Kitimat River Hotel & Suites liquor license consulting

Company: Kitimat River Motel & Suites
Type: BC Food Primary License with Catering Endorsement, BC Liquor Primary License

While many hotels and larger accommodations businesses have an on-site restaurant and lounge or bar, most motels don’t offer both amenities. Traditionally, motels offer basic, short-term accommodations to travellers and therefore more basic services. While you may find a motel with a self-serve continental breakfast, motels frequently rely on close proximity to local eateries and bars, rather than offer those services on site.

Kitimat River Motel & Suites (KRMS) was one such motel. Until KRMS started its bid for a Food Primary and Liquor Primary license, there wasn’t on-site restaurant or bar to serve its guests. By offering these liquor services on-site, KRMS could differentiate its motel from many others, making the lodging far more attractive to guests.

At this time, a Google Hotels search lists 31 hotels, motels, lodges and B&Bs in Kitimat, BC. Of the 31 accommodations listed, KRMS is the only motel amongst them that offers both an on-site restaurant with liquor service and an on-site bar. See Google hotel search results. Kitimat River Motel & Suites is at the top of the page (i.e. ranked #1 in Google search results) at the time of writing.

About Kitimat River Motel & Suites

Kitimat River Motel & Suites offers guest rooms for short-term lodging and bedroom suites with full kitchen for longer stays. KRMS opened for business in November 2021.

KRMS operates the “Kuldo Restaurant”, a full-service restaurant with liquor service and the “Blueroom Tavern”, a bar with fireplace, flat screen TV's , pool tables and dart boards.


Licensing Structure

BC Food Primary License for the operation of the Kuldo Restaurant.

BC Catering License

BC Liquor Primary License for the operation of the Blueroom Tavern.


In May 2019, Thrive Advisors began working with the KRMS team, planning licensing for the motel which was under construction at this time. One of the main challenges of working with any multi-license business is the timing of license applications and approval. While applicants have some control over when applications are completed and submitted, approval is in the hands of provincial and municipal governments.

Thrive Advisors worked with the KRMS team, strategizing licensing applications and planning around a “minimum viable product” (the minimum services required to accommodate the needs of most guests). In the case of KRMS, the minimum viable product was an operating motel with a liquor-licensed restaurant.

Thrive worked with principals to resolve several challenges:

  • COVID-19 presented numerous issues that had to be overcome. The application for the Liquor Primary license began prior to the pandemic and was submitted at the height of COVID in 2020. Construction of the restaurant was delayed because materials, labour and equipment became difficult to obtain.
  • Public consultation for the Liquor Primary license was run by the BC Liquor & Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB). While most municipalities undertake public consultation themselves, Kitimat opts out, allowing LCRB to run public consultation. First, the City of Kitimat Council had to vote to formally opt out, and once opted out, LCRB managed public consultation. This circuitous process likely extended time-to-approval by 4 or 5 months. LCRB requires public notice of the Liquor Primary license application in the form of newspaper ads, and while the ads run, the applicant is required to erect a public notice sign on the proposed site for the duration of the ad run.
  • Timing of license applications and approvals was crucial for the motel, which needed some kind of liquor service option available to guests by opening day. Because Liquor Primary license approval could take 8-12 months and Food Primary just 2-3 months, the Food Primary license was started first, so the restaurant could act as a stop gap until the Liquor Primary application was approved. Thrive Advisors recommended adding a catering endorsement to the Food Primary license so that events could be held in the tavern space, and liquor could be served as part of an event while the tavern was awaiting Liquor Primary license approval.

The Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors Solution

Thrive Liquor & Cannabis Advisors coordinated license applications, provided feedback and recommendations, and helped manage public consultation strategy to meet LCRB requirements as follows:

  • Revised floor plans to meet LCRB criteria and made amendments as needed, preventing delays and ensuring plans were stamped for occupancy load
  • Reviewed kitchen equipment and layout to meet LCRB criteria for a Food Primary license
  • Reviewed the Liquor Primary proposed floor plan in relation to the Food Primary floor plan, ensuring that the adjoining spaces met LCRB rules for minors walking to and from washrooms
  • Compiled corporate documentation for both the Food Primary and Liquor Primary licenses at the same time, streamlining the two applications
  • Applied to the municipal and provincial government for both the Food Primary and Liquor Primary licenses
  • Coordinated and provided feedback and recommendations for the Liquor Primary license public consultation
  • Coordinated site visits from the liquor inspector for the Food Primary space walk-through. Dedicated, proactive management by Thrive Advisors helped get the restaurant up and running as quickly as possible while awaiting Liquor Primary license approval for the tavern.


  • Fully-licensed operating restaurant within a short timeline. The Food Primary license application was submitted in September 2020, approved and issued in November 2021.
  • Public consultation completed successfully, meeting all LCRB requirements
  • Final inspection, review and issuance of the BC Food Primary and Liquor Primary licenses
  • Kitimat River Motel & Suites opened for guests in November 2021, operating with a fully-licensed restaurant. The Liquor Primary license was approved and issued on January 27, 2022, and Blueroom Tavern opened in February 2022.

BC Food Primary & Liquor Primary Licenses Made Easy!

Motels depend on expertly managed license applications and detailed knowledge of the business’s goals and objectives. Thrive Advisors provides full service LCRB licensing coordination and strategic planning for hotels, motels and other lodgings businesses.

Find out how Thrive Advisor’s hospitality services can help your accommodations business succeed!

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