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LAP OF LUXURY The greatest growth in RevPAR in Canada is in the luxury segment

segment to be in. “Historically, mid-scale performs very consistently in downturn or upturn,” he says. “The cost of operations is relatively low; you’re offering a good value proposition for the guests and your rates are very good in comparison to economy or other segments. For both hoteliers and for guests, it is a darling segment.” EXTENDED-STAY

Extended-stay properties “provide everything guests need to be comfortable and productive on longer stays, such as spacious rooms with kitchens and separate spaces to work, sleep, eat and relax,” says Jeanette

Costa, vice-president of Sales and Revenue Strategy at Toronto-based Crescent Hotels & Resorts Canada, which has a diverse portfolio of properties including the Staybridge Suites West Edmonton extended-stay property. “Hotel amenities would also include services such as laundry, storage lockers and social spaces to meet in small groups.” Leon notes the operating model for extended-stay is obviously somewhat different from the rest of the hotel industry. “Operationally, they can be hotels where the housekeeping services may not be done daily and that sort of thing — so they’re run a little bit differently,” he says, adding Choice Hotels extended-stay brands (Suburban Extended Stay and Mainstay Suites) tend to be located in more secondary and tertiary markets. “It tends to be more corporate, people that are going to be working in one place for extended periods of time,” he says. Costa adds that the demographics of extended-stay customers does vary according to the market. “They could be business professionals on project-based business, construction crews or even families that have been temporarily displaced from their homes,” she explains. Athough Easton’s Group of Hotels does have extended-stay properties in secondary/tertiary and suburban markets, including a TownePlace Suites in Sudbury, Ont. and another

in Thunder Bay, Ont. — as well as two recently acquired Staybridge Suites properties in London and Guelph, Ont. — extended-stay isn’t all about the tertiary markets for Gupta, who has a Residence Inn property that is thriving in the heart of downtown Toronto. As far as challenges in this segment go, “extended-stay is threatened by Airbnb quite a bit,” admits Gupta. But he is trying to spread the word to potential guests about the security issues that could be involved in staying at an Airbnb, compared to the safety you get from a trusted branded property. Still, according to Rosszell, extended-stay properties have some built-in upsides. “The performance of an extended-stay hotel, in general, has higher occupancy than its counterparts in any market because the soft night is traditionally the Sunday night; for most hotels that is their biggest challenge,” she explains. “But the extended-stay has demand seven days a week because people are basically living there. The average rates tend to be a little bit lower if there are a lot of 30-day plus [guests], because they discount the rate — but in terms of performance, operating costs are much less because they don’t go in and change the rooms every day and you’re not checking-in all these people all the time, so it is a very healthy operating model.” u

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Hotelier January/February Digital Issue  

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