A new hotel project that could potentially create 14 jobs and generate more tourism is on the drawing board for Waswanipi.

John Kitchen, a Waswanipi resident and President of Mamu Sibi Construction Inc., is planning to open the new establishment with his wife, Erca Polson.

“We’re looking at a 20-room, two-story hotel that will be a three-star establishment,” said Kitchen.

The $2.7 million project has been in the works for a number of years, but Kitchen claims that last year’s provincial elections slowed the approval of government grants that are vital to the project. Now that the bureaucratic process is nearly completed, Kitchen and Polson plan to start construction of the hotel this summer.

“We’re going to start building when the snow melts and the funding is secured. We hope to have it finished by Christmas,” Kitchen said.

The establishment will offer a number of services to tourists and community members, including exercise facilities, a 35-person conference room, a garage for snowmobiles, wireless internet and a restaurant.

Kitchen hopes to attach the new hotel to Valerie’s, a small restaurant on Highway 113 that closed a number of years ago. Although the sale of Valerie’s has yet to be finalized, Kitchen is confident that the project will develop quickly in the coming months.

“Right now we’re just working on the financial aspects,” he said. “Most people are in agreement that this is a positive thing and we have good support from the chief and council.”