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alberta hospitality

The Official Magazine of the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association


SUPPLY BOOM Appealing to




Winter 2015

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alberta hospitality

this issue 8 Stress-free Recruitment

In a tight labour market, hoteliers must be continually recruiting, yet most managers don’t enjoy the process. It generally takes a lot of time, money, and patience.

in every issue 4 Chairman’s Report 6 President & CEO’s Message 11 What’s New? 21 Travel Alberta 23 Alberta’s Treasures 28 HR Matters 29 Names in the News 30 AHLA’s Programs

11 12 16 18 22 24

Rethink Employee Retention Alberta’s Lodging Supply Boom Profile: Dunvegan Inn & Suites The KISS principle of Cyber Security Labour Market Survey Appealing to Millennials


alberta hospitality

Official magazine of


AHLA 2707 Ellwood Drive, Edmonton AB, T6X 0P7 Toll Free: 1.888.436.6112 CHAIR OF THE BOARD Steven Watters FIRST VICE CHAIR Perry Batke VICE CHAIRS Leanne Shaw-Brotherston Tina Tobin PAST CHAIR Perry Wilford PRESIDENT & CEO Dave Kaiser DIRECTORS NORTH Amir Awad George Marine Peter Parmar DIRECTORS CENTRAL Perry Batke Shazma Charania Robin Cumine Karen Naylor DIRECTORS SOUTH Chris Barr Cory Haggar Dwayne Stratton

Alberta Hospitality is published quarterly by:


T 604-574-4577 1-800-667-0955 F 604-574-2196 Publisher & Editor - Joyce Hayne Copy Editor - Debbie Minke Design & Layout - Krysta Furioso


The Sustainability of the Tourism Levy In late October, I attended the Travel Alberta Industry Conference and enjoyed the many sessions and speakers. The Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association’s (AHLA’s) partnership with Travel Alberta is significant and collaborative. One of the sessions I attended included a conversation on the Tourism Levy, which is vital to the sustainability and future of both groups. More specifically, the discussion examined how the Levy dollars are allocated and the associated accountability in the spending and the future of the Levy. From June 1, 1987 to March 31, 2005, the Hotel Room Tax allowed for the collection of a 5% tax on the accommodation purchase price in Alberta. Effectively, this was a sales tax that was remitted to Alberta Tax and Revenue Administration (TRA), in which all revenues collected went directly into provincial general revenue. As allocations were part of the government’s budgeting process, they were subject to political considerations and economic conditions. Tourism marketing in Alberta was based on an informal partnership between stakeholders and the Ministry of Economic Development. Flowing from the Minister’s Business Plan and the Strategic Tourism Marketing Plan, tourism promotion and marketing were shared functions between Travel Alberta and a variety of tourism contractors and participants. The lack of predictable and sustainable funding significantly hampered opportunities to leverage available industry and federal government tourism marketing dollars, and mount effective marketing campaigns. Government and industry worked together from 2002 to 2005 to create a sustainable funding model for Alberta tourism. Industry support was contingent on meaningful and direct industry participation, as well as the direct use of funds for tourism marketing and product development. In July 2004, the Minister of Economic Development announced that the Hotel Room Tax would be replaced by a 4% Tourism Levy, effective April 1, 2005. All of the funds collected from the Hotel Room Tax would contribute to tourism marketing and development. The Tourism Levy Act requires that providers of temporary accommodations in Alberta,

by Steven Watters

with more than four rentable bedrooms, collect and remit the Levy to the TRA. The AHLA estimates that 1,079 hotels and motels from communities around Alberta collect and remit the Levy. AHLA members own roughly 90% of the guestrooms upon which the Levy is charged. The hotel industry is the only segment of tourism that contributes to the Tourism Levy. However, the entire tourism economy benefits directly from the marketing dollars the Levy generates. In 2009, The Travel Alberta Act deemed Travel Alberta a corporation governed by a board of directors, which greatly increased the transparency and accountability of Tourism Levy dollars allocated to tourism marketing. Until 2013, 80% of the Tourism Levy was allocated to Travel Alberta for tourism marketing and 20% to Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation for tourism product development. In 2013, the government changed the allocation to 70% for tourism marketing and 30% for product development unilaterally and without consultation. Transparency and accountability of every Tourism Levy dollar is essential to the health of Alberta’s tourism industry. Now, in 2014, we welcome a new Premier and a new cabinet. Tourism, Parks and Recreation has been replaced with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Will this realignment affect where the dollars are allocated? As an industry, we expect the highest level of accountability and transparency for every dollar of the Tourism Levy. Tourism is sometimes overlooked due to Alberta’s affluent oil and gas industry. Alberta is filled with amazing scenery, products, and people. We attract visitors from around the world. Alberta’s Tourism Framework is based on the continued use of the Tourism Levy to provide substantial, sustainable funding, helping to achieve development and marketing initiatives. The decision makers must recognize this and ensure that we are prepared for an increasingly competitive global tourism market.

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Engaging Members

by Dave Kaiser

We recently completed our provincewide regional meetings with members of the Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA). The official schedule included stops in communities as far north as Fort McMurray and as far south as Lethbridge. The opportunity to meet face-to-face with members is one the most enjoyable aspects of my job - and one of the most important. It helps to ensure the work we do is relevant.

potential industry-driven, foreign worker solution. The program would leverage the AHLA’s existing labour market research to determine labour gaps and measure program outcomes. It would also use our existing Employer of Choice program to provide quality assurance on employers wanting to access the program. Importantly, we are receiving some early positive feedback from the federal government on this initiative.

Not surprising, the labour challenge once again dominated our discussions. The recent reforms to the TFW program have created a crisis situation for some AHLA members, particularly those in resourcebased communities and resort areas. It was important to share information about the new rules for the program, the AHLA’s advocacy work on this issue, and our thoughts on longterm solutions to the challenge.

Many members were interested in the opportunity to access funds for training staff through the new Canada Job Grant. This joint federal/provincial initiative provides grant funding of up to $300,000 per employer and $10,000 per trainee to cover two-thirds of the training costs. The employer-driven application is flexible and includes the ability to bundle training programs. The Canada Job Grant can be used to support emerit occupational training delivered through the AHLA.

We presented a framework for a national Hotel & Lodging Worker program as a

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We made one unscheduled stop in Fox Creek to meet with local hoteliers who are concerned about the possibility of a municipal “pillow tax” to help pay for roads and sewers. This threat is now more imminent as the town has proposed a new bylaw that prescribes business license fees for lodging businesses that would be equivalent to the 4% Tourism Levy. We will need to support the local hoteliers in vigorously opposing this bylaw, as it could set a dangerous precedent for industry. One thing is for certain, there will always be important issues for us to address as an industry - and there is no better way for us to communicate than to meet face-to-face. For this reason, we are willing to travel to any corner of the province to meet with you. We look forward to serving you!

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alberta hospitality | 7


Stress-Free Recruitment: Innovation at Its Best by Celia Koehler

In a tight labour market, hoteliers must be continually recruiting, yet most managers don’t enjoy the process. It generally takes a lot of time, money, and patience. Following is a step-by-step guide to simplify recruitment.

