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LodgingNews September 2015 Vol. 12 No. 7

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Sheraton’S Grand hotelS

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FeatUre: toP 65 ChaIn rePort MANAGERS, OWNERS & BRANDS

CBRE/PKF deal: same players, more resources TORONTO — The acquisition of PKF by CBRE Group Inc. last month is a move that makes sense to both parties. “Integration means we will still have the same players and the same services as before — but more resources,” PKF’s national managing director David Larone told CLN. On Aug. 4, CBRE Group, Inc. announced that it had acquired PKF Consulting Inc. (PKF Canada), a leading advisory, consulting and research firm specializing in the Canadian hospitality and tourism industries. The acquisition follows CBRE’s purchase in July 2014 of PKF Consulting USA, which pro-

vides similar advisory and consulting services for the U.S. and global hospitality sector. Discussions with Thomas Callaghan, leader of the hotel practice for PKF Consulting U.S. a CBRE Company, began about that time, and discussions with CBRE proper started in September 2014. “It was obviously a lot of work for both teams — and it was a well-kept secret,” said Larone. But co-operation between the two companies in Canada is nothing new, said CBRE’s Bill Stone, executive vice president for CBRE Hotels in Canada. Continued on page 3

Lodging for weary bees

Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40010152

Top left to right, Bill Stone, CBRE, David Larone, Fran Hohol, David Ferguson, all from PKF. Bottom row, left to right, Brian Stanford and Nicole Nguyen, PKF.

Fairmont hotels across Canada are now abuzz with new activity. In partnership with Burt’s Bees Canada, the hospitality chain has constructed 16 new bee hotels across the country. The hotels provide a place to stay for solitary bees who unlike honeybees, nest individually without a queen or hive. The bee hotel program launched last year at the Fairmont Royal York as well as four other locations in the Greater Toronto Area. “I think it’s something that resonates with people. It’s an important issue, bees pollinate a significant amount of the food we eat,” said Fairmont spokesperson Kaitlynn Dodge. The new bee hotels will be constructed at

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Fairmont properties in Vancouver, Whistler, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Quebec City. As well, 10 bee hotels will be built in public spaces in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Halifax. The bee hotels are constructed using natural nesting materials such as wood, twigs, fallen branches, soil and pith-filled holes. Each bee hotel has a unique design that plays off of the structure’s surroundings. “In Whistler, the bee hotel is in the shape of the mountains,” Dodge said. “We wanted to make sure that it is was something unique. As guests, [the bees] will visit multiple hotels across the country.”


Maximizing the Guest Experience

If your property has purchased or plans to purchase LG’s Pro:Centric® Server, you qualify for a free Electronic Program Guide (EPG) that allows guests to easily navigate TV channels and programs - just like they do at home. *Participating properties must purchase and install a Pro:Centric® server and supply an internet connection for daily program updates. Properties must also contract with an LG authorized partner to install and program the server to match your Free-to-Guest (FTG). FREE program guide service runs until Dec. 2017, replacing the current programming fee of $1.50 per room per month.

As hotel guests are increasingly demanding their at-home viewing experience, greater customization and flexibility of their TV service, the same needs have risen for service providers. LG hotel TVs provide the built-in capability to support customized applications and services through a wide array of system integrators and service providers.

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Sheraton Toronto a possible Grand hotel STAMFORD, Conn. — The Sheraton Centre in downtown Toronto currently undergoing a $110 million renovation is one possible candidate for Starwood’s new Sheraton Grand premier tier announced last month, and other Canadian hotels could be candidates to become Sheraton Grands as well. At press time, the escalators leading down to the Sheraton Centre’s convention space were wrapped in plastic as renovations continued. The guestrooms in one tower have been completed, and once a few more guestrooms are finished, the reno will be almost done. The new premier tier recognizes exceptional Sheraton hotels and resorts for their enticing destinations, distinguished designs and excellence in service and guest experiences. Starwood has revealed the first 10 Sheraton Grand properties, which span from Bangalore to Beijing, Dubai to Edinburgh, Miyazaki to Seoul, Taipei to Bangkok, and Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro.

100 Sheraton Grands by 2017 By year end, Starwood expects to have 50 newly-designated Sheraton Grand hotels around the world with plans for 100 by early 2017. Sheraton Grand is one of many initiatives currently underway for Sheraton 2020, a comprehensive plan designed to solidify Sheraton as a leading global hotel brand of choice, every-

where, the brand said in a news release. “Sheraton is Starwood’s largest and most global brand, and as we continue our work to firmly keep Sheraton in the spotlight, we recognize the need to better match guest expectations for the brand around the world,” said Adam Aron, Starwood CEO on an interim basis. “Sheraton Grand celebrates our standout hotels and helps us further reinforce Sheraton as a trusted voice in global travel.” Criteria for becoming a Grand hotel include the following: • Resorts, convention properties, and urban hotels that offer unrivalled standards of service and outperform guest satisfaction benchmarks • Dynamic guestrooms and public spaces exhibiting sophisticated design and elevated finishes • Desirable and sought-after locations ranging from primary city settings to spectacular beachfronts • Impressive hotel amenities, including top-rated restaurant concepts and renowned chefs, superior gyms, unique Sheraton Club lounges, and an array of idyllic spa options • Inspiring and state-of-the-art function space for events, meetings, and conferences “We expect many of our Sheraton hotels to

achieve the Sheraton Grand designation, and we will work with our owners to open new Sheraton Grand hotels or renovate existing properties to ensure a consistent and exceptional experience in our new premier tier,” said Dave Marr, global brand leader, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts. “The worldwide network of Sheraton Grand will promote growth and lure more highend travellers for the Sheraton brand globally, and we look forward to welcoming 100 Sheraton Grand hotels by early 2017.” As Sheraton Grand formally launches worldwide, the tier will also encompass a number of existing properties that historically list Grand or Grande in their title and also demonstrate the best of the brand. Sheraton Grand follows several other recent announcements under the Sheraton 2020 plan, including the introduction of the new imaginative Paired lobby menu, a rich SPG promotion, and the launch of the brand’s new visual identity and re-designed website, Sheraton.com. A nod to the plan’s clear five year vision, Sheraton 2020 also includes a new $100 million Sheraton-focused marketing campaign; continuous innovation of the Sheraton guest experience; an unwavering commitment to service excellence; the implementation of revenue and profit-driving initiatives to benefit owners and developers; and a goal of opening more than 150 new Sheraton hotels worldwide by 2020.

Fortis sells its Canadian hotel portfolio ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – Fortis Inc. says it has signed a deal to sell the hotel assets of subsidiary Fortis Properties Corp. to a private investor group for Nora Duke. $365 million as the company moves to focus on its core utilities business. The transaction, involving 22 hotels in seven

Canadian provinces, is expected to close in the fall. The private investor group was not identified in a Fortis release. The sale of Fortis Properties’ commercial real estate portfolio for $430 million was completed last month. “The disposition of these hotel and real estate assets is consistent with the corporation’s focus on its core utility business,” said Fortis Inc. president and CEO Barry Perry. “Post closing of the hotel transaction, virtually all of the corporation’s assets will be comprised of regulated utilities and long-term contracted energy infrastructure,” Perry added. Fortis is in the North American electric and

gas utility business, with assets totalling some $28 billion serving more than three million customers across Canada and in the United States and the Caribbean. Nora Duke, well-known and respected in the Canadian hotel industry, has been president and CEO of Fortis Properties Corporation since 2007, and has worked with the company since 2003. Prior to that she was vice-president, customer and corporate services for Newfoundland Power, another Fortis company. “Post closing, I will continue to work with Fortis in a new capacity that will be unrelated to the hotel industry,” Duke told CLN. “A big change, but one I am looking forward to.”

PKF data stays independent, confidential Continued from page 1 “We started a number of years ago to crossreference business — if Brian Flood couldn’t do something, we would turn to Dave [Larone] and Brian [Stanford, national managing director of PKF Canada] first, and they thought of us for anything that was brokerage-related. The whole notion of working more closely together has been around a long time.” “The response in the past 24 hours has been fabulous,” Stone said on Aug. 5. “People truly understand the synergies.” “With the strength of our key professionals, combined with CBRE’s international presence within the hotel and overall real estate sectors, we are well positioned to grow our practice here and abroad,” added Stanford. “CBRE now offers the most comprehensive professional services specific to the Canadian hospitality sector. The combination of PKF’s proprietary data and research, and industry expertise with our existing brokerage and valu-

ation offering will prove to be a powerful advantage for our clients,” said Paul Morassutti, executive managing director, Canadian Valuation & Advisory Services, CBRE. Founded in 1970, PKF Canada is led by Larone and Stanford, who will remain in leadership roles with CBRE. The firm has offices in Toronto and Vancouver. During the past four years, PKF Canada has provided advisory services for more than $4 billion of hotel assets, serving a wide range of owners, lenders, purchasers and developers. PKF Canada’s professionals will become part of CBRE’s Valuation & Advisory Services business line and will collaborate closely with CBRE Hotels’ professionals. The firm’s market research data and analysis will be integrated into the larger PKF research platform at CBRE, providing the most comprehensive source of hotel financial information in North America. Both Stone and Larone stressed that while access to PKF reports will provide huge value

for their clients, the PKF research will remain independent and confidential. Larone also noted that PKF director Fran Hohol’s tourism and leisure practice is “not an insignificant piece of our practice,” and would provide CBRE with a skill set not readily available. Asked about challenges, Larone quipped that he would have to get used to having a boss and working for a larger company after 23 years of running a boutique organization. The PKF hotels group in Canada has 23 people, while the hotels group in the U.S. has 137. CBRE’s Valuation & Advisory Services provides appraisal, consulting, environmental and property condition consulting services to a broad base of local, regional and global clients. It has a professional staff of more than 1,700 appraisers, engineers, architects and environmental scientists in more than 300 major metro areas globally. CBRE Hotels has nearly 300 professionals in key markets around the world.

BRIEFS Ian McAuley joins Vancouverbased hotel company VANCOUVER, B.C. — American Hotel Income Properties has announced the appointment of Ian McAuley as executive vice-president – asset management, effective Sept. 1. McAuley was co-founder and president of Superior Lodging Corp. and during the past 15 years developed and operated over 150 select service hotels across Canada. More recently, McAuley has been active in the seniors housing industry as president and CEO of Continuum Health Care Holdings Ltd. and facilitated the recent sale of the company’s assets to Health Care REIT, Inc.

Former London police HQ to become 5-star hotel LONDON, U.K. — London developer Galliard Homes announced on July 27 that it has signed a £110 million ($224 million CDN) agreement with Abu Dhabi-based retail, hospitality and property conglomerate Lulu Group International to create a bespoke 92,000-square-foot five-star hotel in a refurbished Edwardian building that was the location of the original Scotland Yard Police Station and later the British Army recruitment centre for Westminster. The seven-storey hotel will provide a mix of luxury bedrooms, two bars, restaurants, library, lobby/lounge and private meeting, entertaining and dining rooms complete with 24/7 concierge service. An adjoining Victorian townhouse will be incorporated into the property and used to create an entertainment suite. Currently under construction, the hotel is scheduled to open in Q1 2017.

