tricky design, 40 percent of
which is over water, as well as a shortage of construction cranes,
say officials. During the Winter Games, the facility will serve as
the international broadcast headquarters. The center, which has
133,000 square feet of space, will triple in size by the time the
project is completed.
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts will open
its first North American outpost, the 119-room Shangri-La
Hotel, Vancouver, in September 2008. The luxury hotel,
with rooms averaging 550 square feet, will occupy the first 15
floors of a new 60-story building, the city’s tallest. Plans call
for a 6,500-square-foot Chi spa, as well as a bar, a lobby lounge
and a restaurant with outdoor seating. The hotel will offer 6,500
square feet of meeting space.
Ritz-Carlton has tossed its luxurious
hat into the city’s hotel ring: The 127-room Ritz-Carlton,
Vancouver, is scheduled to open by 2011 in the lower third
of a new 58-story building. This will mark Ritz-Carlton’s second
property in Canada, after a Toronto hotel opens in 2009.
The 77-room Loden
Vancouver is opening in February 2008. The new-build
14-story property was designed to bring some of the rugged
wilderness that surrounds the town inside the city limits. The
hotel’s exterior, a mix of curved glass, stone and copper, is meant
to evoke sea waves, while each guest room is bathed in a palette of
caramel, coral and chocolate. Loden’s restaurant, helmed by local
son Marc-Andre Choquette, will be called Voya and will have a
private dining room big enough for 18. The Loden’s
1,600-square-foot penthouse suite will be another option for
Also on the way is the Coast
Coal Harbour Hotel, which had its groundbreaking last
June. The 20-story, 220-room property, by Coast Hotels &
Resorts, is set to open in the fall of 2009; it will have
approximately 10,000 square feet of meeting space.
The Hyatt Regency
Vancouver recently wrapped up a six-year, US$41 million
overhaul of its 644 guest rooms and all public areas. The hotel has
34,917 square feet of meeting space, including the
13,940-square-foot Regency Ballroom.
The 157-room Inn at False
Creek completed US$514,000 in renovations. The property’s
guest rooms received new carpet, wallpaper, bedding and furniture.
The hotel offers 2,213 square feet of meeting space.
The Four Seasons Hotel
Vancouver has embarked upon a US$5.5 million renovation.
The first phase, a new restaurant and lobby, is complete; the
second, covering the hotel entrance and all 372 guest rooms, will
be finished by the end of 2008; the third, revamping all 21,270
square feet of meeting space, will be done in 2009. A spa might be
added as well.
In June of last year, Vancouver
International Airport celebrated the grand opening of its
US$205 million, 387,500-square-foot international terminal
expansion. The facility now has four new departure gates (which
opened in March 2007), cafes, restaurants and 43,000 square feet of
retail, plus an aquarium -- home to 850 native water creatures --
and an indoor stream. The expansion represents just one-fifth of an
ongoing US$1 billion improvement effort.