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Stress-Free Recruitment

Know the Company What makes a great front desk agent at a 5-star hotel may not be what makes a great agent at a small, family-run hotel. An employee from another property may have experience in the industry, but what makes that person successful at another hotel may be a detriment to your hotel. Each property has its own culture. In a large hotel, an employee may be successful because he/she is extremely professional and does best in highly structured environments. However, in a small, family-run hotel you may want an employee who works a bit slower, but provides in-depth one-on-one service from check-in to check-out, thinks outside of the box, and starts new initiatives without direction. In searching for candidates, you need to keep your company’s mission, vision, and values at the top of your mind. Ask the candidate questions that will identify how well that individual will fit within your corporate framework. This can help to ensure that candidates will have a basic fit with your company’s culture. Know the Position The second key to finding the right person is knowing what qualities will make an individual successful in the position. Take five minutes to brainstorm and develop a list of key qualities. The best practice in the industry is to perform a job analysis. A trained HR professional should be able to identify which type of job analysis would be most effective given resource constraints, timelines, and the type of position that you will be recruiting for. Though some people may look at this analytical method of identifying the qualities required in your best candidate as cold and unfeeling, these methods are statistically superior to gut intuition, and can save you a lot of time, money, and stress.

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Stress-Free Recruitment


Recruit candidates that already have work visas through international mobility programs...

Compensate Effectively If you do a quick search right now for almost any position, you will see that “competitive compensation will be provided”. How can it be that every position, at every organization, offers competitive compensation? In reality, compensation may be much below standard, but one or two individuals thought that “this should be about average”. If a comprehensive compensation analysis is not done on positions, you may find that you’re not getting the great candidates because they feel that they are worth much more than what you are offering. You will also lose great employees who are lured away by better compensation packages. To ensure that you are compensating appropriately, you need to: 1. Identify what percentile of the average salary you need to attract the candidates that you are looking for. If you are filling a lowlevel, no-experience-required position, you do not need to offer a top salary.

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2. Use the AHLA’s free labour market, wage, and benefit survey information to identify what the statistical averages are for your industry, in your area. 3. Identify the non-salary compensation that may be offered and select the appropriate additional benefits for the role. 4. Identify how each position should be compensated through a job analysis. Look Where Others Do Not If you’re looking in the same place for candidates as your competition, you won’t have much success. Instead, consider these innovative recruitment techniques: • Hire staff through cheap, specialized recruitment sites. launched a beta site on January 1, and it will be free for employers to use until April 1.

• Partner with educational institutions to ensure that students are learning key qualifications that you require upon hiring. • Hire internally, since current employees already fit in your culture and have knowledge about the company. • Recruit from areas in Canada with high unemployment. • Rather than applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment, recruit candidates that already have work visas through international mobility programs such as Smaller Earth. • Partner with no-fee recruitment agencies such as the McBride Group, EmployMe Calgary, Chrysalis, or ProspectNow. • Join regional job fairs. Whether looking to recruit new staff or retain the ones you have, bringing everything you do back to the company’s mission, vision, and values will help to instill a sense of identity for employees that aligns with who you are as a company and where you want to be in the future. Without this key piece, you’ll find that you will struggle to connect with staff and get results, and you will suffer significant recruitment and retention issues.

Rethink Employee Retention by Ruth Crocker 7 Guidelines for Engaging and Accommodating Your Older Staff Employers today are facing the fact that we need to keep our older workforce in place longer and we need to help them stay healthy. The following are guidelines for employers who want to maximize the working environment for their most valuable asset: the reliable, responsible, loyal, conscientious, co-operative, collaborative, and wise older worker. 1. Provide opportunities to change posture or position during the workday. Adjust work surfaces to encourage position changes. Maintaining an unmoving position for a long time is very tiring, especially standing which puts pressure on blood vessels. Repeated and prolonged static work can be harder on the body than dynamic work. 2. Sitting is generally good if chairs are well designed and adjustable. To avoid the dangers of prolonged sitting, provide training and information on sitting properly and permit opportunities to walk about and stretch. 3. Provide appropriate equipment for assisting in any type of lifting. Workers of all ages are vulnerable to injury by improper lifting technique and lifting objects that are too heavy. Teach them to decrease the need to twist the trunk of the body during lifting, using leg strength rather than leaning over and placing the load as close to the body as possible. 4. Since hand grip strength gradually decreases as we get older, the right grip or handle becomes important. Smaller handles become more difficult to use. Provide tools and controls with user-friendly handles.

5. Light reaching the retina of the eye declines by as much as 75% from age 20 to 50. Improved lighting helps all workers. Problems with adjusting to lighting contrasts can be improved by ensuring that the level of lighting in the room is similar to the light level on computer screens in the environment. Reduce glare by using low or non-glare computer screens. 6. Gradual, age-related hearing loss and decreased ability to hear highpitched sounds can be addressed by installing sound-absorbing material (to neutralize sound) and minimizing air-conditioning noise. 7. Offer incentives to encourage people to take part in fitness classes and quit-smoking campaigns. Older workers are more vulnerable to the possibility of sudden-onset and lasting health problems, especially if they are unfit and overweight. The previous tradition of older supervisors and younger workers has changed, especially where workers are opting to stay on the job longer. It is important that younger supervisors be aware of different generational values and attitudes and avoid adopting a “child to parent” attitude towards an older worker. At the same time, treat older workers with the same requirements for performance and safety issues. Hiring and retaining older workers can help your business grow. Ruth W. Crocker, Ph.D is an author, writing consultant and expert on recovery from trauma and personal tragedy. She is available for workshops, readings, and public speaking. Contact her at

What’s New? Birchwood Furniture has introduced a new chair, model #759, which offers a generous seat but narrow arm. It finishes at 34“wide, making it a perfect hotel room or lobby chair. The RX Refresh System is a concentrated space deodorizer system with a new type of trigger sprayer specially designed to produce a greater parts-per-million spray than conventional aerosol cans. One bottle of concentrate can make over 32 refills for the RX Refresh sprayer, saving money and the environment. Senior leaders of Destination Marketing Organizations in Alberta can now work with Travel Alberta to become Certified Destination Management Executives (CDME) through a program designed to help them effectively adapt to and manage increasing change and competition. The program, which must be completed within three years, includes four core courses, one elective course, and one

by Debbie Minke

final exam. Courses are offered three times a year in different US locations. Travel Alberta’s CDME Scholarship supports DMOs by funding up to 80% of the registration fee and costs associated with taking the program offered through Destination Marketing Association International. www.industry.travelalberta. com/resources/business-development/cdmescholarship Managers can take a Free Online Assessment that provides feedback on the current state of their organizational culture. The respondent rates 9 principles (the extent to which the principles are part of their culture) and receives a feedback report that summarizes the principles and best management practices of high performing organizations, shares their confidential assessment ratings, and provides feedback about the low-rated items and the interrelationship with the best management practices. It’s based on the Organizational Excellence Framework

(2010 © Dawn Ringrose). The assessment takes five minutes to complete and the report is delivered about one minute later. Tefismart Pro Stain-Resistant Tablecloths are now available in Alberta, saving customers up to 75% on tablecloth expenses annually. These innovative tablecloths feel like cotton, and yet require 10 times less washing, reducing the environmental impact by up to 90%. Stains are easily wiped away with a damp cloth due to its unique, patented, nano-fibre composition, and bacteria cannot survive on Tefismart surfaces. Available in almost any colour or pattern, these tablecloths have been in use over 18 years in Europe. The new InHotel app for iOS, Android and Windows Phone is a new universal messaging platform for hotels that connects hotel guests and drives revenue and ROE (return on experience).