Airbnb is a fierce competitor to NYC hotels: STR HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. — Airbnb’s presence and rates across New York City make the short-term rental company a formidable competitor to the market’s hotel industry, according to an analysis by STR, Inc., released Aug. 4. As of May 1, Inside Airbnb listed 27,000 Airbnb units in New York City, 55 per cent of which were entire home/apartment units. The remaining Airbnb inventory in the market comprised 42 per cent private room and 3 per cent shared room. According to Jan Freitag, STR’s senior vice-president for lodging insights, “entire unit rentals are squarely aimed at competing with hotel rooms.”

Sandman snags naming rights to Kamloops arena KAMLOOPS, B.C. — Sandman Hotel Group, the Kamloops Blazers Hockey Club and the City of Kamloops announced on July 30 a 10-year naming-rights partnership rebranding the downtown arena as The Sandman Centre. The Sandman Centre will host all Kamloops Blazers games and major events, including concerts, the Subway Super Series, Hockey Day in Canada and the 2016 Women’s World Hockey Championships. In fall 1992, the facility officially opened its doors as the Riverside Coliseum, previously known as Sport Mart Place and during the last 10 years as the Interior Savings Centre.

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LodgingNews

EDITORIAL

Glamping Thai style I have been glamping before and I was not impressed, mainly because the washroom facilities were a fair hike from the tent. But glamping in the Thai rainforest at Elephant Hills camp in Southern Thailand was easy to take since there was a shower, western-style toilet and sink and in-room coffee and tea. There was even a hair dryer and — sometimes temperamental — Wi-Fi. King-size beds with triple sheeting, mirrors and a fan helped make this luxury camping, indeed. The camp is an hour-long drive down Highway 401, Thailand’s jungle highway leading westward from Surat Thani airport. The camp was remote and moderately rustic, but one of the first things I learned is that the rainforest is not quiet. The cicadas that provide a gentle hum that is the background of our Canadian summer, are amplified in the Thai jungle. One reason is that they’re bigger. Joining the symphony are birds and monkeys calling to each other. Our first activity was the elephant camp, where we washed the elephants — think of

a car wash but with tall, living, moving mam- Sok national park, then travelled by Thai long mals. The elephants were placid and seemed tail boat to a floating tent camp. Once again, we glamped. This time, the to enjoy being scrubbed and hosed down. Back at camp that night, we watched six tent didn’t have a hair dryer, in-room coffee local girls aged seven to 11 dressed in tradi- and tea or Wi-Fi and the camp was on a floattional costumes perform Thai dances, laugh- ing platform and powered by solar, but othering and smiling as the youngest dropped her wise the setup was similar to the jungle camp. We kept hearing gibbons calling to each coconut shell during the final number. We other in a strange whooping noise, and the also learned how to make pad Thai. Rain was inevitable — it is a rainforest and next day on a kayaking trip we actually saw we were there at the start of the rainy season. the no-tailed monkeys, dangling from trees. Not terribly hard to take. That night, the skies opened. We lay snug in Colleen Isherwood, Editor our bed as the monsoon poured down, listening to the pounding on the corrugated tin roof overtop of our tent. It seemed to quiet the insects, birds and animals who resumed their serenade once the rain had stopped. We changed location the next morning, taking an open-air school bus to the Ratchaprapha Dam in Khao Publisher Steve Isherwood at the jungle camp.

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EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD JASON CHESKES Above The Line Solutions

SPOTLIGHT

VITO CURALLI Hilton Worldwide

Maximizing hotel renos By Amir Anders There is no secret recipe to maximizing guest occupancy during a hotel renovation. Minimizing the interAmir Anders ference in your guests’ experience and minimizing the downtime is the obvious goal. Taking the time to sufficiently prepare for the renovation and partnering with an experienced general contractor will allow for a successful renovation. We always tell our clients that they can’t spend too much time on planning for the renovation and asking all the important questions before the work begins. Experience, efficiency and speed are a few of the main ingredients. After all, the quicker the area is renovated, the quicker it can go back into inventory and return to generating revenue. Review your sales data: It’s best to renovate during a lower occupancy period when you will be displacing fewer guests. By having a larger area of the property available for renovation at one time, it allows the general contractor to be more efficient, lowering your costs and property area downtimes. It is also essential to limit work to daytime hours — in this way the trades will be working during the times that most guests are not physically in the hotel. Build a ‘mock-up room’ before

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starting the renovations. Doing this will uncover problems early on and answer 90 per cent of potential questions. It will enable your design team to fine-tune their processes before the renovations get into full swing. This will also go a long way to keep the renovation on-schedule once it kicks off. Renovate floor by floor: Start from the top downward and remove two floors at a time out of inventory, always keeping a buffer floor between the occupied and the under-construction floors. Stopping the flow of the construction is both costly and detrimental to the schedule. Once the top floor is completed and put back into inventory, release another floor to the trades. Have a plan B and C for materials. While the designers may have chosen some sleek finishes, it is important to have a few options to choose from in case some are not immediately available. While Asia is often the default market from which to purchase, sourcing domestically will ensure that items won’t get stuck in customs or experience shipping delays that will ultimately delay the entire project. Make every effort to ensure that your property doesn’t look like it’s under renovation. One of the main goals for owners during a renovation should be to minimize disruption to guests and to prevent them from feeling as if they’re staying in a construction zone. It is critical to diligently separate areas under renovation from the rest of the hotel. Allocate funds to

an interim reception area that doesn’t look sparse or slapped together. Ensure temporary areas are well decorated and don’t look “temporary.” Have a plan for how long various areas will be out of revenue and identify areas that can be expedited so they resume contributing to revenues as soon as possible. Keep workmen out of sight of guests by ensuring that all guest areas are off limits to the trades. Above all, have areas adjacent to those under renovation cleaned constantly; this is imperative for both appearance and for safety. Work with the best and the most experienced architects, interior designers, engineers and procurement agents. Cooperation amongst the team of professionals is one of the most important components of a successful project. The expertise of each one of them will positively affect the renovation schedule and reduce the overall renovation timeline. Ensure that the plans are clearly understood by all the stakeholders involved. One cannot overemphasize the importance of proper pre-planning. By following these suggestions, you will make the overall process run smoothly and allow for maximum occupancy during the renovations. Amir Anders is president of Jemlor Construction Inc., a general contracting firm specializing in the construction & renovation of commercial, industrial and hotel projects across Canada. You can reach him at amir@jemlor.com

PHILIPPE GADBOIS Atlific Hotels & Resorts MARK HOPE Coast Hotels ELIZABETH HUESTON Sysco Guest Supply Canada Inc. BRIAN LEON Choice Hotels Canada Inc. ROBIN MCLUSKIE Colliers International Hotels BRIAN STANFORD PKF DR. DAVID MARTIN Ted Rogers School of Hospitality CHRISTINE PELLA Serta Mattress Company TONY POLLARD Hotel Association of Canada ANDREW CHLEBUS LG Electronics

CANADIAN LODGING NEWS VOLUME 12 · NO. 7 · SEPTEMBER 2015 Canadian Lodging News (www.canadianlodgingnews.com) is published 10 times a year by Ishcom Publications Ltd., 2065 Dundas Street East, Suite 201, Mississauga, Ont. L4X 2W1 T: (905) 206-0150 · F: (905) 206-9972 · Toll Free: 1(800)201-8596 Other publications include the Canadian Chains and Buyers’ Directory as well as: P A C I F I C / P R A I R I E

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HITEC: Trends to help both travellers and bottom lines By Larry Mogelonsky, MBA, P. Eng.

Kyle Zwaagstra and Joerg Wagner of Axxess Industries.

Davide Salvatore in front of the Elfiq booth at HITEC.

Vanessa Thomas, Guest-Tek.

Greg Burch, Ingenico Group.

HITEC 2015 – the premier North American hotel technology show – has come and gone. Much has already been said about the exhibitors and their products in the immediate aftermath of this June-set convention. Now that it’s September and summer is in the rearview mirror, it’s time for a dutiful reminder of all of the ways in which the latest trends and innovations will continue to change how we help travellers and earn a buck in the process. Exhibitors, attendees, media, small booths, large booths, two-story booths, tablet kiosks, LCD monitors, live demonstrations, handouts, swag bags and an endless flow of fresh coffee – all these and more coalescing to represent what the next five years will look like for our industry. Emerging onto the showroom floor as the opening bell rings, a vigorous positivity is immediately palpable. Every vendor is hungry for sales, funding, new product insights or business growth, but they bring with them the conviction that their wares will help hospitality operators succeed in our current, ever-disruptive market. Let’s look at the big trends, both present and upcoming, as well as a handful of the more fascinating vendors to give you a better picture of how your hotel might benefit from what debuted at HITEC 2015.

Predictive just-in-time marketing Atoy Moya, Warren Dehan and Olivia Dehan of Maestro.

CJ Senecal, Charles Duke and Sylvain Boudreau of Intello.

THEY CAN FORGIVE

AN OVERCOOKED STEAK,

BUT NEVER A DIRTY PLATE. Research shows that consumers will forgive bad food faster than dirty dishes. That won’t be an issue if you have

Holistic revenue management

a Champion in your dishroom. Our exclusive dual rinse technology provides double the sanitation and offers a quieter, cooler dishroom through insulated, hinged doors. This keeps the heat where you want it and offers easier access to the clean you need. Regardless of the size of your operation, problems in the dishroom, or the number of covers per day...

We can take that off your plate.

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6 | Canadian Lodging News

The rise of Big Data has given birth to an endless stream of trillions of numbers ready for analysis. Data scientists, a relatively new job title geared expressly to this end, work to use past behaviour to forecast how consumers will act in the future. However, it has only been a recent development whereby predictive analyses have merged with just-in-time capabilities in order to deliver personalized advertisements to consumers at the exact moment when they are most susceptible to absorb the message and predisposed to make a purchase. Kaptivating is a company that wholly embodies the best of how this approach can help you increase revenue. Using proprietary algorithms that evaluate individuals based on their social media footprints, hoteliers can then send targeted promotions to prospective customers who have announced their plans to travel to a given region. A hotel can preselect offers’ parameters so they can be automatically distributed at the most favourable time after a guest states his or her intentions, which is often within minutes of this declaration. Better still, because these promotions are exclusive to each person, they don’t have to conform to rate parity agreements with the OTAs.

