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CLARION TO TRANSITION INTO RETIREMENT FACILITY

Submitted by Dominique Lalama

APRIL 29, 2021 VOL. 2 ISSUE 18

Owners of the Clarion Hotel in Fort Erie proposed a conversion of the hotel into a retirement

facility at the Fort Erie Council-in-Committee meeting on April 19.

The Sunray Group of Hotels has requested to rezone the property The Clarion has sat on for

over 20 years at 1485 Garrison Road, in order to transform the building into a 107-room

retirement home.

In a slideshow presentation led by Fort Erie’s Senior Development Planner Anamika Dilwaria,

the council was shown plans from the Sunray Group that detailed the specifics of the

conversion. The slideshow noted that commercial tenants currently located on the first floor of

the hotel would continue to operate there, and included the indoor and outdoor amenities that

would be added to the retirement residence.

The meeting was attended by Sunray’s Randy Hope and owner of Storey Samways Planning

Ltd., David French. Hope wanted to emphasize that the transition was in the works before the

pandemic, and was a not a decision made because of the virus’s impact on the hospitality

industry, though the impact is severe.

“We’re seeing the hotel industry is running [at] about 10 per cent occupancy; it is suffering

during this COVID crisis” Hope said.

Hope went on to say it is his company’s intention to build another hotel in Clarion’s place, citing

the importance of having hotels in smaller communities.

“I come from a small community also, and the ownership group fully supports small communities

and making sure things happen there,” Hope said.

The Comfort Inn in Fort Erie, also owned by The Sunray Group, is one of the properties the

company is evaluating for redevelopment or expansion to a larger hotel. Hope added they are

also considering sites near the QEW for easy access to the highway.

French also made sure to point out the property The Clarion sits on would have minimal

changes upon being converted, other than “designating certain parking spots for accessibility

purposes.”

Mayor Wayne Redekop was concerned at the prospect of losing a hotel that has been in the

community for so long, but also acknowledged the importance of having accommodations for

senior citizens in the area and ultimately was in favour of the report.

There are no upcoming events at this time.