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Alberta’s Lodging Supply Boom The Impact on Hotel Market Performance by Carrie Russell

Alberta has been the bright light for the national economy in recent years, and this has paid dividends for the province’s hotel sector. In response to the continued improvement in RevPAR, developers have been keen to dig their shovels into Alberta soil, and hotel room supply is on the rise across the province.

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Alberta’s Lodging Supply Boom

Currently, there are approximately 900 hotels in Alberta with 71,000 guestrooms, according to STR Inc. In the last 12 months, the province has seen a 1.9% increase in the hotel room supply, well above the national average of 0.4%. In number of new hotel rooms, Alberta has seen the largest increase in the country, although as a percentage the increase is below several provinces and territories that have a small, established guestroom inventory.


Approximately 2,000 hotel rooms have opened in Alberta in the last year. Among these hotels, the average property size is 116 rooms, and the largest is the 238-room DoubleTree Hotel that re-opened in West Edmonton. Limited-service hotels make up the bulk of the new supply, accounting for 73% of new rooms. Interestingly, extended-stay hotels seem to be gaining traction, as 22% of the newly built rooms have an extended-stay orientation. A brand is stamped on 97% of the new rooms built in the province in the past year. Hilton, Best Western, IHG, and Marriott brands account for 85% of the new supply. Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites, Staybridge Suites, and TownePlace Suites are the main extended-stay brands on the new builds in Alberta. Regionally, new construction was most prevalent in the major cities of Edmonton and Calgary, which between them accounted for 63% of the new supply. Construction in the Alberta South Area outpaced that of the Alberta North Area.

Hotels Under Construction Photoboom courtesyisof Hotel Arts Group Looking ahead, Alberta’s hotel construction expected to persist. Currently, more than 3,600 rooms are under construction, which represents a further 5% increase in the province-wide supply. Moreover, another 5,000 rooms are in the planning stages of development. All the rooms under construction are branded and represent a cross section of 15 hotel brands.

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Alberta’s Lodging Supply Boom



More than 3,600 rooms are under construction, which represents a further 5% increase in the province-wide supply.

More full- and focused-service hotels are among the hotels that are now under construction; 36% of the new rooms in the province are expected to have a food and beverage component. Extended-stay hotels again have a significant presence, representing 13% of the new rooms under construction. Geographically, Calgary will see the greatest supply increase with 1,268 rooms under construction, representing growth of 35%. Edmonton is not far behind with 1,172 new rooms poised to enter the market, a 32% increase for that city. Alberta South Area will continue to outpace Alberta North Area in supply growth; double the number of rooms are under construction in that region. Impact of New Supply The influx of new hotel rooms will have consequences for hotel operating performance across the province. The new supply entering the province’s two major urban centres and two regional districts is distributed unevenly, but all four market areas are well positioned to absorb the new supply with a minimal impact on RevPAR performance.

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In recent years, Calgary has been the shining star of all the metropolitan hotel markets in the country. The RevPAR had rebounded quickly from the downturn, and by 2013 new records were being set, buoyed by double-digit growth. The province’s oil and gas economy and the many companies headquartered in Calgary pushed mid-week occupancy levels to capacity, allowing hoteliers to aggressively raise room rates. The city has a notable amount of unaccommodated demand. There are mid-week corporate travellers who can’t find a room, and some of the group market has been priced out of the city. Although the consequences of the recent drop in oil prices are uncertain, current economic forecasts for Calgary continue to be strong. The city is expected to remain within the top three in the country for GDP growth, consistent with the performance over the past several years.

Alberta’s Lodging Supply Boom

Calgary is expected to see the largest increase in hotel room supply in the province. Given the strong economic activity and the unaccommodated demand, however, the market is expected to absorb the supply with only a minimal impact on hotel performance in 2015. ADR growth will be modest compared to the stellar performance posted in recent years, but the health of this market is such that only a slight 1.5% decline in the market-wide RevPAR is projected for 2015, even with supply growth of 9.2%.


Hoteliers are not going to see the easy RevPAR gains of the recent past, and they will need to find ways to maintain and gain marketshare in a more competitive environment.

The major investments into the oil sands and the strength of the local economy bode well for hotels in the city, and RevPAR growth is expected to continue unabated even with the new rooms in the market. Demand growth has not quite kept pace with the increase in supply in 2014, but ADR growth is expected to result in RevPAR improvement in 2014. Looking ahead to 2015, supply growth is expected to continue, although not at the pace anticipated in Calgary. In the healthy economic environment, the occupancy is projected to hold steady while further gains are made in ADR, helping to again elevate the market-wide RevPAR.

The Edmonton lodging market has likewise been resilient and has had an excellent track record for absorbing new supply with little or no impact on occupancy and RevPAR performance. From 2008 to 2013, the room supply increased at an average annual rate of 3.1% in Edmonton, nearly triple the national average. Despite the supply increases, the market-wide occupancy level has increased in each of the last three years and was at a healthy level of 70% in 2013. The activity in the oil sands regions to the north has energized the economy of Edmonton. With the $56 billion of investment in this region currently underway, along with the long-term expectation that this figure will double, the GDP growth for Edmonton is expected to remain number two nationally for the near future.

For the broader regions of Northern and Southern Alberta Area, the new room supply is not expected to hinder hotel performance in 2015. Assuming that the economy continues to perform well and that lower oil prices don’t inspire a drop in demand, we expect the regions to sustain continued RevPAR growth. The new

supply that is planned for these areas is mostly in the form of small limited-service hotels that are scattered among various communities, each with its own local demand generators and ability to absorb the new rooms. As evidenced by the statistics, a wave of new room supply is hitting Alberta, especially in the major markets of Calgary and Edmonton. Hoteliers are not going to see the easy RevPAR gains of the recent past, and they will need to find ways to maintain and gain marketshare in a more competitive environment. That said, we do not see the bottom falling out of the market, and most areas will be able to maintain RevPAR levels as long as rate wars are avoided. In most cases, the new hotels are warranted given the degree to which demand levels have improved since 2009. In the face of new entrants to the market, hoteliers will need to tighten up operations, focus on their niche, and manage effectively. Carrie Russell is a partner and the Managing Director at HVS Canada (, a hotel consulting and appraisal firm, with offices in Vancouver and Toronto. She has her AACI real estate designation (Accredited Appraiser Canadian Institute) and has been part of the real estate and hotel industry for 17 years. At HVS, Carrie is involved with feasibility studies and appraisals for hotels and resorts across Canada. Email her at

