Concept design of the Traveller’s once restoration work is complete (Submitted photo)

Owners of the Traveller’s Hotel hope to break ground in summer 2020

The Roethe family is hard at work to reopen the Traveller’s Hotel to the public

Longtime residents of Ladysmith remember a time where the Traveller’s Hotel boasted the best bar in town — although some of those memories may be a bit hazy.

The Traveller’s has been closed for years, but now the Roethe family from North Vancouver are hard at work to open the Traveller’s up to the public once again.

“It’s a family project, we’re all working on it together. We like Ladysmith… we like this building. Not a lot was happening with it. A lot of people had taken a crack at it and for lots of different reasons it didn’t come together,” Michael Roethe said. “We put our offer in and our interest — low and behold we got it — and then we had to start work.”

Michael Roethe has a background in hotels and hotel management which led him to take on the project. This will be his biggest project so far.

RELATED: Ladysmith’s historic Traveller’s Hotel sold to Vancouver investor

The ground floor of the Traveller’s will be a restaurant and bar with hotel reception. Upstairs will be a “boutique hotel” with approximately 20 rooms. Roethe said the hotel’s central location will give tourists the opportunity to take in Ladysmith, and activities in the area.

Hazmat abatement work has been completed, including the removal of asbestos. On the inside, the only remaining pieces are ornate radiators and the building’s bones. Roethe said that heritage aspects of the building, including the front facade will remain intact.

“We’ve worked really hard to come up with a design that’s within the Town’s design guidelines. We don’t want to make a drastically different modern building, we want something that looks like it belongs here. The hotel’s been here for a long time, it was a fixture here in the community, and we hope to be that again,” Roethe said.

Although maintaining the building’s heritage is a key aspect for the Roethes, there will be significant changes to bring the building in line with B.C. building code standards. Those changes will include seismic upgrades, fire suppression, emergency exits, wheelchair access, and an elevator. New windows will also be installed to open up the front of the building.

Now that abatement work and rezoning has been completed for the building, the next stage is building permits. The Roethes are consulting different designers to come up with concepts before their application. Roethe anticipates the project will break ground by summer 2020. He estimates construction will then take at least a year.

Roethe is keenly aware of concerns around parking in the downtown core. He said they have made a contribution of close to $30,000 to the Town’s municipal parking fund. Roethe also said that the hotel will not take any parking on 1st avenue.

A bulk of the construction work will take place in the back parking lot of the Traveller’s. There will be some work on the front of the building, but Roethe said the disruption will be minimal.

“We’re not going to block any of the roads or bother anybody like that,” Roethe said. “There will be a little bit of noise, but I think the benefits far outweigh the negatives. When the hotel is finally done people will have a nice community business running next to them — somewhere they can go and enjoy.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Snowmaggedon 2020’ has passed, but 20-30 milimetres of rain expected Friday

Residents should brace for rain and clear drains to prevent localized flooding

What happens in the Cowichan Valley when an earthquake strikes

When an earthquake does happen, will the Cowichan Valley be ready for it?

Exploring life, the afterlife, and near death experiences with Dr. Lynn Echevarria

Echevarria will deliver a talk to the LRCA Seniors Centre Tuesday, January 21 at 1:30 pm

Winter storm warning now in effect for Island’s east coast

Environment Canada issues new weather warning late Wednesday afternoon

Town of Ladysmith snow removal crews prepared to respond to overnight snowfall

10 to 15 centimetres of snow are expected for Ladysmith overnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

B.C. offers $5 million equipment loan program to help ailing forest contractors

Local politicians in Port McNeill and Campbell River says local economies are struggling

Vancouver Island distillery wins award for best Canadian rye whisky

Shelter Point cleans up at Canadian Whisky Awards

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

Clerk bruised, traumatized after armed robbery at Nanaimo liquor store

Few details on male suspect in Wednesday incident, says Nanaimo RCMP

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Most Read