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First there was RevPAR, then came RevPOR and now we are moving towards RevPAG. While Revenue Per Available Room looks to give you a broad benchmark for determining a property’s gross potential, Revenue Per Occupied Room goes one step further and brings an estimation of per cent habitation into the mix. Revenue Per Available Guest not only includes this occupancy figure but incorporates assessments of other ancillary income streams. When revenue management first took root within the corporate structure, it looked to efficiently supervise the ever-diversifying channel mix and control average daily rates to maximize

margins with the highest attainable occupancy numbers. Nowadays, however, senior executives have the tools necessary to answer far more complex questions about what channels are actually the most effective and which guest mix will yield the best gross revenue. For example, an interview with members of the Rainmaker team brought to light an interesting situation whereby free independent travellers would be favourable over groups during a consecutively peak travel period. Normally groups reign supreme as there are fewer management overheads and service requirements. But, in a few special cases, FITs’ command of higher ADRs and more onsite capture make dealing with, say, 30 separate check-ins favourable over one or two group arrivals. Another meeting with the people from Infor Hospitality elucidates the role that a contemporary PMS plays in this picture. A modern PMS helps hotels automate complex data sources, forecast all revenue types by market segment and predict future ecosystem interactions so that executives can make the optimal decisions. This helps mitigate the emergent problem of too much Big Data whereby managers find themselves drowning in numerical minutia to the point where they miss the forest for the trees. The Infor team backed this up by revealing how sophisticated data automation can now anticipate customers exploiting the cancel-rebook loophole in search of lower price tags. Additionally, the company showcased its dynamic payroll management feature which can highlight fruitful streams that are in fact underperforming when staff costs are deducted. While revenue management has already reached maturation, these new features are demonstrating that there’s still a bit of juice left to squeeze.

A frictionless environment Mobile has already forever changed the ways consumers behave and interact with their environments, and this evolution will only continue in the near future as new applications are explored. No hotel should be without its own mobile app. That is the space where guests are increasingly looking for answers to their questions instead of approaching the concierge or calling down to the front desk. Three years ago, a vanity mobile app might have been perceived as a value-add for incoming guests, but today such programs are expected. Such apps are no longer dedicated onsite companions, but are designed for travel research prior to arrival as well as for continuing the relationship long after departure. Three prominent mobile app companies I interviewed included Monscierge, Alice and m-hospitality. Monscierge is a clear frontrunner when it comes to highly integrated, information-first branded apps where the goal is to give guests all the pertinent details with the lowest number of buttons clicked. A simple, breezy design like theirs can work wonders for hotels that are part of a larger chain or those seeking straightforward, content-centric software builds. The latter two emphasize more of a graphical interface (downloaded in its entirety to the phone to reduce load times) with creative skins that are unique to each hotel and aim to bestow more emotion to the user experience. With the power of Big Data and unremitting analyses of clicking behavior on a mobile device, these developers can pinpoint guests’


Ali Moloo, Sheila Wright, Riaz Amershi and Imi Moloo of My Digital Office. specific interests, and then periodically send personalized messages to keep the conversation going. Such identified preferences are also relayed to the hotel to assist their promotional efforts and for up-sales. Mobile is far more than just getting your own custom-skinned vanity app. That’s where the word ‘frictionless’ comes into play. While mobile apps serve guests’ desire for immediate answers to questions about the hotel or the region and for instantaneous service orders, this is but one facet towards creating a stress-free and problem-proof ecosystem for consumers. Aside from using technology to eliminate service errors, ‘frictionless’ also implies faster and anticipatory service delivery. Several less conspicuous utilizations help illustrate this point. Firstly, Ingenico, a POS manufacturer, unveiled its latest innovations to accommodate the growth of mobile wallets via intensive security features and PMS integration. Eventually, as trust of near field communication reaches a pervasive level of acceptance, the front desk itself will be subject to elimination – another point of friction in the guest-staff relationship. While we cannot outright excise the 3,000-year-old system that is physical money, advanced mobile payment terminals reduce the need for a desktop computer, thereby ‘untethering’ a cashier or desk clerk to serve guests. Other companies, such as LaunchKey, operate on the software side of this space. While I grilled them during an interview about the potential for Big Brother-type tracking and hacking of a mobile wallet or keycard, they presented a fairly airtight case by showing how integral authentication and verification codes stay within a person’s own device and are never transmitted through cyberspace. It was at that moment when I realized that this ‘mobile everything’ trend is a bona fide cash, credit and physical keycard usurper all at once. Next, Evolve Controls demonstrated that thermostats can be much more than just a temperature gauge. They can do wonders to boost guest satisfaction scores via predictive fault detection systems so that maintenance issues never occur while a guest is around. Furthermore, enhancing actionable data and the guest’s degree of climate control both mean smarter responses to micro-specific changes like east versus westfacing rooms or whether a guest is sleeping and doesn’t want the HVAC unit to churn on in the middle of the night. Lastly, Savioke is a builder of room service robots that are capable of independently navigating a property’s halls to transport requested items directly to the guestroom. Frictionless in this case means pandering to the modern consumer’s inclination for digital-centric anonymity alongside consistently flawless service quality. True, these robots are still in the novelty phase, but by bolstering speed of service through

Mark Briggs and Grant Roesch of Vecima Networks. guests’ smartphone apps and eliminating other human variables like tipping, miscommunication or the potential for guest harassment, such futuristic installations will soon reach mainstream appeal.

Spotlight Canada Once again, Canadians at HITEC made a splash. It’s always great to see familiar faces from the likes of (in no particular order) Mitel, Guest-Tek Interactive Entertainment, Vecima Systems, Intello Technologies, Squirrel Systems, ResortSuite, Celayix Software and OpsMatrix and quite a few others. Axxess Industries debuted its latest version of an electronic do-not-disturb sign and custom room display system that’s so sleek and practical you’ll be scratching your head over why you don’t already have them for your own property. In addition to this, they offer seamless minibar detection and room service tray tracking sensors to improve automation in these highly specialized aspects of hotel operations. Elfiq Networks brought its most current lineup of bandwidth and Internet connectivity products to the show, offering hotels the best in speed and reliability so that issues like free WiFi for guests are no longer an omnipresent concern. Connectivity is a nonstop game of cat and mouse, and is one area you can never neglect. Maestro by Northwind introduced a bunch of new mobile solutions to complement its PMS meal ticket, including curbside check-in, housekeeping automation and tablet signature capture, all features that are urgently in demand for independent properties to keep pace with the big chains. As well, the company proudly flaunted its Guest Expectation Measurement tool which addresses the need for precise quantification of the consumer experience so that the proper onsite improvements can be executed for a sustainable competitive advantage. One relatively new entrant was My Digital Office – a Toronto startup with its roots in Kingston – with a remarkable way to automate accounting systems and generate electronic reports to eliminate paper and manual processing from the workplace. With a highly adaptable, cloud-based interface, the company’s platform helps build connective tissue amongst disparate software modules already in use, helping to optimize workflow and reduce labour costs. It’s always reassuring to know that we Canucks are consummate innovators and our wares are just as good, if not better, than those made around the globe. So, be a patriot and call upon your fellow Canadian vendors to see how they can facilitate your business’s growth. Larry Mogelonsky is president and founder of LMA Communications Inc. He is also the developer of Inn at a Glance hospitality software. His work includes three books “Are You an Ostrich or a Llama?” (2012) and “Llamas Rule” (2013) and “Hotel Llama” (2014). You can reach him at larry@lma.ca.

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September 2015 | 7


BY THE NUMBERS Accommodation tax examined VANCOUVER — Tom Beckett, who joined HVS Vancouver’s consulting and valuation team in May 2014., has written an article that gives a broad overview of hotel accommodation taxes in each region across Canada. It also distinguishes it from a destination marketing fee, and discusses how it has been received by the guest, the industry, and the municipality. The tax is adopted differently from prov-

ince to province, and the precise structure of the tax has unique implications for operators. In some jurisdictions, there is controversy around how votes are calculated when a referendum is required—one vote per property vs. one vote per room. Additionally, provinces have differed on what types of accommodations are considered subject to the tax, with some including only fixed-roof accommodations and others including campgrounds, bed & breakfasts, or only fixed-roof accommodations with more than 10 guestrooms. For the complete report go to www.hvs.com.

Outlook & Labour Issues Survey OTTAWA — Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries. Global tourism receipts were worth $1,245 billion US in 2014. In Canada, tourists generated $88.5 billion (CAD) in revenue, of which $17.2 billion came from international visitors, an increase of 4.5 per cent from the past year. Slightly less than half of that spending came from our nearest neighbour, the United States, a number that is likely to grow with the increasing

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difference in value between the two currencies. In addition, our fastest growing international market is China, which bodes well for Canada since China is the world’s top spender when it comes to outbound tourism, spending $165 billion US in 2014. Conference Board of Canada estimates show that Canada’s tourism industries could grow by 60 per cent in the next two decades, a major opportunity for growth.

Luxe market to reach $195 million by 2021 ALBANY, N.Y. — After hitting $148.6 billion in value in 2014, the global luxury travel market is expected to grow by a four per cent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2021 to reach $195.3 billion, according to a new report from Transparency Market Research reported in HotelNewsNow.com. “North America dominated the global luxury hotels market in 2014 and is expected to maintain its leading position over the forecast period,” according to the report. “The luxury hotels market in North America is expanding at a CAGR of 5.4 per cent over the forecast period. The booming travel and tourism industry coupled with changing lifestyle is contributing in the growing popularity of luxury hotels globally.”

U.S. surpasses 5 million hotel rooms HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee — There are now more than 5 million available hotel rooms in the United States. The U.S. hotel industry eclipsed that milestone for the first time in history in June, according to data from STR, Inc. STR’s latest census shows 5,001,163 rooms in 53,554 properties nationwide. In the 88 months following February of 2008 — the month in which the industry plateaued at 4.5 million rooms — the U.S. census grew by more than 5,600 rooms per month. The U.S. census reached 3.0 million rooms in June 1987 and 4.0 million rooms in March 1999.

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GENTING HIGHLANDS, Malaysia — First World Hotel, a three-star property in Malaysia, was named the world’s largest hotel by Guinness World Records when it had 6,118 rooms between 2006 and 2013, but it lost the title in 2014. Now, after a renovation, it has reclaimed the title with 7,351 rooms. First World Hotel recently constructed a new block annex called 2A, which allowed the property to reclaim the title as world’s largest hotel by number of rooms. By 2016, the hotel plans to introduce the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park, Genting Premium Outlet, the Sky Avenue shopping mall and a new cable system. The world’s second largest hotel by rooms is The Venetian and The Palazzo (7,117), followed by MGM Grand (6,852), both in Las Vegas, and Disney’s All-Star Resort Complex (5,524 ) in Orlando. Canada isn’t even a close competitor. Our largest property is the Chelsea in Toronto with 1,590 rooms, which makes it 90th in the world according to Wikipedia. Other Canadian hotels over 1,000 rooms include No. 108, Sheraton Centre Hotel, Toronto (1,377); No. 109, Fairmont Royal York, Toronto (1,365); No. 167, Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Montreal (1,039) and No. 191, Fallsview Hilton, Niagara Falls (1,000 rooms).


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T HE

guest experience

Lausanne alumnus fulfills his dream: Sri panwa, Thailand

Sri panwa, Phuket

Suleeporn Sritutti (Sulie)

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PHUKET, Thailand — Located on a cape overlooking the Andaman Sea, Sri panwa is the only five-star hotel in Phuket, a well-known beach destination. It features villas, houses and onebedroom suites on 40 acres of land. The owners are the biggest and longest-running real estate company in Thailand. The son of the real estate family, Vorasit Issara, known less formally as Wan, graduated from The Lausanne Hotel School in Switzerland. He wanted to create a five-star property that was new and fun for

866-483-7822 • guestsupply.ca Pool villa at Sri Panwa.