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Dunvegan Inn & Suites The Heartbeat of Fairview by Terri Perrin | photos by Fran Wylie

Fairview is a small town of 3,200 people, located about an hour north of Grande Prairie. Your journey will lead you down into the mighty Peace River Valley where you cross the historical Dunvegan Bridge (Alberta’s longest suspension bridge) and enter the “Dunvegan Provincial Park” site. As with many northern communities, the local swimming pool and skating rink are popular gathering places during a long, cold winter. In Fairview, the Dunvegan Inn & Suites, proudly serving “the best in hospitality” for over 30 years, is found at the intersection of Highway 64, Alaska Connector & Mackenzie Highway. The “DMI” has been bringing people together for everything from fresh hot breakfast, watching the big game on TV, enjoying a night out for dinner, to special events like meetings, weddings, and celebrations. The Dunvegan Inn has become a local landmark as the heartbeat of the community. Hotel owner/manager, Betty James, explains that the 80-room Dunvegan Inn & Suites is an independent enterprise. She opened in November 1982. “I have been in the hospitality industry since 1971,” explains Betty. “I owned a restaurant company in Fairview and required a larger catering facility. I came up with the idea of building a hotel, and it blossomed from there.” Before any construction began, Betty’s first assignment was to complete a feasibility study. From this she confirmed a fullservice hotel – with restaurants, meeting, and banquet facilities would be a benefit to the community. Who knew her vision would lead her to where she is today?

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The hotel was constructed over three phases. The first phase opened in 1982. Betty established 46 guest rooms with the Aurora Sports Bar, Rose & Thistle Pub, Fireside Dining Room, the Café, complete with the 300-seat banquet hall she was dreaming of. In 1997, phase two of construction saw the addition of a third floor with another 21 rooms. A third expansion, in 2006, added 13 large two-storey condominium style suites featuring full kitchens, fireplaces, and extra amenities for longer stays. “The expansions were completed in response to increased oil and gas industry activity in the area,” recalls Betty. “The college is also across the highway from us, so we get (a great deal) of clientele from that, plus hunters and outdoor recreation enthusiasts.”

Fast forward to 2015… The Dunvegan Inn & Suites is a 100% familyowned-and-operated business, employing 46 people - making it one of the largest employers in the community. All of Betty’s four children work with her, as they have for decades. Bryan James is a Manager, Shane James is the Head Chef, while daughters Valerie Reynolds and Penny Nesbitt look after accounting and general operations, respectively. Several of Betty’s grandchildren have also worked at the hotel. In fact, her Grandson Jason Reynolds was the night manager for 21 years. The Dunvegan Inn is also fortunate to still have several longterm employees who have worked by Betty’s side since the beginning. In addition to her property receiving numerous AHLA Housekeeping Awards, Betty was the recipient of a 2013 AHLA Award of Distinction. “This was a welcome surprise,” says Betty, with obvious pride. “I was speechless when I heard that news. My family and I travelled to Lake Louise to receive the award. It was an honour and a privilege to be Betty James, owner and manager recognized by my peers, but I must stress that it came as a result of the combined efforts of a great staff and decades of support from the community, friends, and relatives.” To show their appreciation for the ongoing support they’ve enjoyed, the Dunvegan Inn & Suites gives back to the community by supporting a variety of programs. Betty is an active member or supporter of several local/provincial clubs, including the Red Hatters, Fairview Fire Rescue Society, Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association, Alberta Hotel Safety Association, Mighty Peace Tourist Association, Rotary Club, Fairview & District Chamber of Commerce, Belt Drive Betty, and Ducks Unlimited. She has been recognized for her contributions with the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fairview Fire Rescue Society and the 2013 Business of the Year (10 employees or more) from the Fairview & District Chamber of Commerce. When asked about the challenges of operating a successful business in a small town in northern Alberta, Betty shares that staffing has always been a concern. “I am very thankful for the hotel association’s introduction of the foreign worker program about 10 years ago,” notes Betty. “I believe that we were one of the first hotels to get on board with the program, and it has been integral to our success. Some of my foreign workers from the Philippines have now been here for more than a decade.” To retain staff, Betty believes that cross-training and education are key. The hotel schedules regular training in Pro-Serve, first aid, AED, WHMIS, and the nationally recognized emerit program. They also have a bonus system based on employee performance. “I love everything about the hospitality industry,” concludes Betty. “To know that I have built a business where my family was able to be employed and raise their families in the community where they grew up is very rewarding. I feel a great sense of pride and satisfaction. I am ever grateful for the ongoing support of my children, their spouses, and my grandchildren for all of their sacrifices, long hours, and dedication.”

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The K.I.S.S. Principle for Cyber Security How to Keep Safe and Secure in an Online World by Terri Perrin

Geoff Lee can’t walk into a hotel without looking around for potential security breaches. As an international security consultant and the director of security for a major Canadian hotel, paying close attention to protocol comes naturally for him. He firmly believes that, in a world that is connected to the Internet 24/7, you can never let your guard down.

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The K.I.S.S. Principle for Cyber Security

It doesn’t matter if your property is large or small, franchised or independent, in a small town or a big city. All hotels must proactively address security issues by regularly conducting risk assessments, ideally using an independent security specialist. Is Your Wi-Fi at Risk? “Threats to personal and business information is the most overlooked aspect of both physical and logical [cyber] security risk assessments,” reports Lee. “Easily accessible Wi-Fi is something that guests have come to expect, but they also expect that you have done your due diligence to ensure that their wireless communications are not being monitored by the guy in the next room. Some of the older wireless networks are very vulnerable to hackers, putting highly confidential hotel data and guests’ personal information (from their own wireless devices) at risk. Wireless networks must in lockdown from both a technological and physical aspect. Be sure to use a qualified professional to install and maintain your Wi-Fi systems.”


