Osoyoos Indian Band and Bellstar Resorts to Open New Okanagan Conference CentreInaugural event at NK’MIP Resort will be national First Nations Economic Development Forum
For Immediate Release
October 13, 2009
Osoyoos, BC: The Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) and their development partner, Bellstar Hotels & Resorts, will officially open the new NK’MIP Conference Centre on October 22, 2009. The opening will be in conjunction with the Centre’s first event – the national First Nations Economic Development Forum.
The colourful opening celebration will feature First Nations drummers and dancers, as well as a ribbon cutting.
The state-of-the-art NK’MIP Conference facility is the largest, full-service conference centre in the South Okanagan, with 9,000 square feet of flexible and functional meeting, exhibition and ballroom space for events up to 350 people. For greater flexibility, the Centre offers 6 break out rooms, including three individual meetings spaces within the Centre and 3 alternative conference facilities: a 25 seat facility at NK’MIP Cellars Winery, a 75 seat facility at Spirit Ridge and an 80 room amphitheatre-style conference facility at the NK’MIP Cultural Centre.
NK'MIP Conference Centre is the newest addition to the OIB’s award-winning NK’MIP Resort.
“The development of the Conference Centre enables us to increase our shoulder season business for the destination by targeting a growing meetings market that we could not attract to the South Okanagan without this new facility,” said General Manager of Spirit Ridge Resort, Mohamad Awad.
As the only First Nation 4.5 Star resort, Nk’Mip Resort provides an incredible option for hosting First Nations health, education, council and business meetings; as well as a variety of private sector meetings and events. Delegates can enjoy cultural experiences offered by the NK’MIP Desert Cultural Centre, wine tastings and tours at the award-winning NK’MIP Cellars, golf at the executive-style desert links course – Sonora Dunes, spa treatments at Solstice Spa, dining at Passa Tempo Restaurant and overnight accommodation at the 226 suite Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa.
“Native bands and organizations host meetings, conferences and retreats every month dealing with a multitude of issues, including: youth, health, social services, education, governance and economic development. Too many times, these meetings are held off-reserve at venues that do not support First Nation employment, or provide revenue to a First Nation community,” states OIB Chief Clarence Louie. “If First Nation’s are serious about creating economic opportunity and supporting each other; then they need to consider our new Conference Centre – where quality is a commitment.”
The Osoyoos Indian Band employs First Nations people from at least four provinces (Saskatchewan, Alberta, Yukon and B.C.) and from as many as thirteen different Bands.
Meetings and events at the new Conference Centre are projected to generate an additional $2.4 to $3 million per annum in economic activity for the Osoyoos area, based on average daily spending by conference delegates to the Okanagan region. The meetings sector currently accounts for approximately one-quarter of total revenues for Spirit Ridge Resort.
“Our sales team is anticipating the new, expanded facility will enable us to increase our meetings business by thousands of delegates per year as our reputation as a conference destination grows,” said Awad.
The NK’MIP Conference Centre will be operated by Bellstar Resorts and completes the Phase 2 development of Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa. Total development for Phases 1 and 2 is valued at over $80 million.
Bellstar Hotels & Resorts