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his generation. He and his father, Songkram Issara, formed a hotel partnership. Wan Issara asked his colleagues from Lausanne to help him run the hotel. In 2006, they started operating as a hotel with 12 rooms and a residence. Today, Sri panwa offers 1 bedroom pool suites, one to two bedroom pool villas, and three to five bedroom residential villas. Each villa is has its own infinity swimming pool with a jet stream Jacuzzi system, large master bedrooms, an outdoor bathing area with a separate rain shower and a sunset pavilion of its own. In November, they will open more units for a total of 52 rooms. The average price for a one-bedroom pool suite is 25,000 baht, or about $699 U.S. per night. The fivebedroom residence goes for 130,000 baht or $3,634 per night. Surprisingly, most of the guests are from Asia. “I expected Europeans,” said Suleeporn Sritutti (Sulie), business development rep at Sri panwa.

“The whole year through we have guests from China, Korea, Japan and Thailand. Our owner knows how to do PR!” During high season (Nov.-April), international guests predominate, while Thai people tend to come in the low season when it is less expensive. The luxury resort has a staff of 300 people. “The owner remembers everyone’s name,” Sritutti said. “We don’t hire foreigners — we hire young, local people who want to learn to speak English. Normally on the island, turnover is big. Here we have many employees who have been here for six years or from the beginning [in 2006]. “Our owner loves food, and he loves mixing everything up,” Sritutti said. Baba Soul Food offers Southern Thai food. Baba Poolclub, with its 5,000-plus-square-metre entertainment outlet, has a wide range of Japanese, Italian, barbecue, Thai and hotpot cuisine. And Baba Nest, perched high in the sky, is a great place for sunset cocktails with a spectacular view.


Valcartier Vacation Village adds hotel and waterpark VALCARTIER, Que. — Valcartier Vacation Village recently announced the addition of a four-star hotel and indoor waterpark representing an investment of $65 million and scheduled to open in December 2016. The five-storey hotel, located a 20-minute drive north of Quebec City, will offer 153 suites, made up of 123 regular suites — including a king bed in a closed room and a large retractable bed in the living room — accommodating up to four people; 23 family suites with two closed rooms; two luxury suites with a closed room, living room, patio and private spa; and five luxury family suites with two closed rooms, a patio and a private spa. The property will house a dormitory that can accommodate up to 60 people in five separate rooms. In addition, the hotel’s mezzanine will be home to a 10,600-square-foot entertainment room offering a large arcade with multiple games and private rooms for children’s birthday parties and other group activities; a lounge-style sports bar and restaurant; and gift shop and convenience store. On the first floor, there will be a 6,000-square-foot spa featuring eight treatment rooms (two double rooms), a steam bath and a Finnish sauna; one hot tub and three ice baths; and an indoor pool with adjoining outdoor pool. “The idea behind our tourism and recreation complex was born out of a desire to provide an optimal entertainment and accommodation experience to our vacationers, particularly families,” said Ginette Robert, vice-president, sales and marketing. “We anticipate welcoming people from all over Quebec and are also already working with travel agencies and tour operators in Canada, the U.S. and Europe.” The first of its kind in Quebec, Valcartier Vacation Village’s indoor waterpark will cover more than 102,000 square feet and will appeal to families. With its Polynesian theme, the 102,450-square-foot indoor waterpark’s amenities include a 4,000-square-foot wave pool; more than 14 slides, with five standing 50 ft.; family pool with water games; multiactivity adventure river; double surf wave; 12 private cabanas; and patio restaurant with private rooms for groups.

Rocky road for hotel north of 60

Aleksa Mrdjenovich. By Elaine Anselmi YELLOWKNIFE — Despite competition next door and some community concern, Nova Hotels is pushing ahead with its Yellowknife project. The 146-room hotel project welcomes visitors to Yellowknife, lining the only road in and out of the Northwest Territories capital. The seven-acre construction site is hard to miss, as its cozy location next to the landmark Explorer Hotel is far from inconspicuous. The new-build is planned to open in spring 2017, according to Nova Hotels owner Mike Mrdjenovich, when it will be in direct competition with the neighbouring historic and oldest hotel in town. “We’re not afraid of competition,” Mrdjenovich said, adding that in a limited market, such as the 20,000-person city, that’s just the

The Nova Hotel construction site. way it is. “(Other hotels in town) run a good show, nobody says they’re not, but we’ll do a little better job and do a better price — if they want to compete, they have to lower the prices, too.” A lower room price, Mrdjenovich said, is a key factor in his project — quoting a cost of approximately $150 per night. Construction began on the hotel in June and the first floor is already framed in, but there have been some bumps along the way. Several community members have come out in opposition of the hotel project, largely taking issue with its location beside Niven Lake and surrounding nature trails. “It’s a small town and everybody makes their business everybody else’s,” Mrdjenovich said. Not one to mince words, Mrdjenovich said, sometimes, “you just

have to deal with it.” This isn’t Mrdjenovich’s first kick at the can in Yellowknife. Mrdjenovich started Nova in Yellowknife in the 1970s, opening his first hotel in 2000, said daughter and Nova president Aleksa Mrdjenovich. Though the company is now based in Edmonton, she said they still have a strong tie and a strong brand in the North. The company still operates the Nova Inn in Inuvik, NWT, as well as 15 hotels across Alberta and Saskatchewan. Mrdjenovich’s first Yellowknife build is now operated under the Days Inn banner — the 80-room hotel occupies a significant stretch of the city’s main street, Franklin Ave., with a second building across the street offering apartment-style suites. Nova’s new build, which Mrdjenovich said would be under the

Nova Hotels brand, will encompass a conference centre and full restaurant and lounge. While the project is still in an early phase when it comes to décor, Aleksa said it would be similar to the Chateau Nova Yellowhead Hotel in Edmonton, with warm and inviting colours. “It’ll be new, it’ll be all of the electronics — it’ll be to the newest standards of a hotel,” Mrdjenovich said. “It will be like staying down south.” He said the hotel would largely attract business people, but in a smaller city there really isn’t enough business to cater to one specific group. As far as future plans go, Mrdjenovich said size is also a factor. “It’s a little town, it’s not going to need another hotel for a while after we build this one,” Mrdjenovich said. “If I’m still alive and they need another hotel, I’ll build it or put a big addition to this one.” While Mrdjenovich is confident his hotel will be enough to service the city, there have been whispers of a 75-room addition just next door, bringing the Explorer up to 262 rooms in total. But nothing seems to deter Mrdjenovich – though outspoken and controversial, he is undoubtedly a big name in Yellowknife development.

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CANADIAN LODGING NEWS

PROFILE Dorothy Dowling: Likability and CQ By Colleen Isherwood, Editor PHOENIX — When Dorothy Dowling, executive vice-president of sales and marketing at Best Western, was in her mid-20s, she attended a sales session where participants had to stand up and chant, “People do business with people they know and like.” The experience was embarrassing for a young, introverted sales person, and Dowling initially dismissed it. “But the moment stuck with me,” she told Canadian Lodging News in a wide-ranging interview. “Over the years, I learned that relationships are the currency of life. You still have to have numbers on the board and clear business actualization plans, but if you don’t have that likability factor, you won’t be successful.” As someone who has made it to the top echelon of a major hotel company, Dowling is often asked her recipe for success as a woman and a marketer. While she stresses that there is no playbook and that each person’s career is a journey, she also talks about a new dimension — the curiosity quotient or CQ — as one of the characteristics of success. The CQ refers to people who are mentally hungry, want to learn and can embrace change. “It’s a commitment to not being stuck and being open to change from learning,” she said. But, she added, “The next generation belongs to women — they will really hit their stride, demonstrating that they are poised to grow.”

Roots in Canada Dowling is a dual Canadian and U.S. citizen, born in Toronto and attending University of Waterloo. Her early career took her from Toronto to the U.S. and then back to Canada. “Half of my career has been in Canada,” said Dowling, including work for the predecessor to Destination Canada (Canadian Government Office of Tourism), teaching at Georgian College in Barrie, Ont., working for Laventhol and Horvath, Relax Hotels & Resorts and Forte (Travelodge). She has been president of Travelodge Canada, worked at Aramark and arrived at Best Western 10 years ago. “My roots are in Canada, our extended family is in the Greater Toronto Area, and my son is a hockey player who goes to summer camp up there. I still stay connected,” she said. Asked about a typical day in the life, Dowling smiled. “There’s not much typical anything at Best Western.” She travels about 200 days a year, dealing with project management. She gets up very early to call European partners, deals with domestic issues in the daytime, and in the evening works at closing the gap with Asian/Pacific stakeholders. “I’m a big believer that you have to be in front of parties to meet their needs,” she said. The foundation of Best Western is as a collective; a lot of individual stakeholders contribute. The framework includes more than 2,000 North American members, with decisions made by a balloting process. “With international affiliates, we are conservative in our approach. We want best outcomes and understand how we have to shape and reshape [our approach].” Dowling says that it is also important for North American organizations to ensure that decisions and programs applied to the U.S. are nuanced for Canadian sensibilities and are appropriate for that market.

Balancing work and family life Dowling says that she is blessed to be married to Stephen James, her husband of more than 30 years. “My husband and I went to graduate school together. He couldn’t work in the U.S. when we first came, and our son was only two years old when we moved. Stephen put his career on the back burner and our son had the good fortune to have his father fully dedicate his time to him.” Her son recently celebrated his 21st birthday, attends university in Boston and is doing well, she added. Dowling sees David Kong, Best Western’s president and CEO since 2004, as “a transformational leader for our [Best Western] brand. He has a level of fellowship with hoteliers that is unsurpassed in our history. He understands how to build a good business case for change.” Notable is his quest for quality — over the last 10 years Best Western has separated from more than 1,000 hotels. “The collective and organization health is his first criteria.”

Awards and accolades In September 2013 Dowling was named vice president of the Global Business Travel Association Allied Leadership Council. Dowling currently serves on, and is a former chair of the HSMAI Americas Board of Directors, and is past president of HSMAI Canada. She has been honored with a number of awards, including being named one of the most influential CMOs in the world by Forbes/Appinion, receiving the prestigious American Hotel Foundation Award for Best Practices in Guest Loyalty Programs, and twice being listed among HSMAI’s Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing. In 2014, Dowling was inducted into the Direct Marketing News Marketing Hall of Femme. Before joining Best Western, Dowling held executive-level positions with ARAMARK’s parks, resorts and conventions divisions. She began her hospitality career in Canada after earning a joint Masters of Arts degree in sociology and leisure studies from the University of Waterloo in Ontario. In 2008, Dorothy received the university’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

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CLEANLINESS COUNTS When it comes to creating a good first impression, retaining guests and driving customer loyalty, cleanliness counts, big time.

By Don Douloff

W

hen it comes to creating a good first impression, retaining guests and driving customer loyalty, cleanliness counts, big time. In fact, according to a recent American Automobile Association survey, hotel cleanliness is the main feature that travellers look for when choosing where to stay, outranking not only price/value and location, but also room amenities. Fortunately, there is a wide range of cleaning products and services that can help hoteliers keep their house in order and, in the process, keep their customers happy.