Some of the older wireless networks are very vulnerable to hackers…

BYOD - Bring Your Own Device Do your employees bring cell phones and tablets to work with them? Do you allow them to use their personal devices for hotel business? Be aware that many free cell phone apps are actually cleverly designed data tracking systems that quietly gather information from the cell user. “I worked with one hotel where the employees were being encouraged to use their own personal cell phones to try a new internal communications app,” recalls Lee. “This was an obvious security breach, as they had guests’ personal information and the hotel’s financial details on their phones.” Be aware that information security applies to all kinds of telecommunications devices, not

just your main computer system and Wi-Fi. Encourage all employees and guests to keep their cell phones, tablets, and laptops locked up when not in use. And be certain that company cell phones have strong passwords, as part of device security. Skeleton Keys in the Closet For most hotel properties, traditional locks and keys are a distant memory and card locks are the norm, but even that is changing. “Electronic lock system technology is advancing rapidly,” explains Paul Ireland, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, AJM Solutions. “To make locks more secure, for example, VingCard Elsafe has introduced a mechanical redesign, moving the lock case

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The K.I.S.S. Principle for Cyber Security

from the door to inside the wall. They also offer an electronic lock with all components, including radio frequency ID (RFID) readers inside the doors, rather than surface mounted. Using an online system to manage the electronic locks provides direct communication with all locks and the ability to instantly report problems, security breaches, and failures to the appropriate personnel for quick action. “Cell phones are another area of advancement,” adds Ireland. “It is now possible for guests to make reservations and receive guestroom access cards using cell phones, similar to airline boarding passes. VingCard Elsafe’s latest product uses low energy Bluetooth frequency as a communication backbone for reservation services. Four Points Sheraton has already offered the service to their Starwood Preferred Guest members in over 100 properties in North America.” Eyes on Employees and Guests “Employers must understand the difference between valid surveillance and illegal intrusions on privacy rights before taking advantage of video/ audio recordings,” warns Lonnie Giamela, a partner in Fisher & Phillips, LLP. “Examples of legitimate business needs include hotel security, loss prevention, employee accountability, training and development, and other legal requirements. It is important for an employer to tailor its monitoring program to a legitimate purpose, provide written notice of monitoring intentions, and have documentation that identifies that link. Without it, employers are subjecting themselves to potential invasion of privacy claims.”

High Stakes Surveillance With a vibrant petroleum industry in Alberta, highly confidential training, sensitive negotiations, and politically-charged private meetings can take place in your hotel. The bigger the event, the higher the security risk. That’s when technical surveillance countermeasures are needed. Paul Turner is Corporate Director, Professional Development, for TSCM Group Inc. Turner and his team go into a venue - very often a hotel - to conduct a thorough security risk analysis. Using highly sophisticated and expensive equipment they sweep all meeting spaces and guestrooms looking for hidden wireless video or audio recording equipment or devices that would threaten the physical safety of the meeting participants. “The main challenge we have is that most hotels are not very secure to start with,” explains Turner. “We may clear a room and deem it safe, but then all of the doors to the room are not lockable. If you don’t have good physical security, all efforts to ensure technological security are nullified the moment you walk out the door. As a countermeasure, we very often will install our own surveillance equipment to monitor the area before and during the meeting to ensure it remains secure.” It Takes a Village Lee adds that another important step in security measures is to establish a good working relationship with local law enforcement. Identify risks based on past incidents at your hotel and in your community. Schedule regular weekly or monthly meetings to discuss what is going on in your area. Don’t just contact them when there is a crime in progress. Always expect the unexpected. Security risks will show up at your door and want to check in.

Top 10 Cyber Security Measures 1. Conduct regular risk assessments and follow through on your findings. 2. Use a qualified consultant to ensure your property is on top of changing technologies. 3. Once the assessment is complete, enforce policies and procedures. 4. Ensure that wireless network equipment is physically secure. 5. Insist that employees keep cell phones, tablets, and laptops locked up when not in use. Encourage guests to do the same. 6. Train all staff, not just security personnel and managers, on what to look for and what to do when there is a potential security breach. 7. React appropriately to a potential risk. Instruct employees not to put themselves in danger. 8. Reward staff and guests for alerting you to security problems. 9. Work with local law enforcement to identify possible risks and make them part of your security solution. 10. Always expect the unexpected.

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Strengthening Our Tourism Brand Under a New President & CEO

by Shelley Grollmuss

Royce Chwin, Travel Alberta’s new President and Chief Executive Officer, moved into the role in November 2014, after heading up our marketing team as Chief Marketing Officer. Before joining Travel Alberta, he led the Canadian Tourism Commission’s international brand and creative strategy, and launched their social media initiative. I recently spoke with Royce about his vision for Travel Alberta.

the whole industry. So, finding enough workers and the right workers is an ongoing challenge. And because today’s travellers have so much information at their fingertips, it’s increasingly hard for hotels to stand out in a crowded marketplace and still protect their profit margins. We will continue working with our hotel partners to make it easier to find and book Alberta hotels, trips and excursions.

What are your plans for moving Travel Alberta’s strategy forward? Can we expect changes?

What can Travel Alberta bring to the table?

We took a very focused look at our business and marketing strategy this past summer. With a leadership change on the horizon, we seized the opportunity to take our strategy right down to the bare bones, test our assumptions and evaluate our outcomes. The consensus was the strategy still has a lot of legs. It has certainly helped Alberta tourism grow over the last five years and it still provides a great foundation to evolve our vision and mission. Will there be a few tweaks? Absolutely. Fundamentally, it is a strong blueprint for the future. What do you see as the biggest challenges for tourism? Tourism competition is fierce. With the release of Destination British Columbia’s new brand and other provinces ramping up their game, we can’t rest on our laurels. Tourism marketing is 24/7/365. Then there’s the issue of workplace capacity. You need the right people to deliver great service, so we must find new ways to attract workers to our province. We’re also seeing the challenges that come with success. Over the summer, we heard stories about attractions and destinations being sold out and people turned away. This can become a negative if we don’t find ways to build our capacity and infrastructure so we can service more visitors and deliver on Alberta’s brand promise. What issues are you tackling first in your new role? Our biggest focus right now is the rollout of our 2015-2018 Business and Marketing Strategy. Travel Alberta’s winter campaigns are in progress and we are gearing up for summer 2015. What do you see as the biggest challenges for the hotel sector? The hotel experience is such an essential part of every traveller’s destination story that the issues facing this sector are ones that impact

Travel Alberta will continue to be a steward of Alberta’s tourism brand and deliver an extremely strong destination marketing strategy and a robust cooperative marketing investment program. Our role is to work together with industry to create the urgency and demand to visit and experience Alberta. This is how we help put heads in beds. How would you describe your work philosophy? I believe that we are not in the tourism business - we are in the people business. Tourism is what we do. So that view certainly influences how we approach our business. For me, it means empowering people to be creative and nimble in finding the best ways to meet customers’ needs. The other philosophy I hold dear is the power of collaboration. I always wear my TEAM ALBERTA pin, because I believe that even if you have the best tourism assets in the world, you still need an aligned team that knows how to work together in order to be successful. What have the first few months of the job been like? I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the warmth and encouragement I have received from across our industry. That kind of support makes you want to work harder and give back more. I have always felt this is the best business in the world. We have the chance to shape people’s lives by introducing them to new experiences and cultures. Every visitor will remember their time in Alberta for the rest of their lives, and it’s exciting to be part of that. This is the epitome of (remember to breathe). Shelley Grollmuss is Travel Alberta’s Vice President of Industry Development. She can be reached at Royce Chwin is Travel Alberta’s President and Chief Executive Officer. He can be reached at

