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The Carillon - ONLINE EDITION

New hotel caters to large families

By: Jordan Ross

Posted: 03/18/2018 9:45 PM

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Road House 52 Inn and Suites co-owner Lorraine Barkman is seen in one of the hotel’s wheelchair accessible main-level suites, which features vinyl flooring, a roll-in shower, and kitchenette.

JORDAN ROSS | THE CARILLON Enlarge Image

Road House 52 Inn and Suites co-owner Lorraine Barkman is seen in one of the hotel’s wheelchair accessible main-level suites, which features vinyl flooring, a roll-in shower, and kitchenette.

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The owners of a new hotel now open along Highway 52 say their many road trips inspired the room design and amenities on offer to guests.

"We’ve travelled and done lots of road trips over the years, and had ideas about what we did and didn’t want in a hotel room," explained Lorraine Barkman, who co-owns Road House 52 Inn and Suites with her husband, Harv.

Early on in the design process, the Barkmans knew they wanted features like larger rooms and divided bathrooms.

The two-storey hotel contains 51 guest rooms available in a variety of configurations, including standard rooms with two queen-sized beds (450 square feet), bunk bed family suites (550 square feet), and an executive suite (630 square feet). The king-sized bed in the latter is kept company by a Jacuzzi tub, electric fireplace, wardrobe, and armchairs.

Two wheelchair-accessible rooms on the main floor feature a roll-in shower, vinyl flooring, and kitchenette.

All rooms have a coffeemaker, mini-fridge, and microwave, and include a hot continental breakfast, Lorraine said.

Rates start at $129.

The Barkmans also wanted to cater to larger families tired of booking two rooms.

"Ninety-five percent of hotels out there have their cut-off at five people," Harv noted.

Bunk beds allow four Road House rooms to hold up to 10 people without the need to wheel in a cot.

Shared amenities include a hot tub room, games and fitness space, and rentable conference room.

Construction on the $4 million project began last April.

"I won’t say there were no hurdles," said Harv.

The previous fall, Steinbach council granted the Barkmans a conditional use permit for the light industrial-zoned property. At the time, Mayor Chris Goertzen noted the city’s growth was resulting in a high demand for hotel space.

"We watched what events were coming in, and how little space there was," Lorraine said.

The hotel’s location on eight acres along North Front Drive was strategic, the Barkmans said, as weekend church conferences across the street at Southland Church often outstripped existing hotel availability.

"They were using the SRSS to put people up," Lorraine recalled, or booking rooms on the outskirts of Winnipeg.

"That’s when we realized that there was definitely a need for a hotel," Lorraine said.

Guests began inquiring as early as last fall.

Front desk manager Winter Funk said Road House is also well-positioned to accommodate block bookings for weddings and hockey tournaments.

Summer festivals also bring people to the Southeast region, Harv observed.

The couple said they hope more economic activity flows from the hotel, including for the adjacent Diner on 52, which they also own.

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