South Bruce Peninsula council has approved a mixed-use hotel/commercial feasibility study for Wiarton.
Mayor Janice Jackson says "With Wiarton growing we're really looking to attract a hotelier around that downtown core."
It's the latest step in the Town's goal to bring a hotel to the community, preferably in the location of the old Foodland store by the waterfront.
The cost of the study is $36,400 to be funded by the Town, grant money, Grey County, and Georgian Bluffs.
Taking a regional approach, a consulting company called REVPAR International will look into whether or not the area can support accommodation infrastructure.
If it can support a development, REVPAR will also come up with a pitch kit the Town can use. If they find the area can't support a hotel development, it will give recommendations on how to leverage options like Bed and Breakfasts, Farm Stay, Airbnb and lodges.
In May of 2019, the Town participated in what Jackson called a sort of 'economic speed dating' session in Toronto where developers and communities met and pitched ideas about potential developments.
"We met with ten different developers and the majority of them were hoteliers. They made it pretty clear that we needed to have the feasibility study in hand to show them that we certainly have the business to sustain that kind of investment in our town," says Jackson.
Jackson notes, "They made it pretty clear that we needed to have this feasibility study in hand to show them that we certainly have the business to sustain that kind of investment in out town."
Jackson feels there's a need for more places for tourists and visitors to stay, "With the tourism that we experience on the peninsula, we simply don't have enough accommodation to handle the influx."
She says the study should be completed by the end of the summer.