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Agrium Western Event Centre

Think Calgary, think Stampede. One of Alberta’s most notorious events has a brand new, oneof-a-kind world-class facility to showcase its world-famous celebration to visitors from near and far. Constructed over 2 years in the heart of Calgary’s Stampede Park, the new Agrium Western Event Centre is one of the largest building projects in the Stampede’s 102-year history - a state-of-the-art facility for western events and agriculture education, exhibitions, and industry events year-round in southern Alberta. Now complete, this is the final piece of a $61.2 million Agricultural Discovery Zone infrastructure investment that also includes enhancements to the Agriculture Building and a reconfigured track and new infield tunnel access for livestock transportation at Stampede Park. As the largest facility of its kind in Canada, the new Agrium Western Event Centre is also playing host to other prestigious national and international competitions, rodeos, agricultural exhibitions, and trade shows. Since its official opening in June, the livestock-ready Agrium has hosted the Arabian Association Regional Championships, Team Roping Canadian Finals, Cinch Grassroots Pro Rodeo Finals, the World Professional Bull Riding (WPB) Finals and more. Planners travelled the world for five years, studying best practices in similar facilities, and exploring their applicability to the Agrium. The result is a magnificent venue tailored to not only give human guests an excellent experience, but also animals. Back-of-house and staging areas are all custom-designed and constructed to meet the needs and safety of animals. Innovations include specially designed non-slip concrete floors, the best steel panels and chutes available, 6-foot solid

by Debbie Minke

white walls in the arena to prevent distraction, flexible stall options, and even specific dirt mixtures and grooming styles for each event in the arena. The large 250 x 125-ft show floor gives ample room for horses to showcase their athleticism in equestrian events while 2,500 guests can enjoy shows with spacious arena seating above. VIP suites are available for groups from 18 -120, with packages that include: a gourmet food selection personally prepared by an in-suite attendant; non-alcoholic beverages; event tickets with Stampede Park admission; event facts and day sheets; private seat deck with in-seat beverage service; Cowboy Concierge service, and other event services. A 20,000 sq. ft. adjacent exhibition hall can be used as a show-ring or warm-up arena, or for trade shows or other concurrent events. The Agrium’s magnificent rotunda entrance doubles as a weekday classroom for Journey 2050 - an interactive education program on agricultural sustainability. Using an inquirybased approach, the program encourages students to make decisions and adjust them as they see their impact on society, the environment, and the economy at a local and global scale. The students experience the lives of three farm families in Kenya, India, and Canada, learning the role of best management practices in feeding the world, reducing environmental impacts, and in improving social performance through greater access to education, medical care, and community infrastructure. Bringing together urban and rural audiences year-round, Agrium Western Event Centre is a wonderful enhancement of everything the Stampede represents. Alberta is proud! alberta hospitality | 23


Appealing to Millennials The Digital-Dependent Generation by Louise Hudson

A click of a mouse, the scroll of a finger, the press of a button - this is how Millennials have grown up and how they now conduct business, reservations, purchasing, communication, and social transactions. Increasingly, marketers are turning their attention away from Baby Boomers and towards gratifying the instantaneous needs of the Now Generation.

Photo courtesy of Varscona Hotel on Whyte

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The Millennial Market There are currently around 79 million Millennials in North America - that’s three million more than Baby Boomers who are predicted to dwindle to just 58 million by 2030. Otherwise known as Generation Y, they were born between 1980 and 1999, children of the digital age. “Millennials are an important part of our target market as, at the upper end of the age spectrum, they represent a fast-growing segment of business travellers and young families,” says Grant Erickson, Director of Sales and Marketing, Sheraton Cavalier Calgary Hotel. While the younger Millennials are still financially dependent on parents, older Millennials are at peak purchasing power. So what are the keys to attracting, satisfying, and retaining this demanding demographic? Photo Courtesy of Sheraton Cavalier Hotel Calgary

Attracting Millennials Social media, online reviewing, and apps are mainstays of Millennial choice-making. Around 40% of Millennials are likely to share travel experiences during their trip and 34% will disperse details via social media on their return. Likewise, they use peer reviews, checking on average 10.2 sources before booking. This is a vast resource of feedback that hotels and destinations can harness for their own marketing purposes. The Sheraton Cavalier Calgary Hotel has responded to this trend via multiple social media channels - TripAdvisor, Facebook and Twitter - as well as the Starwood Preferred Guest program in order to engage Millennials. Research has shown that speed is vital to digital-dependent Millennials. In order to hasten the booking process, the Sheraton has formulated an app: “It is now a necessary tool to compete for the growing share of online booking specifically taking place on mobile devices, along with creating loyalty among guests,” Erickson explains. “Guests also see high value in the


Around 49% of Millennials plan as well as book trips on their smartphones.

app as it gives them an easy way to manage their profile and preferences and, simply put, makes the booking process easier and faster.” The hotel monitors all its social media platforms, responding in real time to guest reviews and feedback. Another innovation soon to be incorporated at Sheraton is keyless entry. Guests who download the app will be able to use their cellphones to unlock rooms.

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APPEALING TO MILLENNIALS Photo Courtesy of Sheraton Cavalier Hotel Calgary

reviews are important to Varscona Hotel on Whyte, which involves all hotel departments in the quest for positive commentary. “Guest service and comfort is paramount in our operation and a core component to our product,” Jess explains. “We encourage our guests to review their stay with us online. We do our utmost to respond to each and every one of these reviews and want our guests to feel they are connected to our staff and our brand.” Research into Millennials

Increasingly, websites need to be mobile-friendly. Around 49% of Millennials plan as well as book trips on their smartphones, according to Expedia’s The Future of Travel study. Edmonton’s Varscona Hotel on Whyte has also tailored its online presence and social media specifically to Millennials, placing rolling testimonials in the centre of its website home page. “We are focused on providing a positive online experience with brand new websites rich in sharp visuals. [We also have] mobile websites, making on-the-go booking fast and easy, and interactive social media outlining local events and other businesses in our area that Millennials might be interested in visiting during their stay,” describes Jane Jess, Director of Demand & Reputation Management. Online

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Despite their reliance on online communication, Millennials are actually more sociable offline than previous generations. With such constant access to images of social activity, they are subject to the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) phenomenon. Around 58% prefer to travel with friends: that’s 20% more than other demographic groups. Varscona Hotel on Whyte has worked on understanding Millennials through webinars, white papers, and online research tools to analyze their habits and shape their product accordingly. “They are becoming increasingly important as the number of them travelling for business increases,” says Jess. “They also enjoy leisure travel with friends. We find that they are interested in unique hotel experiences in eclectic and active neighbourhoods, which makes Varscona a perfect fit.” The hotel disseminates information about community attractions, events, and businesses via social media. So, it is not just techno gizmos and contemporary facilities that attract this demographic. Next challenge: how to cater to all these needs within the hotel environment?


