When two Fort Frances entrepreneurs bought the former Knight’s Inn building, they didn’t see peeling paint and boarded windows — they saw opportunity.
Myles Wilcott and Jamie Pryde will soon open The Nomad Motel, 10 Riverview Blvd., which they said will feature a fresh, clean and modern feel.
“We’re going to have 10 rooms fully renovated and open by January,” Wilcott said. “Those rooms and the reception and lobby area will be ready in the next couple of weeks.”
After that, the owners plan to have three to four rooms worked on at a time to complete interior renovations by May or June.
“As soon as it’s warm enough, the exterior will be cleaned up and repainted,” Wilcott said. “It’s going to look totally different.”
Partners in business and in life, Wilcott and Pryde say their strengths compliment each other nicely. Wilcott is more invested on the business and numbers end, while Pryde has an eye for creativity and design.
“We don’t overlap a lot,” Wilcott said. “We have a similar vision when it comes to the importance of branding.”
Eye for opportunity
The men are no stranger to owning their own business.
Since 2014, Wilcott has owned ECOSAN Hygiene, an established cleaning company with a presence in multiple Canadian cities. In addition, the couple owns and operates The Bayview Motel and Neighbours Modern Diner, both located in Fort Frances.
“We have a lot of ideas,” Pryde said. “The great thing about a small town is you’re able to move on projects quite fast if you put your mind to it.”
Pryde and Wilcott said what will soon be The Nomad Motel needs a lot of work, but complimented the building’s potential.
“It’s got really great bones,” Pryde said of the structure. “But everything else will be brand new... We’re ripping it down to the studs... We’re not saving anything except the shell.”
After purchasing the property that has been vacant since at least 2017, Pryde and Wilcott got to work removing old furnishings immediately. The men hired players from the Rainy River Community College baseball team to help clear the building out.
“It was a great opportunity to get a big crew in there,” Wilcott said.
As renovations are underway, the men said they are employing all local people and businesses to do the work. When the motel is open, they expect to employ a team of at least six people.
“We’re really excited about this,” Pryde said. “And it appears the community is excited, too. There’s a lot of energy around this project.”
The Nomad Motel will feature 28 motel rooms, two studio apartments, two one-bedroom apartments and one two-bedroom apartment. Guests will be able to book online soon, the owners said.
“(We’ve launched) our Instagram page for people to follow along with the renovations,” Pryde said of the Instagram handle @thenomadmotel.
“We like people to see the progress,” Wilcott added. “Our website will be available soon as well... We’re really excited about this and to be part of this community. There is a lot of potential here.”