Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and the Calgary Stampede announced a joint partnership for the development of a new convention centre hotel that will complement the expansion of Calgary’s BMO Centre.

The partnership, with full service private real estate development company Matthews Southwest Hospitality (MSWH), will create the first hotel at Stampede Park and will connect an expected 220+ rooms directly to Western Canada’s largest convention venue. It also marks the first major private investment in Calgary’s Culture + Entertainment District since the master plan was completed in 2018.

“Today marks a major step forward in the development of the C+E District, and we are thrilled to be announcing our development agreement with Matthews Southwest Hospitality and our partners at the Calgary Stampede,” said Kate Thompson, CMLC’s president and CEO. “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. Matthews Southwest Hospitality brings deep experience in hotel development befitting of the world-class convention venue it will sit adjacent to.”

Mayor Jyoti Gondek added, “The revitalization of the Rivers District has been underway since 2007, with a $396 million infrastructure build-out resulting in attraction of $3 billion in private sector investment. Today’s announcement is further proof that the market has confidence in Calgary and is interested in actively partnering to build a successful and memorable Culture + Entertainment District.”

(L to R): Mike Garcia, president of Matthews Southwest Hospitality; Kate Thompson, CMLC president and CEO; and Calgary Stampede CEO Joe Cowley. (CMLC)

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, when completed in 2024, will serve as a vibrant retail and commercial corridor, a multi-modal connector and, for special events, a pedestrian-only space.

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Next steps on the approximately $80 million dollar development will involve a comprehensive design stage to plan its thoughtful integration into the District and physical connection to the BMO Centre. The hotel is being planned as a 4-4.5 diamond boutique lifestyle hotel offering with a minimum of 220 rooms, 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 prime site also allows for the hotel to be developed with direct interior connection into 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 partnered with award-winning hospitality design architectural firm Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects to design the hotel.

“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.”

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Moving forward the team will advance the project into the design, financing and permitting phases. As part of that process, a hotel brand flag will be selected. Construction on the hotel is anticipated to begin in 2024.

Featured image: An aerial image of The Culture + Entertainment District highlights the location of the future BMO Convention Centre Hotel, which will be created in partnership by Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, the Calgary Stampede and Matthews Southwest Hospitality. (CMLC)

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