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  • Apr 21, 2014
  • Updated: 6:08am

Hotel developer eyeing wealthy Asian investors

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 June, 2012, 12:00am

An Alberta-based developer plans to target wealthy Chinese investors when he launches hotel units for sale in the Canadian resort town of Canmore, situated nearby the popular tourist destination of Banff National Park.

Guy Turcotte, the founder and chief executive of Stone Creek Resorts, is set to sell two blocks of condominium units at his resort hotel development, The Village at Silvertop, to Hong Kong and mainland Chinese buyers.

He will also target wealthy buyers in other Asian capitals.

The property in Canmore, a 15-minute drive from Banff National Park and about 11/2 hours from Calgary International airport.

Turcotte said the plan to market his project in Asia was triggered by an experience he had a few years ago.

'The government brought a Chinese businessman to visit the project,' said Turcotte. 'After viewing it he wanted to buy the whole thing.'

Those talks eventually failed to produce a successful deal but Turcotte said the experience inspired him to plan an expansion into the mainland and ever since he has been exploring the Asian market.

'This is my fifth trip to China,' said Turcotte, who flew into Shanghai to pre-market his properties yesterday.

His company will officially offer two blocks of hotel units comprising 88 units, for sale in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Bangkok and Singapore in July. Asking prices for units that range in size from 500-2,000 square feet are from C$550,000 (HK$4.16 million) to C$2 million. The two blocks are set to be completed in 2015.

The supply of five-star resorts in the Banff area is limited, said Turcotte, and many of the existing hotels were built many years ago and had smaller rooms. But demand for accommodation in the area is strong and he has pitched his units at wealthy outdoor enthusiasts.

Turcotte said his company could help arrange more than 200 wilderness adventures in the region, ranging from fishing to helicopter skiing.

'Alberta is a secure and fundamentally solid Canadian real estate market. Property values are rising; with positive cash flow potential exceeding normal market returns,' said Julian Sedgwick, head of business development for consultancy Savills, which is helping to market the property.

'For investors there are two potential tenants' streams - the vacationers and long-term renter. This market has a lot to offer Asian investors as their economies continue to boom and currencies strengthen,' said Sedgwick.

Home construction has soared in Alberta's biggest cities, especially the condo segment, according to official figures.

In Calgary, while single-detached-home starts increased 55 per cent year over year, multi-unit starts were up 407 per cent.

Year over year, the three-month spring market (March - May) has seen a 57 per cent increase in sales; going from 71 in 2011 to 110 in 2012.

'Many Asian buyers who have abundant capital usually spend heavily and are more likely to invest in overseas properties,' said Cherrin Loo, head of international residential sales, at Savills Hong Kong and China. 'Currently, Canada is one of the most popular places for them to invest in.'

Turcotte said many mainland companies including Petro China had been increasing their investments in Alberta's energy industries.

He added this trend would positively impact the real estate sector.


The year in which The Village at Silvertop condo units are set to be built in the Canadian resort town of Canmore


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