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June 5 2024

Calgary Chamber applauds BMO centre expansion and calls for investment in hotels

The following statement is attributable to Deborah Yedlin, President and CEO at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, on the expansion of the BMO Centre.

“I am thrilled to see the successful completion of the long-awaited expansion of the BMO Centre. This flagship project, which is the largest facility of its kind in Western Canada, is key to positioning Calgary as a premier destination for conferences and events. Already, the centre has helped attract dozens of conferences, many of which would not have been possible without the expansion. And as a hub for visitors, it will help contribute to our global reputation as a leader in hospitality.

“As part of a suite of major infrastructure investments in Calgary, including the BMO Centre, upcoming Events Centre, and Arts Commons expansion – all better connected through public transportation – sets Calgary up to be a world-class city with best-in-class infrastructure. This investment makes Calgary an even better place to live and supports local businesses such as retail and restaurants who will benefit from the spinoff effects of these projects.

“While the opening of the BMO is a significant milestone, to realize the full potential of this investment, we need more hotel rooms in our city center. BMO can host up to 33,000 guests at one time – and we don’t have enough hotel rooms to accommodate these visitors. We need to create between 2,500 to 3,000 more rooms to address this scarcity. If this shortage is not addressed, we will not realize the full potential of what the BMO Centre expansion represents as it could result in more than 100,000 lost night stays by 2031. This includes lost expenditures on hotel rooms, meals, entertainment and transportation – all of which are critical for hotels, restaurants, bars and the broader business community.

“We encourage ongoing collaboration and coordination between the private and public sector to support the development of hotel capacity and unlock the full potential of this investment – and support our growing visitor economy.”

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About the Calgary Chamber of Commerce  

The Calgary Chamber exists to help businesses reach their potential. As the convenor and catalyst for a vibrant, inclusive and prosperous business community, the Chamber works to build strength and resilience among its members and position Calgary as a magnet for talent, diversification and opportunity. As an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1891, we build on our history to serve and advocate for businesses of all sizes, in all sectors across the city.