Satisfying Millennials Easy access to technology is at the forefront for these digital devotees. For example, Varscona Hotel on Whyte has free high-speed Internet in rooms and public areas and has also installed MP3 docking stations for smart phones at bedsides. However, this generation doesn’t want to spend their time holed up in their high tech bedrooms with just their electronic devices for company. They also need sociable, high tech lobbies. The term ‘third place’ was coined by Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ guru. It refers to the most important places in people’s lives - first, home; second, work; and third, a social place where people feel comfortable to visit, hang out, socialize, read, and work. Since the 1980s, the third place has shifted from pubs and bars to comfortable, coffee-oriented environments - Starbucks and its competitors where many Millenials were weaned. For hotels this third place is the lobby. “Our Lobby Lounge is very much a community gathering spot that is also equipped with WiFi and the Link@Sheraton - a spot in the lounge with PC work stations where guests can work or surf the net in a ‘community environment’, with printer available as well,” describes Erickson. The hotel also offers the Sheraton Social Hour, an opportunity to gather and sample wines from around the world. And Club members have their own exclusive third place - the Club Lounge with views of the downtown Calgary skyline from soft seating. Environmental responsibility is an important issue for Millennials, who have grown up with recycling and the notion of reducing environmental footprints. The Sheraton Cavalier Calgary Hotel addresses this with its Make a Green Choice program. Guests are offered rewards for opting in either at check-in or by using the door hanger. As well as saving on water, electricity, natural gas and chemicals, guests are given a $5 food voucher or 500 Starpoints® for each night they stay. Not everyone is convinced about pursuing this market yet. Lake Louise Inn has Millennials on its radar, but is looking more to the future when this demographic fully matures and starts spending more money on hotel experiences. “The research I’ve seen seems to indicate that this target market isn’t quite ready for our engagement,” says Ryan Eckert, Tour & Travel Sales Manager for Lake Louise Inn. “Due to their reliance on cheap travel, they just aren’t at a point to make full use of the services we offer. We expect, as this market matures, it will be a very valuable market.” Despite this, Lake Louise Inn has perfected its Facebook presence in recent months, offers free WiFi in the lobby and guestrooms, instant email confirmation for bookings, and a mobile-optimized website - all Millennial pre-requisites. Its centrally-positioned hot tub and swimming pool in the main hotel make a perfect third place. The Explorers Lounge is also a Millennialfriendly hang-out especially on the weekly Dance Night, which attracts workers as well as tourists from all over Lake Louise Village.

Photo courtesy of Varscona Hotel on Whyte

Millennial Must-Haves • • • • • • • • • •

Free WiFi throughout property Social lobby High tech, mobile-friendly websites Apps to replace traditional concierge Real-time reporting and responding Peer reviews Third place for socializing (on and offline) and for business Automated check in/out and bill payment Smart technology and plentiful power outlets Cool factor - unique, emotional component, age-appropriate freebies • Social responsibility

Millennials & Foodservice 1. Millennials represent 29% of all foodservice traffic in Canada. 2. 18-24 year olds had the highest average visits to total foodservice i.e. 281 in year ending August 2014. 3. a. Women aged 18-24 grew their foodservice visits by +6% in year ending August 2014. b. Men aged 25-34 grew their foodservice visits by +6% in year ending August 2014. 4. Canadian population forecast for the year 2021 predicts – Front End Millennials will grow by +9% and Back End Millennials will grow by +7% (2021 vs. 2013). 5. Millennials spend +$5.34 more on special occasions/holiday vs. any other type of foodservice occasions. Source :The NPD Group, Inc.

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Train Your Staff Without Straining Your Budget In talking to employers, we often hear that they are eager to provide more training to their staff, but cannot find training that meets their needs, do not have the manpower to support staff being away from their regular duties, or they simply cannot afford the training. Fortunately, the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada have joined forces to help employers find solutions to these problems. However, before we explore this assistance, let’s assess the value of training. Why Train Staff? Staff training is invaluable, as conveyed in this oft-quoted dialogue: CFO asks CEO: “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?” CEO: “What happens if we don’t and they stay?” Employers often overlook the value of employee training. Inevitably, educating staff comes with a cost and a risk, including the possibility that your employee may quit upon receiving professional training. However, the reward is greater than the risk. Investing in your employees validates your staff members’ roles at your property. Training your staff is a great retention strategy with long-term effects. Your property will profit from your staff’s increased knowledge, skills, and/or abilities - whether they stay with you for three months or three years post-training. If you choose to save money rather than train your staff, you are allowing your business to stall. You are telling your stakeholders, your staff, and yourself that being stagnant is good enough and that you do not need to work harder, be more productive, or provide better service. However, in business, if you aren’t moving forward, you are moving backwards, especially when those around you continue to move forward. Three Widespread Challenges: 1) “I can’t find applicable training within the hospitality industry.” Organizations throughout Alberta offer hospitality training. In the larger urban centers, educational institutions of various sizes offer one-day courses, upgrading seminars, and programs. In Canada, emerit training is offered via distance learning and anyone who has Internet access can use it. If time limitations restrict you from searching for the best training

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by Celia Koehler

opportunities for your employees, encourage your staff to research suitable industry training that they would like to take. See details at 2) “I don’t have the manpower to facilitate my staff being off property for training.” In this case, opt for in-house training services. The Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) offers training seminars that can be held at your property, provided you have the space. In-house training allows you to select the date and time that best suits your property. If required, you can also book more than one session to accommodate fluctuating staff availability. Contact Karen Harrison at AHLA for more information 3) “I cannot afford the cost of training.” Training can come at a high cost. To tackle this dilemma, the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada have presented the CanadaAlberta Job Grant. The grant money covers two-thirds of the cost of training the candidate or employee that you intend to hire or retain. With the grant comes rules and restrictions, some of which include: 1. The trainee cannot be a board member, owner, family member of the owner, or foreign worker of any kind. 2. The training provider cannot be the company that requests training. In other words, you cannot train your own employees and request reimbursement. 3. The training must be incremental - that is, beyond normal training that an individual in this position might be provided. 4. Training must result in a certificate, record of completion, or mark, etc. 5. Training must be a minimum of 25 hours long and completed within 52 weeks. Training programs and courses can be combined to reach this minimum. Training fills gaps for employers, whether those gaps involve retention, skills, or business development. It is your choice whether or not you are willing to take your business to the next level. For further information about the Canada-Alberta Job Grant, visit


Winter 2015

by Debbie Minke


People Maureen Kubinec, MLA for Barrhead-MorinvilleWestlock, is our new Minister of Alberta Culture and Tourism. She will work closely with Travel Alberta to expand efforts to promote Alberta as a must-experience destination and continue to lead the path to implementing Alberta’s Tourism Framework. Royce Chwin has been named Travel Alberta’s new President and CEO. For the past four years Chwin has served as Travel Alberta’s Chief Marketing Officer, and prior to that he led the Canadian Tourism Commission’s international brand and creative strategy and launched their social media strategy. Travel Alberta’s board of directors has welcomed three new members. Dr. Tracy Edwards is Lakeland College’s President and CEO, and has 25 years of experience in Canadian postsecondary education. Shannon Bowen-Smed has 30 years of experience in the recruitment industry, with the last 18 years as President and CEO of Bowen Workforce Solutions in Calgary. Rajko Dodic served as Lethbridge’s Mayor from 2010 to 2013, when he chose to return to practicing law. David Goldstein has been named President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). He previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) has announced that Lisa Vinderskov has joined the organization as Regional Director, Western Canada. Leslie Bruce has been appointed President and CEO of Banff Lake Louise Tourism.

