TMX boon for local hotels?

With Trans Mountain Pipeline workers scheduled to arrive in Kamloops next month, accommodation is being sought.

That is good news for the hotel sector, according to Tyson Andrykew, president of the Kamloops Accommodation Association (KAA).

“Our economy has taken a large hit due to this pandemic. Bookings in Kamloops have dropped over 90% from the same period in 2019 and our community and our businesses are facing ongoing costs with no reliable revenue anticipated this year," Andrykew says in a press release from Trans Moutnain. "With Trans Mountain utilizing our local hotels and local restaurants, it provides our community with revenue to help rebuild our economy in a safe manner.”

In the release, Trans Mountain states they're working with the KAA and Tourism Kamloops to house workers while they're in town, and to find out what's changed in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic the company has told Kamloops city council hundreds of workers would be in the city at the peak of construction.

"Trans Mountain’s Worker Accommodation Strategy indicates that workers would use a mix of commercial accommodations, rentals and RV sites in Kamloops," the company states in the release. "This plan was amended to focus on commercial accommodations in Kamloops and includes COVID-19 protocols for both our workers and those providing services to our workforce."

They add that daily screening will take place at hotels, including temperature checks.

"We also understand the community is interested in Trans Mountain’s COVID-19 protocols and how we will continue to protect the health and safety of our workforce, their families and our communities. This revised approach to worker accommodation in Kamloops meet the standards set out from the Provincial Health Office, while supporting economic recovery in the community,” says community liaison Kate Stebbings in the release.

Previously city councillor Denis Walsh raised concerns about workers coming to Kamloops during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Work on different sections of the pipeline expansion project has already started at multiple locations in B.C. and Alberta.

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