PROPER EQUIPMENT An essential part of any cleaning program is having the right equipment for the job, and Procter & Gamble’s Automatic Dispensing Equipment, such as the Auto-Proportioning 3 Bottle System, offers operational consistency, enhanced cost effectiveness and durability. Moreover, the P&G Professional Cleaning Program offers dedicated service and support, including planning, installation, and service tailored on-site to meet client’s needs. A team of field-service technicians handles installation, reactive and preventive maintenance, and

ltroubleshooting, while the equipment and fulfillment team is dedicated to a zero-defects goal. Karcher Canada offers a range of floor-care products and solutions for cleaning professionals. German engineered to meet the demands of daily operation in terms of performance, durability and easy operating features, Karcher’s product line includes vacuums with innovative filter technology; wet-dry vacuums with the patented Trigger Air draft Cleaning Technology (TACT) filter clean system; best-in-class line of indoor and outdoor sweepers; durable automatic scrubbers with water-saving features and innovative roller brush or traditional disc brush technologies; and carpet extractors and spot cleaners with superior cleaning performance.

TECHNICAL APPROACH For their part, operators are wise to bring a disciplined, technical approach. “It is important to integrate measurement of cleanliness based on a scientific standard,” said Tina Galluccio, director of marketing at Laval, Quebec-based Avmor, a supplier of professional cleaning and sanitation solutions for the facility maintenance and foodservice markets. “Hand-held and other devices have been introduced in the cleaning industry that can measure the quantity of surface microbes, providing

instant measurement of cleanliness.” Improvements in cleanliness can be achieved with the use of measuring tools and well-chosen metrics such as ATP (adenosine triphosphate) meters or fluorescent marking gels, said Galluccio. “ATP meter or fluorescent marking gel provides instant information on the level of contamination. These are portable devices that are easily affordable, provide accurate readings and can be used in both commercial and public settings.” A critical area of focus for hotel cleaning is the pool area, said Stephen MacLellan, director, lodging, Canada, at Sealed Air Diversey

Care. Beyond using the products that keep the pool sanitary, it’s important to properly maintain the surfaces outside the pool, such as the deck, shower and pool restrooms. Deck brushes, microfibre, cleaners with AHP technology, and autoscrubbers can all assist in removing soil and bacteria to keep surfaces clean and disinfected, he said. Diversey Care’s TASKI Intellibot SwingoBot 755 is a hands-free (robotic) scrubber outfitted with 13 sensors providing a 360-degree view. The TASKI swingo 2100 micro-rider offers speed, a small footprint, active seating and an offset brush deck.

RESTROOM BEST PRACTICES

A Greener Approach to Pest Management By Alice Sinia, Ph.D. Sustainability and green initiatives are becoming an increasingly high priority for hotel guests looking to book travel reservations, whether they are business travelers or vacationers. Greening your hotel operations includes your pest management program, and there are natural ways to mitigate pest activity. An Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program is the most environmentally responsible method of pest management, making it safe for your guests and staff. It focuses on proactive, preventative measures through sanitation and maintenance and aims to reduce conditions attractive to pests. IPM should incorporate and build upon the sanitation and facility maintenance efforts that are already in place. As IPM is a crucial step along the road to sustainability, it should be an ongoing process during which you assess the pest situation, implement solutions and monitor for any changes in their activity to adjust your program. Use the following tips to implement proactive measures and limit the use of reactive treatments. ELIMINATE STANDING WATER • Keep machinery like ice dispensers, refrigerators and soda fountains in working order, to prevent leaks or excess condensation, which can attract pests.

• Allow proper air circulation in rooms that are prone to condensations. Excessive condensations can lead to moisture buildup on windowsills and walls, which can cause mold and consequently, attract small flies. DON’T LET AREAS BECOME “OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND” • Storage areas can provide a temporary home for pesky critters such as cockroaches, which like to hide in corrugated cardboard and eat the glue that holds boxes together. Break down and dispose of all cardboard boxes to help prevent these pests. • Drains and pipes can be breeding grounds for small flies. To eliminate any buildup or food debris, periodically remove floor drain covers and scrub the drains with an organic cleaning solution. • Seal any cracks and crevices in baseboards as they provide hiding spots for crawling pests such as spiders and centipedes.

KEEP THE KITCHEN CLEAN • The kitchen serves as a prime location for pests looking for a quick bite. Cockroaches, flies and rodents often congregate near grease runoff and food debris for a quick, easy food source. Along with your daily cleaning routine, implement a bi-annual deep cleaning to prevent grimy buildup that may be tough to remove.

LEARN HOW LANDSCAPING PLAYS A ROLE IN PEST MANAGEMENT • Landscaping can play a crucial role in the overall appearance of your property and provide inviting outdoor spaces for guests to enjoy. Ensure the bushes, branches and other plants in these spaces are regularly trimmed and thinned, as they can serve as a bridge for pests such as ants and rodents to crawl up the walls on the building. • Consider installing a gravel strip around the perimeter of the building. The gravel creates a rough terrain for pests to traverse, and it can deter both rodents and crawling insects from entering the perimeter. Hotel management must listen to guests’ needs and consider the impact their current operations are having on the environment, to begin implementing solutions to preserve a better future. While IPM programs are designed to employ proactive techniques to help protect the environment, there are a number of advanced devices and products that can complement your preventative efforts. Ask your pest-management professional for a customized plan for your hotel’s specific pest management needs and greening efforts. Alice Sinia, Ph.D. is the resident entomologist, regulatory/ lab services for Orkin Canada, focusing on government regulations pertaining to the pest control industry. For more information, email Alice Sinia at asinia@orkincanada.com or visit www.orkincanada.com.

Public-area restrooms, too, are another key area, and in July, Cintas Canada released bestpractices tips, including the need to establish and document cleaning procedures that include a recurring combination of spot cleaning, daily cleaning and deep cleaning methods. Schedule cleanings between peak business times to ensure restrooms are maintained throughout the day. In late June, SCA launched Tork EasyCube, which offers real-time restroom traffic and usage data. Tork EasyCube uses connected restroom equipment such as dispensers for toilet paper, towels and soap, enabling facility managers and cleaning crews to move from static cleaning schedules to cleaning when and where it’s actually needed. Alternatively, operators can take a completely different approach to cleaning and sanitation, and consider outsourcing it. “Hotels’ core competency is getting people into beds. Cleaning is not their core competency” and for that reason, it makes sense to outsource that function to a specialist, said Robert McNamara, national general manager, Jani-King Canada. On top of that, outsourcing saves hotel operators money (since they don’t have to pay cleaning staff overtime) and eliminates staffing headaches such as hiring, training and retraining, he pointed out. Jani-King works on an owner/operator model, spearheaded by local franchisees, who can draw on local, national and international (Dallas, Texas head office) resources such as staffing and training. Plus, the company treats outsourcing as a profit centre, so it has huge incentive to work efficiently and effectively, said McNamara.

September 2015 | 1 3


Connect Expo returns to Vancouver VANCOUVER – This year’s CONNECT Food + Drink + Lodging Expo will offer a glimpse into future foodservice trends. Culinary trendologist Christine Couvelier, the event’s keynote speaker, will present an outline of emerging and developing trends in foodservice, as well as how these trends may be adapted for a menu. “It’s a session on taste and where the trends are now, and where the trends are going,” said show manager Samantha Scholefield. Couvelier’s resume includes executive chef of President’s Choice, executive chef and director of culinary and beverage for Cara Operations, chair of the George Brown College Chef School in Toronto and director of culinary strategy at Maple Leaf Foods. Today, she owns and operates the foodservice consulting firm Culinary Concierge. “She’s worked on some very interesting projects,” Scholefield said. Couvelier is one of 15 industry experts deliv-

ering education sessions during the third annual expo, being held at the Vancouver Convention Centre West on Oct. 18 and 19. Outside of education sessions, the show features more than 320 industry exhibitors, covering 90,000 square feet of floor space. About 4,300 industry members are expected to attend the expo, which is the largest hospitality trade show in Western Canada. This year, the show plans to expand its beverage focus with tastings, seminars, mixing demonstrations and a bartending contest. “It’s such a hot trend in British Columbia now,” Scholefield said. “Some people are taking their bar menus so seriously in terms of cocktail selection as well as wine programs and pairings of food with beer, spirits and wine.” The popular trends breakfast will return, with representatives from NPD Group and PKF explaining what’s happening in the industry from a business perspective. Throughout the expo, professional and ju-

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nior chefs will compete in the BC Iron Chef events. “It’s always been a really strong area of the show,” Scholefield said. “Some of the most successful chefs to come out of Vancouver have won the prize.” An added benefit for exhibitors is this year’s partnership with Restaurants Canada, British Columbia Hotel Association and the Alliance of Beverage Licensees of British Columbia. All three organizations will hold board meetings in conjunction with the expo. “Some of the top industry players from the restaurant scene, the hotel scene, and the bar and beverage side will be converging at the convention centre,” Scholefield said. “We’ll really have industry leaders there to participate.” For more information about the expo or to register, visit connectshow.com.

Chinese travel to equal $342 billion spend by 2019 DALLAS — Chinese travellers continue to take the world by storm, with their numbers up 20 per cent to 107 million in 2014, according to Hotels.com. They’re also younger, more independent-minded, tech-savvy — and increasingly cashed-up. But where are they headed? According to the survey, Australia, Japan and France are Chinese tourists’ most desired destinations to visit in the next 12 months. Surveying more than 3,000 Chinese international travellers and 1,500 hoteliers from around the world, the annual Hotels. com Chinese International Travel Monitor (CITM) examines the growth trends in mainland Chinese international travellers and the impact this is having on the global travel industry. In four years time, outbound Chinese travellers could number around 174 million, spending about $342 billion CDN annually, according to forecasts. In 2015, Chinese travellers on average are shelling out 3,324 RMB ($653 CDN), including accommodation, each day, when overseas. In addition, Hotels.com reported that Chinese travellers were the seventh biggest spenders on hotel accommodations in Canada in 2014. According to 2015 searches on Hotels. com from greater China, the most visited destinations in Canada were Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, followed by Markham, Ont.; Banff, Alta.; Niagara Falls, Ont.; Calgary, Victoria and Whistler, B.C. “This year’s report is another wake-up call to host countries around the world to pull out all the stops to accommodate Chinese travellers and tailor their services for this market, as the potential is huge,” said Abhiram Chowdhry, vice-president and managing director, Asia Pacific, for Hotels.com. “The services deemed most important to Chinese guests revolved around the language barriers they faced,” said Taylor Cole, director, public relations, Hotels.com North America, citing CITM information. “Having staff fluent in Chinese dialects like Mandarin is important, as well as fluent tour guides and Chinese written communications, including the hotel website. A Chinese restaurant at the hotel was the most important food and beverage request, and the option to watch Chinese programming was most important for the in-room experience.” The CITM also found that in the past 12 months, 80 per cent of Chinese travellers have used online devices, including mobile, desktop and laptops, to plan and book travel, compared with only 53 per cent last year. Half of all Chinese international travellers now use apps on their smartphones to plan and book trips, up from just 17 per cent the year prior. In addition, the CITM identifies the growing influence of millennials aged 18 to 35. Fifty-nine per cent of hoteliers surveyed say they’ve experienced an increase in Chinese guests aged 35 or under in the past year. The growth is especially strong in the Asia Pacific region, where 78 per cent of hoteliers reported an increase.