Canadian Badlands Tourism has appointed Brad Tucker as Executive Director.

Properties TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Red Deer opened this summer offering full kitchens and adjustable work spaces for extended stays. Linda Hunter is GM. Also open this summer, Best Western Plus Fox Creek offers 95 guestrooms and many amenities. Tammy McDougall is GM. The Thriftlodge Sportsman Inn in Claresholm is now the Best Seven Inn. The Amethyst Lodge in Jasper is now The Crimson Jasper. Best Western Grande Mountain Hotel in Grande Cache is now the Days Hotel & Suites Grande Cache. Staybridge Inn & Suites West Edmonton has opened its doors, offering 122 rooms. In addition to studios and one- and two-bedroom suites, a complimentary daily hot breakfast buffet, evening reception, and other amenities are offered. The new $34-million Alt Hotel in Calgary’s East Village will overlook the Bow River, featuring 155 guestrooms, loft-style windows, 5,000 sq. ft. of meeting space as well as two retail areas. The new property is expected to open in 2017, pending approvals. Delta Hotels and Resorts will be the hotel partner for the Edmonton Arena District (EAD), a live/work/play area around Rogers Place Arena. Opening in 2018, the hotel will offer 362 guestrooms and suites, an outdoor terrace, a pool, and fitness facilities as well as 24,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.

The Hotel Association of Canada’s 2014 Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence winners include three Alberta properties. Congratulations to The Westin Calgary for capturing the Humanitarian award, Campus Tower Suite Hotel Edmonton - Human Resources award, and Bellstar Hotels & Resorts, Calgary - Green Key Energy & Environment award. The Lake Louise Ski Resort won the Best Ski Resort in Canada trophy at the World Ski Awards, and Charlie Locke, sole proprietor of the resort, was bestowed the tribute of Outstanding Contribution to Ski Tourism for the Americas.

New Partnership AJM Solutions Group and VingCard Elsafe have signed a strategic business partnership agreement to provide advanced security technology and superior customer service to the Canadian hospitality and multi-housing markets. AJM Solutions Group Inc. will market, sell and service VingCard Elsafe security products, including electronic locks, in-room safes, and advanced energy management systems for hotels.

Events Red Bull Crashed Ice final showdown will be hosted by Edmonton March 12-14. The Western Hockey League announced Red Deer Rebels have been selected to host the MasterCard Memorial Cup in 2016, and Canada Winter Games will be hosted by Red Deer in 2019.

GMs on the Move Lilia Agu, Canalta Jurassic Drumheller Joe Asfour, Heartland Lodge, Stettler Kwan Baik, Ace Inn, Fort McMurray Brent Batten, Grande Rockies Resort, Canmore Monique Belisle, Nuvo Hotel Suites, Calgary Alyssa Bisson, Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Edmonton West Tania Bodden, Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel, Nisku Colleen Chartrand, Slave Lake Inn & Conference Centre Maria Cozarescu, Sandman Hotel Lethbridge Jitesh Darji, Radisson Hotel & Conference Centre Calgary Airport East Maria De Torres, Hampton Inn by Hilton Fort Saskatchewan Nuwan Eparatchy, Merit Hotel & Suites, Fort McMurray Lanis Gauchier, Peavine Inn & Suites, High Prairie JD Girado, Vantage Inn & Suites Fort McMurray Danielle Gruninger, Lethbridge Lodge Hotel & Conference Centre

John Hanson, Sandman Hotel Grande Prairie Rupinder Jandu, Traveller’s Inn, Calgary Steve Kang, Twilight Country Motel, Boyle David Keam, Renaissance Edmonton Airport Hotel Chris Kern, The Lodges at Canmore Andy Kim, Days Inn & Suites Strathmore Siva Kiruddinan, Hilton Garden Inn Edmonton International Airport Kristina Kugyte, Ramada Pincher Creek Parin Ladhani, Best Western Westlock, Nisku Inn & Conference Centre Edmonton Airport Joon Lee, Nova Inn - Hinton Kyu Lee, Horizon Inn & Steakhouse, Valleyview Gavin McCaffrey, Banff Gate Mountain Resort, Canmore Brian McKaig, Peace Valley Inns Hotel & Conference Center, Peace River Fran McKeown, Motel 6 Red Deer

Mark Moon, Highway Motor Inn, Slave Lake Eddie Namgoong, Innisfail Super 8 Hardeep Negi, Best Western Cedar Park Inn, Edmonton George Neudorf, La Crete Motel Borham Patwary, Ramada Cold Lake Inn & Suites Gloria Pomeroy, Travelodge Drumheller Merv Purschke, Athabasca Open Camp, Sherwood Park Stacy Risdale, Ramada Brooks Barbara Scott, Fire Mountain Lodge, Canmore Luke Sunderland, The Banff Centre Paul Sung, Red Coat Inn Motel, Fort Macleod John Samms, Nakoda Lakeside Lodge, North Kananaskis Martin Stitt, Delta Bow Valley, Calgary Kerry Wilson, Kensington Riverside Inn, Calgary alberta albertahospitality hospitality || 29 29


Planning for the Future Just Got Easier In a group Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), employers arrange for their staff members to make discretionary contributions through a schedule of regular payroll deductions. Employers even have the option to contribute to an RRSP on behalf of their staff. The contribution is then deposited into the employee’s individual account and invested as specified. As an AHLA member, you have an opportunity to take the first step towards gaining a better understanding of your employee’s retirement savings needs. AHLA Retirement Plan Benefits include: • • • • • • • •

No minimum contribution amount; Immediate tax relief; Online account access; No loads or sales charges and no fees to make changes; Payroll deduction; Lower investment management fees; Member reward program; and Instant tax savings.

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Any of these plans can be set up easily and provide employees with numerous benefits towards saving for their retirement. The AHLA RRSP program will help you maximize the amount that you invest rather than spending it on management fees. Offering an employees’ RRSP benefit will optimize your overall retention strategy.

ADVERTISERS AHLA Convention 30 Adria International 21 Alberta Blue Cross 5 Alberta Hotel Safety Association  6 Alberta Laundry Systems BC Bossi Construction 13, 23 Buhler Hospitality 9 Colliers International Realty 10 Coronet EquipmentIFC Derks Uniforms 14 EcoStay20 Fusion Woodworks 14 Image Distributors 25

For more information specific to your property, and to discover which plan is best suited to attain your employees’ retirement goals, contact Kinasewich Benefits Consulting Ltd. at 1.888.312.2343 or Learn more at

Jani-King of Southern Alberta 10 McCallum Printing Group 8 Oaktree Carpets 19 Patio Frontiers 15 Prairie Distributors 21 RONA Inc 19 Sealy Canada 9 Serta26 Shaw Communications 7 Superior Quilting 13, 26 TAG Umbrella 27 Van Houtte 28 Western Financial Group Insurance Solutions IBC Zep Sales & Service 15

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Alberta Hospitality Winter 2015 Issue  

Alberta Hospitality Winter 2015 Issue