Whitecap Dakota First Nation Breaks Ground on New Hotel Project

Publish: 16.10.2018

The construction of the new Dakota Dunes Hotel began last week, with a ceremony held by the representatives of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation.

The new project, which will be located near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, will cost $38 million and should have a significant impact on the local economy.

According to Indigenous Services Canada, the new complex will include a hotel with 155 rooms, a restaurant, pool, and a fitness club, as well a as business centre. If everything goes as planned, the facility will be up and running in 2020.

Creating a Premier Tourist Destination

Speaking about this ambitious project, Whitecap Dakota First Nation Chief Darcy Bear said it would transform Whitecap, Saskatchewan into a leading tourist destination.

He pointed out the Dakota Dunes Hotel was an integral part of the vision that would see Whitecap become a premier tourism destination resort in Western Canada. Bear added it was a truly an exciting day for the Whitecap Dakota First Nation as it continues the economic path of building a sustainable community.

The First Nation and private lenders secured the majority of the funds for the project, while the federal government will donate a total of $8.6 million.

The Whitecap Dakota First Nation to built a new facility near Saskatoon Saskatchew
As we’ve already mentioned, the project will have a significant economic impact on the community. Estimates say the construction phase will bring around 230 new jobs, while additional 150 are expected once the hotel is fully operational. The current projections predict the hotel will generate revenue of $8.5 million on a yearly basis, as well as  $230 million in economic benefits for the Saskatoon regional economy over the period of ten years.

Commenting on the project, federal Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott said she was thrilled to be celebrating the ground breaking for a new hotel and conference centre in Whitecap Dakota First Nation.

Philpott added the Dakota Dunes hotel project was a fantastic example of what could be achieved through partnership and collaboration to foster economic growth and opportunities in Indigenous communities.

Boosting the Economic Development

Whitecap Dakota First Nation already operates the Dakota Dunes Casino, located just 20 minutes from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, This 80,000 square foot facility includes a gaming floor with over 620 video slots and 18 table games, a restaurant, a banquet facility with a maximum capacity of 450 seats, and an entertainment venues with seating for up to 570.

Head of Indigenous Banking North America at BMO, Stephen Fay, said BMO was grateful for the opportunity to participate in the exciting Dakota Dunes hotel project. Fay stated the initiative would generate significant economic impacts for members of the community.

He added BMO had provided dedicated and growing support to indigenous clients since 1992 and pointed out the company was pleased and proud to be working with Whitecap Dakota and commended their leadership for executing on a solid business strategy.

According to Zane Hansen, Chief Executive Officer, at Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA), this project will significantly impact the local economy with the creation of new jobs, while at the same time increasing the number of tourists in the area.

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