After graduation? Humber Hospitality grads in action called The Westin Experience Specialist and my job now is to not only build relationships with gold and platinum Starwood Preferred Guest members, but to also anticipate and fulfill their needs. Riddolls sounds almost giddy with delight when she talks about some of the special guest requests she has helped fulfill. “One guest (a corporate business traveller) who stays with us every week mentioned that the handle on his leather briefcase had broken and he asked if I knew of any leather repair shops in the area,” she explains.

“I sent him a few suggestions and then offered to personally take his case to a leather repair shop in Kensington Market, had it fixed and returned the next day. Little did I know, the small gesture would go a long way. Next thing he wrote to my supervisor and thanked us for the wonderful hospitality, stating that at the Westin, under our care, he feels at home away from home. “I specifically remember a guest approached me stating he wanted to propose to his girlfriend while they were in Toronto for the weekend, and asked if I had any sugges-

tions. “I suggested going to the CN Tower or perhaps arranging to make an announcement on the big screen at one of the big venues. Then I told him about our restaurant on the 38th floor which has a stunning 360 degree view of the city. He loved that idea, so much so, that he agreed to have us arrange a bottle of their favourite wine sent to the table with a custom label on it which read: “Will You Marry Me?” “Of course she said yes! And we earned a happy guest.”

Candice Ekonomakos (left) with Lily Poon.

Culinary graduate Candice Ekonomakos is a Cook with a Mission

A STRONG

TORONTO — By day, you will find Candice Ekonomakos doing what she loves, working full time as a cook at Toca Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto. By night, you’ll often see Candice pursuing her other passion, helping others, by volunteering as a cook at homeless shelters in Toronto and Brampton. In addition to winning a Premier’s Award in 2014, this 2012 graduate of the Culinary Management Program at Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, has become the advocate of “Cooks on a Mission” a junior chef ’s initiative to help those in the industry feed the homeless. “While I was taking the bus from Brampton to my job at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Toronto, I started to notice an increase in homeless people and people asking for money,” says Ekonomakos, who grew up in Brampton and recently moved to downtown Toronto. “I didn’t have the extra money to help, but I knew I could help by volunteering my time by cooking at homeless shelters.” Cooks with a Mission aims to help alleviate hunger and poverty in low-income communities in the GTA. The goal is to encourage junior cooks and chefs to volunteer funds or their time at area shelters, while encouraging restaurants to donate equipment or funds to the cause. Ekonomakos volunteers her time at the Brampton Knights Table and the Yonge Street Mission and recently initiated and organized a sold out, five-course fundraising dinner at the Brampton Knights Table. “My goal is to be a humanitarian chef and that is what I am.”

FOUNDATION STARTS WITH OUR AWARD WINNING TEAM See how Best Western’s acclaimed programs and leadership are changing the industry forever at BESTWESTERNDEVELOPERS.COM

From post graduate program to Westin Experience Specialist at Harbour Castle TORONTO — “Do it with passion or not at all” says Madison Riddolls, a 2014 graduate from Humber’s Post Graduate Hospitality and Tourism Operations Management Program at Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. With this in mind, Riddolls says she has landed the perfect job! From hiding an engagement ring in a hotel suite for a guest who was planning a surprise engagement, to arranging to have a briefcase repaired for a VIP guest, Riddolls’ mission is to exceed guest expectations and create memorable experiences at The Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto. “My role has evolved at The Westin Harbour Castle,” says Riddolls. “Shortly after [I joined], the company created a new branded position at each hotel

David Kong

President and CEO Best Western International

Each Best Western® branded hotel is independently owned and operated. Best Western and Best Western marks are service marks or registered service marks of Best Western International, Inc. ©2015 Best Western International, Inc. All rights reserved.

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September 2015 | 1 7


Research by Peter Elliott

TOP 10 CANADIAN HOTEL MANAGERS

by units

UNITS (CAN 2015)

UNITS (CAN 2014)

ROOMS (CAN 2015)

ROOMS (CAN 2014)

Westmont Hospitality Group

110

120

17,144

15,166

2

Atlific Hotels

59

58

8,558

8,474

Atlific recently picked up the Best Western Crossroads in Thunder Bay and will add two Marriott hotels in Calgary in October, 2015.

3

3

Delta Hotels & Resorts, a Marriott Brand

27

29

7,717

8,497

Delta was bought by Marriott this year.

4

5

Lakeview Management

27

27

2,105

2,105

Lakeview is no longer managing any Travelodges in AB or ON.

5

4

Pacrim Hospitality Services

16

39

2,015

4,005

Pacrim has added the Atrium Inn in Vancouver and Hotel Faubourg in Montreal to its portfolio.

6

6

SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts

14

17

2,734

3,790

Silverbirch's portfolio has shrunk by 3 hotels in the last year. 1 new hotel planned for 2017.

7

8

Concord Hospitality Enterprises Co

12

12

1,689

1,689

8

7

VJ Management

11

14

975

1,181

9

10

MasterBUILT Hotels

11

7

736

536

10

9

Larco Hospitality

9

8

3,184

2,424

RANK 2015

RANK 2014

1

1

2

COMPANY

EXPANSION NOTES

VJ has 7 branded and 5 independent hotels, all in Saskatchewan. MasterBUILT is working on another 9 hotels, all of which are in Western Canada.

TOP 20 CANADIAN DEVELOPMENT/OWNERSHIP FIRMS

by units

UNITS (CAN 2015)

UNITS (CAN 2014)

ROOMS (CAN 2015)

ROOMS (CAN 2014)

SALES $MILLIONS (CAN 2015)

SALES $MILLIONS (CAN 2014)

Superior Lodging Corp.

232

141

17,260

9,364

NA

NA

2

InnVest REIT

110

119

15,299

15,142

$535.5

$686.1

3

3

Canalta Hotels

37

37

2,389

2,389

NA

NA

4

5

Lakeview Hotel Management Inc

35

35

2,923

2,923

NA

$32.0

5

4

Holloway Lodging

34

35

3,853

4,151

NA

NA

Holloway sold the Ramada Trenton and the Travelodge Toronto Airport and bought the Days Inn Whitehorse. Holloway sold its Travelodge franchise business in 2015.

6

6

Temple Hotels

31

31

4,289

4,289

$188.4

$156.1

Temple sold Hotel Saskatchewan in July, 2015. Temple bought 8 hotels in 2013 and another 5 in 2014.

7

8

Fortis Properties Corporation

23

23

4,430

4,430

NA

$248.0

Hotels were sold to a private investor group in July, 2015.

8

11

Sunray Group of Hotels

19

14

2,062

1,533

NA

NA

9

9

Silver Hotel Group

17

17

2,650

2,650

NA

NA

10

10

Northampton Group Inc.

15

15

1,902

1,902

$29.6

NA

11

17

Easton's Group of Hotels

14

11

3,036

2,066

NA

NA

12

12

Sterling Group Inc

14

14

914

914

NA

NA

13

13

Vrancor Hospitality Corp.

13

13

1,951

1,951

NA

NA

Working on a Hampton Inn in Sarnia and 5 other hotels across Ontario.

14

15

d3h

13

12

1,129

997

NA

NA

Home Inn & Suites - Saskatoon opening October 2015. Rebranded one hotel in Medicine Hat to Canada's first Home Inn Express.

15

14

Mayfair Properties

12

12

1,137

1,137

NA

NA

Mayfair is working on a Hilton in North Vancouver.

16

NA

PHI Hotel Group

11

NA

1,008

NA

NA

NA

17

NA

MANGA Hotels Group

10

NA

1,514

NA

NA

NA

Working on 3 hotels in Atlantic Canada.

18

18

Genesis Hospitality

10

10

1,416

1,416

NA

NA

Genesis bought 4 hotels in Ontario from Concord in November, 2011.

19

19

Pomeroy Group

10

10

923

923

NA

NA

20

NA

Airline Hotels

9

NA

1,534

NA

NA

NA

RANK 2015

RANK 2014

1

1

2

COMPANY

EXPANSION NOTES

Working on 6 more Microtels, a Residence Inn and a Courtyard by Marriott. InnVest REIT sold 11 hotels and bought 2 hotels over the last year. Opening Canalta Kindersley in the fall of 2015.

Sunray has bought 6 properties and sold 1 in the last year. They are working on 4 more, all new builds.

Easton's has picked up the Holiday Inn Toronto Airport, the Westin Bristol Place and the Courtyard by Marriott Markham in the last year.


Three big events shaped the Canadian hotel industry this year. The first was the takeover of Delta by Marriott, the second was acquisition of license rights for Travelodge by Superior Lodging Corporation and Waramaug Hospitality Canada and the third was the sale of all of its hotel properties by Fortis Properties Corporation. Marriott increased its Canadian portfolio by half in January when it signed agreements to acquire the Delta Hotels and Resorts brand and management and franchise business from Delta Hotels Limited Partnership, a subsidiary of British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC) for C$168. At the time, the Delta brand included a diverse range of hotels and resorts with 38 properties and 10,000 rooms in more than 30 cities across Canada. The transaction increased Marriott’s distribution in Canada to more than 120 hotels and 27,000 rooms. In April, Superior and Waramaug acquired master license rights for Travelodge Canada from Halifax-based Holloway Lodging Corp. The new company, headed by Superior Lodging Corp. CEO Marc Staniloff, was called Superior Lodging Development TL Corporation. Michael Rapps, chairman of Holloway, became a member of the new company’s board of directors. This made the combined portfolio for both brands 221 hotels. Wyndham Hotel Group, which has over 7,600 hotels in 70 countries worldwide, granted the rights for both deals. In July, Fortis Inc. announced that it has signed a deal to sell the hotel assets of subsidiary Fortis Properties Corp. to a private investor group for $365 million as the company moves to focus on its core utilities business. The transaction, involving 22 hotels in seven Canadian provinces, is expected to close in the fall. The private investor group was not identified in a Fortis release.

TOP 35 CANADIAN HOTEL BRANDS RANK 2014

RANK 2013

1

1

2

by units

UNITS (2014)

UNITS (2013)

ROOMS (2014)

ROOMS (2013)

Best Western Intl Canada

201

198

19,060

18,495

2

Comfort (CHC)

146

145

12,221

12,168

3

3

Super 8 (WYN)

130

131

8,473

8,502

4

4

Days Inns - Canada (REA)

105

101

8,872

8,615

5

6

Holiday Inn Express (IHG)

86

86

8,853

8,853

6

5

Quality (Choice Hotels Canada)

85

87

7,995

8,357

Eight properties under development across Canada (as of June 2015).

7

7

Travelodge Canada

83

83

7,759

7,824

Looking to expand across Canada.

8

8

Ramada Worldwide (WYN)

76

77

7,586

7,732

9

9

Holiday Inn Hotel & Resorts (IHG)

65

65

11,865

11,865

Opened a new hotel in London, ON in the fall of 2014.

10

11

Econo Lodge (CHC))

55

54

2,900

2,805

Two properties under development (as of June 2015).

