Jimmy Bundschuh says many people have thanked him for revitalizing the west end of Baker St. by redeveloping the Savoy Hotel.
“Part of that is people’s memories from the building,” he told the Star. “It seems that everygeneration has their stories about the Savoy, going way back. There have been a lot of good times inthere, and now we are doing that again.”
At the annual Chamber of Commerce business awards banquet on Thursday, presenter Barry Auliffe,awarding the Business of the Year award to the Savoy, said the building had become a “sad sackedifice” on the west end of Baker.
“And then in 2013 something special happened,” he said. “Jimmy Bundschuh and Jenna (Arpita) Shea, one of Nelson’s most intriguing and dynamic entrepreneurial couples, purchased the property,and the rest is history in the making.
“I think we all knew it was not going to be a renovate, update, reopen situation,” Auliffe said. “We allknew that something unique and eclectic was going to happen. I had a tour the other day: the FallsMusic Lounge, the Bloom Nightclub, Farm Fresh Cafe, and still yet to happen is the hotelaccommodation.”
Bundschuh said he wanted to base the configuration of the building on the past: nightclub in thebasement, with a pub and restaurant on the main floor.
He was one of the founders of the Shambhala music festival and he and Arpita are at the centre of itsoperations today. He said the Savoy will allow him to present music all year round and to hire andkeep good people.
“With a seasonal business it is difficult to retain excellent staff because you might not get them thenext year.”
The hotel portion of the building, to be completed by the fall, will consist of 12 rooms.
“It will be a boutique hotel with a big common area and a patio on the roof for guests to hang out.We are trying to go for more of a ski lodge kind of feel more than a hotel, with lots of common space,trying to get groups coming here for the ski season who might rent out the whole floor.”
Arpita says she was surprised to get the award because the project isn’t finished yet, but “people areloving it, and the community is showing up to what we have created, and that feels really good.”
She said that in their photo (above) she and Bundschuh should be standing in the back, behind their staff, “because they are it. We are behind them supporting them. They (and other staff not in the photo) are the ones that have made the business what it is, because their excellence is what people experience when they walk in the door.”