The cylindrical Chateau Lacombe Hotel was one of several across the country opened under the ownership of the Canadian Pacific Railway brand. The 24-storey tower, outfitted with 307 rooms, has now graced the Edmonton skyline for 50 years. In celebration of the half-century milestone, the hotel has been offering a number of promotions recently that reflect on its opening, which took place on December 28, 1966.

Chateau Lacombe before a major exterior renovation, image by Dave Sutherland

The building bears the name of Father Albert Lacombe, a French-Canadian Roman Catholic missionary who negotiated construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway through Blackfoot First Nations territory, pioneering the development of Alberta in the late 1800s.

CP Hotels and Resorts later purchased Fairmont Hotels and sold the Chateau Lacombe to investors, who then rebranded the facility under the Crowne Plaza banner. It changed hands once again in 2010 when Hargate Properties took ownership, but retained the affiliation with Crowne Plaza. The owners then went into receivership and a new group stepped forward in 2012 and bought the property for $27.5 million. It was finally relaunched in May 2013 as an independent hotel.

Chateau Lacombe's retrofitted exterior, image by Forum contributor City Of Rain

The hotel also famously houses Edmonton's only revolving restaurant, La Ronde, which gives diners a panoramic view of the downtown core and the North Saskatchewan River as it makes a full rotation every 90 minutes. As the Chateau Lacombe Hotel marks its 50th year in the city, Vancouver's Empire Landmark Hotel, which also features a revolving rooftop restaurant, is slated for demolition.

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