11

10

Howard Johnson Canada (WYN)

54

61

3,828

4,283

12

12

Delta Hotels and Resorts, a Marriott Brand

44

44

11,823

11,965

Opened a new Delta in Waterloo, ON in Summer 2014 and the flagship Delta Toronto at South Financial Core, opened in the fall of 2014. Also opening a new 150-room hotel in Thunder Bay, ON and a 170-room hotel in Prince George, BC both in 2015.

13

13

Sandman Hotel Group (SAN)

43

41

6,521

6,132

Converted a Ramada in Mississauga to Sandman and opened in Oakville, ON in 2015.

14

14

Hampton Inn/Hampton Inn & Suites (HIL)

39

39

4,305

4,305

Eight Hamptons are scheduled to open in 2015. Five of these are in the West.

15

18

Canada's Best Value Inn (VAN)

32

27

1,727

1,219

Added six hotels in Western Canada in the first half of 2015.

16

15

Knights Inn Canada (WYN)

32

33

1,174

1,305

17

17

Four Points by Sheraton (STA)

29

28

4,026

4,086

18

16

Coast Hotels

29

29

3,639

3,639

19

21

Courtyard by Marriott (MAR)

23

21

4,096

3,835

20

19

Motel 6 (REA)

23

24

2,005

2,079

21

20

Lakeview Management Inc

22

22

1,637

1,637

22

22

Hilton Garden Inn (HIL)

21

21

3,255

3,255

23

23

Residence Inn by Marriott (MAR)

20

20

2,928

2,928

24

32

Canalta Hotels

20

14

1,420

963

25

24

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

19

19

9,954

9,954

26

25

Sheraton Hotels and Resorts (STA)

18

18

7,969

7,969

27

26

Marriott Hotels & Resorts (MAR)

16

16

5,355

5,355

28

28

Homewood Suites by Hilton (HIL)

16

16

1,812

1,812

29

29

Westin Hotels & Resorts (STA)

15

15

5,638

5,638

30

30

Hilton (HIL)

15

15

5,456

5,456

31

27

Radisson (CAR)

15

16

2,974

3,090

32

31

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott (MAR)

14

14

1,562

1,562

33

33

Prestige Hotels

13

13

1,178

1,081

34

NA

Western Budget Motels

13

NA

1,200

NA

35

34

Executive Hotels & Resorts

12

12

1,969

1,969

COMPANY

EXPANSION NOTES

Six properties under development across Canada. (as of June 2015)

Hotels opening in 2015 are Moncton, Surrey, Barrie, Regina and Sherwood Park.

Opened locations in Airdrie, AB and Innisfail, AB in 2014.

No new Sheratons planned for Canada.

The Edmonton Hotel and Conference Centre converted to Radisson in September, 2014.


2015 REPORT

Regional Breakdown TOP 10 WESTERN DEVELOPER/OWNERS by region Superior Lodging Corp. Units: 144 Rooms: 10,533

Holloway Lodging Units: 15 Rooms: 1,519

Canalta Hotels

Temple Hotels

InnVest REIT

Units: 37 Rooms: 2,389

Units: 21 Rooms: 2,885

Units: 17 Rooms: 3,314

d3h

Mayfair Properties

PHI Hotel Group

Pomeroy Group

Units: 11 Rooms: 1,008

Units: 10 Rooms: 923

Units: 13 Rooms: 1,129

Units: 12 Rooms: 1,137

Lakeview Hotel Management Inc Units: 17 Rooms: 1,396

TOP 10 WESTERN HOTEL BRANDS by region

Best Western Intl Canada Rank 2014: 1 Units: 115 Rooms: 10,621

Super 8 (WYN) Rank 2014: 2 Units: 84 Rooms: 5,421

Ramada Worldwide (WYN)

Days Inns - Canada (REA)

Rank 2014: 3 Units: 62 Rooms: 5,934

Rank 2014: 4 Units: 53 Rooms: 4,286

Coast Hotels

Holiday Inn Express (IHG)

Sandman Hotel Group (SAN)

Comfort (Choice Hotels Canada)

Rank 2014: 6 Units: 40 Rooms: 4,108

Rank 2014: 7 Units: 39 Rooms: 5,662

Rank 2014: 8 Units: 32 Rooms: 2,694

Rank 2014: 9 Units: 29 Rooms: 3,639

Travelodge (SLD) Rank 2014: 5 Units: 46 Rooms: 4,065

Holiday Inn Hotel & Resorts (IHG) Rank 2014: 10 Units: 27 Rooms: 3,768

TOP 10 ONTARIO DEVELOPER/OWNERS by region Superior Lodging Corp. Units: 65 Rooms: 5,217

InnVest REIT Units: 50 Rooms: 7,059

Sunray Group of Hotels

Northampton Group Inc.

Easton’s Group of Hotels

Units: 16 Rooms: 1,717

Units: 14 Rooms: 1,153

Units: 13 Rooms: 2,725

Vrancor Hospitality Corp.

Holloway Lodging

Silver Hotel Group

Sterling Group Inc

Lakeview Hotel Management Inc

Units: 13 Rooms: 1,951

Units: 10 Rooms: 1,588

Units: 10 Rooms: 1,378

Units: 10 Rooms: 567

Units: 9 Rooms: 868

TOP 10 ONTARIO HOTEL BRANDS by region Comfort (Choice Hotels Canada)

Best Western Intl Canada

Days Inns - Canada (REA)

Holiday Inn Express (IHG)

Rank 2014: 1 Units: 68 Rooms: 6,019

Rank 2014: 2 Units: 58 Rooms: 5,617

Rank 2014: 3 Units: 37 Rooms: 3,384

Rank 2014: 4 Units: 33 Rooms: 3,249

Quality (Choice Hotels Canada)

Travelodge (SLD)

Holiday Inn Hotel & Resorts (IHG)

Howard Johnson Canada (WYN)

Hampton Inn / Suites (HIL)

Rank 2014: 9 Units: 27 Rooms: 5,539

Rank 2014: 8 Units: 25 Rooms: 1,799

Rank 2014: n/a Units: 21 Rooms: 2,218

Rank 2014: 6 Units: 29 Rooms: 2,954

Rank 2014: 7 Units: 29 Rooms: 2,866

Super 8 (WYN) Rank 2014: 5 Units: 32 Rooms: 2,097


2015 REPORT

Regional Breakdown

TOP 10 QUEBEC DEVELOPER/OWNERS by region InnVest REIT Units: 24 Rooms: 2,825

Groupe Canvar Units: 3 Rooms: 898

Tidan Hospitality Group

Superior Lodging Corp.

Urgo Hotels

Quint Hotels

Units: 6 Rooms: 794

Units: 8 Rooms: 1,206

Units: 8 Rooms: 863

Units: 4 Rooms: 549

RosDev Hotel Group

Sunray Group of Hotels

Sterling Group Inc

Units: 3 Rooms: 345

Units: 3 Rooms: 180

Eastons Group of Hotels

Units: 3 Rooms: 704

Units: 1 Rooms: 311

TOP 10 QUEBEC HOTEL BRANDS by region Comfort (Choice Hotels Canada)

Quality (Choice Hotels Canada)

Best Western Intl Canada

Econo Lodge (Choice Hotels)

Gouverneur Hotels

Rank 2014: 1 Units: 26 Rooms: 1,987

Rank 2014: 2 Units: 22 Rooms: 2,067

Rank 2014: 3 Units: 13 Rooms: 1,495

Rank 2014: 4 Units: 11 Rooms: 556

Rank 2014: 5 Units: 8 Rooms: 1,164

Holiday Inn Hotel & Resorts (IHG)

Days Inns - Canada (REA)

Super 8 (WYN)

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Delta Hotels and Resorts

Rank 2014: 7 Units: 7 Rooms: 1,844

Rank 2014: 9 Units: 7 Rooms: 508

Rank 2014: n/a Units: 5 Rooms: 2,585

Rank 2014: n/a Units: 5 Rooms: 2,191

Rank 2014: 10 Units: 6 Rooms: 449

TOP 10 ATLANTIC DEVELOPER/OWNERS by region InnVest REIT

Superior Lodging Corp.

Holloway Lodging

Lakeview Hotel Management Inc

Fortis Properties Corporation

Units: 15 Rooms: 1,045

Units: 9 Rooms: 746

Units: 9 Rooms: 659

Units: 8 Rooms: 1,789

New Castle Hotels & Resorts

DP Murphy Inc. Hotel Group

MANGA Hotels Group

Hearthstone Hospitality

Temple Hotels

Units: 6 Rooms: 1,162

Units: 6 Rooms: 576

Units: 4 Rooms: 513

Units: 4 Rooms: 188

Units: 19 Rooms: 2,101

Units: 3 Rooms: 547

TOP 10 ATLANTIC HOTEL BRANDS by region

Comfort (Choice Hotels Canada)

Best Western Intl Canada

Delta Hotels and Resorts

Rodd Hotels & Resorts

Quality (Choice Hotels Canada)

Rank 2014: 2 Units: 20 Rooms: 1,521

Rank 2014: 1 Units: 15 Rooms: 1,327

Rank 2014: 3 Units: 9 Rooms: 1,896

Rank 2014: 4 Units: 9 Rooms: 1,101

Rank 2014: 5 Units: 9 Rooms: 941

Holiday Inn Express (IHG)

Days Inns - Canada (REA)

Super 8 (WYN)

Hampton Inn/ Suites (HIL)

Howard Johnson Canada (WYN)

Rank 2014: 7 Units: 8 Rooms: 901

Rank 2014: 8 Units: 8 Rooms: 694

Rank 2014: n/a Units: 6 Rooms: 844

Rank 2014: 9 Units: 6 Rooms: 464

Rank 2014: 6 Units: 8 Rooms: 506


Okabe at CHRIC: Take back your guests

From left: Bruce Okabe, Cindy Estis Green and Charlotte Bell. VANCOUVER — How to take back your guests from the OTAs, demystifying distribution, and Canada’s position within global travel markets. These are just a few of the topics that will be covered at the Western Canadian Hotel and Resort Investment Conference on Oct. 19 and 20 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver. Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) took almost $400 million out of Canada in 2014, either through lost revenue or commissions paid, according to Bruce Okabe of Okabe & Associates, who is well known in B.C. and Alberta, having served in the private sector and in the governments of both provinces. Okabe will talk about how Canada’s hoteliers and destination marketers are working together to increase direct bookings, enhance guest experience and drive economic prosperity. Co-authors Cindy Estis Green and Mark Lomanno of Kalibri Labs have written a book called Distribution Channel Analysis: A Guide for Hotels. They will look at methods and techniques to understand distribution costs and their impact on hotel profit. In the meantime, many new third party models are emerging from corporate rate shoppers like TripBam to hybrid social/search legacy sites like TripAdvisor and

Google Hotel Finder, to large players in the sharing economy like Airbnb. Charlotte Bell of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada will moderate a panel dealing with rising global travel to Canada, tourism marketing and advocacy plans and our

global position within the travel markets. This year’s conference will start with an opening reception at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 19, hosted by CBRE Hotels and HLT Advisory Inc., providing an opportunity for delegates to reunite with old acquaintances and strike new relationships. The program on Tuesday, Oct. 20 will start at 8 a.m. with opening remarks by Carrie Russell of HVS, and will wind up with closing remarks by Monique Roszell of HVS at 5:15 p.m. For information go to resortinvest.ca. Hilton will also be holding a development forum highlighting the Canopy by Hilton and Curio — A Collection by Hilton from 12:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. on Monday, October 19. For information, contact Eileen Silver, Eileen. Silver@hilton.com.

Tingue, Brown opens Canadian office SADDLE BROOK, N.J. — Laundry product supplier Tingue, Brown & Co. has launched a Canadian office headquartered in Orillia, Ont. Established to provide fast delivery to laundries throughout Canada and support the Saddle Brook, N.J.-based company’s commitment to offering on-site, personalized service, Tingue Canada eliminates the delays associated with clearing customs and other costs incurred when shipping internationally. Now, orders from Ontario will arrive within 24 to 48 hours of receipt, while orders from as far away as B.C will arrive within three to four days of receipt, saving up to several weeks in transit while also allowing for the timely delivery of guaranteed overnight shipments. Tingue Canada offers shipping within 24 hours on a full line of laundry textiles and supplies, including flatwork ironer pads, covers,

belts, aprons and guide tapes and a range of cleaning, waxing and lubricating products. Created with input from many of the company’s Canadian laundry customers, the new Tingue Canada operation is staffed by Toronto-based sales representative Patrick Robertson and supported by five additional sales reps serving Canadian laundry operators nationwide to ensure technicians are available for guidance, on-site service and installation. “We understand that when laundries need products and supplies for their flatwork ironers, folders and feeders, they usually need them right away, in order to keep their plants running efficiently,” said vice-president Ty Acton in a release. “Now that we’re operating, stocking and shipping from within Canada, we’re in a position to deliver much faster than in previous years.”

BOOKS Eight Peterborough authors and the Holiday Inn

Bruce Gravel By Colleen Isherwood, Editor PETERBOROUGH, Ont. — Bruce Gravel, former president and CEO of the Ontario Accommodation Association, has collaborated with seven other local Peterborough authors to

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produce an anthology book, Every Season has a Story...Summer. The book takes place in and around the Holiday Inn Peterborough Waterfront. In fact, a shot of the hotel’s waterfront gazebo restaurant is on the cover. There are eight characters, each written by one of the eight authors. Their stories interweave over three days (chapters) plus an epilogue. The stories deal with love, lust, angst and stolen art. “My character is Roy Irwin,” Gravel told CLN in an email. “Roy is short for Royale: she’s an undercover RCMP detective with bronze skin (mixed parentage), diabetes, high-end tastes — and two startling secrets. Our local paper, covering the book’s launch, called Roy ‘the heroine Peterborough needs.’ That was before I asked the reporter to read Roy’s epilogue; she was shocked. “I departed from my usual humour writing with Roy. Stretching my wings, I wrote her as an action thriller story. This was the first time I’ve collaborated with other authors to produce a book. It was an interesting experience!”

Holiday Inn cooperative The Holiday Inn was very cooperative, Gravel said. The hotel is one of the sponsors of the book, and all key scenes happen there.

Many characters stay there, including Roy. The book launch was held there, in Bernie’s Bar. The first printing of the book is already sold out. A second printing is on its way. The book took two years to produce. The eight local authors are: Lloyd Graham (who organized the project), Claire Sullivan, Bruce Gravel, Bo Staude, Larry Tyldsley, David Wright, Carol Lawless and Sylvia Sutherland (former Peterborough mayor). The 198-page book was published by Lloyd & Claire’s company: Parnassus Publishing.

The Hero Stone Gravel has written a number of other books, most of them based on his many years in the hospitality industry. He has also just published The Hero Stone, a modern fantasy adventure of superpowers and terror, starring three brave teens, one of whom lives with an intellectual disability, confronting one depraved villain. It’s not my normal type of novel, but I was riveted by the story. Gravel manages to get right inside the heads of the three teens, and takes them on a quest across Canada where the classic battle between good and evil unfolds with some unexpected turns. Copies of both books are available by emailing bruce@brucegravel.ca


Pinnacle Harbourfront debuts By Don Douloff VANCOUVER — Pinnacle International announced on May 27 that it has rebranded one of its properties as the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront, Vancouver, the latest hotel to be moved under the new Vancouverbased Pinnacle Hotels & Restaurants brand. This allows Pinnacle International, which owns the property, to market the property together with two of its other B.C. hotels. In 2007, Pinnacle International purchased the 442-room property, previously known as the Renaissance Vancouver Harbourfront Hotel. The company decided to move away from Renaissance in the interest of investing in and expanding the Pinnacle hotel brand, a desire to have handson control of the services offered to guests, as well as the ability to jointly market the hotel with two of the company’s other properties, North Vancouver’s 105-room Pinnacle Hotel at The Pier and the 84-suite Pinnacle Hotel Whistler Village. Also part of Pinnacle International’s portfolio, the Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle Downtown Hotel will continue to be operated and marketed as a Marriott property. The move to establish an independent hotel brand for the Harbourfront property included almost six months of behind-the-scenes work involving everything from reservations and inventory systems, through to new logos on staff uniforms and guest items

throughout the hotel, plans of upcoming renovations, and changing vendors to reflect the new brand’s more local focus. Since the brand transiGuestroom at the Pinnacle. tion, the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront has seen a number of the three properties, said Matheson. In mid-August, plans called for recent upgrades, with more in the the Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront to works. Earlier this year, renovations to the launch a loyalty program targeted at property’s meeting and event spaces the top 100 corporate clients, includwere started, with completion ex- ing guests, executive assistants and pected this summer. Upgrades to the travel bookers. Available by invitation hotel’s p2b restaurant, including both only, the loyalty program will offer behind-the-scenes kitchen updates those preferred clients perks at the and renovations to the dining area, property. “We want to start small (with the are slated for summer and fall. To oversee the development and loyalty program) and then widen out marketing of the new brand, Pinnacle to leisure travellers and to the other hired Kyle Matheson to fill a newly two properties,” said Matheson. The other pillar in Pinnacle’s marcreated role, director of hospitality marketing. Matheson has focused keting plan is engaging with the comon developing the Pinnacle Hotels & munity. For example, the Pinnacle Hotel Restaurants brand, working on programs and resources that bring the Harbourfront was a Platinum sponsor and host hotel of the EAT! Vancouthree hotel properties together. To that end, Pinnacle will aggre- ver Food + Cooking Festival, April 26 gate all three hotels pinnaclehotels.ca, to May 3, during which the property slated to launch mid-September. The provided celebrity chef accommodarevamped website will coordinate Pin- tions; hosted the hospitality symponacle’s digital and print marketing sium; and sold packages with tickets strategies in such areas as seasonal to the tradeshow and to some of the discounts and hotel credits offered at celebrity chef dinners.

Crowne Plaza’s Aqua fills niche

Aqua Restaurant in Crowne Plaza Kitchener-Waterloo. KITCHENER-WATERLOO, Ont. — The former Delta Kitchener has undergone a multimillion dollar transformation over the past two years, deflagged as a Delta in May 2013, and operating as an independent brand for a year while undergoing the renovations required to reflag as an IHG Crowne Plaza in April 2014. Now, the last of the renos, the icing on the cake, is Aqua Restaurant, which held its grand opening on June 19. “There are not a lot of seafood

restaurants in the area,” Yari Khan, Crowne Plaza general manager told CLN on a tour of the property. “We wanted to be a niche seafood restaurant — we even have a fish in our logo.” But Aqua serves continental items as well as seafood. Just under 2,000 square feet with 90 seats, Aqua replaces the former Botanica Restaurant and Centre Point Lounge, a breakfast and lunch outlet. The space was completely gutted. Designer Jolanta Lukas of Royal Design used vibrant, strong colour

themes. “You don’t get a sense of being in Kitchener,” said Khan. “This hotel belongs in the community because business is demanding an upscale brand.” Aqua is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Chef Dhruba Bastakoti came to Aqua from the Four Seasons Toronto. He was the sous chef at the hotel until his promotion earlier this year. The restaurant serves continental and full breakfasts, and the design showcases the menu items. “There are traditional eggs, egg wraps, egg quiches — not just your traditional scrambled eggs,” Khan said. Lunch includes a build your own special for $9.99, with tacos, soup and salad as options. The clientele includes the local business community, as the Crowne Plaza is close to the court house, city hall and an array of other companies and corporations. “One really popular item is red curry seafood soup,” Khan added. The hotel has 15,000 square feet of conference facilities, including a ballroom for up to 450 people, and 201 rooms.

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PEOPLE

Noah Brodsky, Wyndham’s SVP loyalty and engagement.

Jonah Paransky, CEO, SkyTouch Technology.

Wyndham Hotel Group announced on July 7 that Noah Brodsky has been named senior vicepresident, worldwide loyalty and engagement. In his new role, Brodsky

Alison Taylor, Starwood Hotels & Resorts SVP sales.

Johanne Bélanger, president and CEO of Tourism Toronto.

will be responsible for leading all facets of customer loyalty and engagement across Wyndham Hotel Group and its more than 7,600 hotels. Brodsky previously served as Wyndham

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced on June 26 that Alison Taylor has assumed the role of senior vice-president of Starwood’s sales organization. A 25-year Starwood veteran, Taylor replaced Christie Hicks, who retired in March. Prior to taking on this new position, Taylor developed Starwood’s Asia Pacific sales organization into an industry-leading team during a period of growth during the last decade.

Cindy Allen, CMO, American Express GBT.

Cindy Allen has been appointed chief marketing officer of American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). Since 2013, Allen has served as vice-president, Travel Management Company (TMC) Services, at Concur, where she was responsible for establishing and growing strong relationships with Concur’s TMC partners, as well as enhancing TMC technology offerings.

Eric Danziger is now CEO of Trump Hotel Collection.

Hotel Group’s vice-president, worldwide loyalty, where he recently led the re-launch of the new Wyndham Rewards loyalty program. He joined the organization in 2014.

SkyTouch Technology has announced the appointment of Jonah Paransky as the new chief executive

officer of the company, provider of a widely used cloud-based hotel operating system. With over 20 years of experience in B2B software general management, product management and marketing, Paransky most recently served as vice-president and managing director of product management at LexisNexis for the company’s Business of Law software solutions and Managed Technology Services group. Tourism Toronto has announced that Johanne Bélanger has been appointed president and CEO, effective Sept. 1. For the past 10 years, Bélanger was president of Freeman Audio Visual Canada and, throughout her career, has been a globally recognized leader in exhibitions and events. She also served as chair of Tourism Toronto’s board of directors from 2012 to 2014 and has been a member of the board since 2009. In 2014, she was inducted into the Meetings + Incentive Travel magazine Hall of Fame and has also served as president of the board of directors for InfoComm International. The Trump organization announced in early August that Eric Danziger has been named CEO of its luxury hotel management company, Trump Hotel Collection. Danziger, who has more than 45 years of hospitality experience, is tasked with overseeing global operations, brand strategy and the expansion of Trump Hotel Collection’s portfolio of 14 hotels, including Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto. Most recently, Danziger was president and CEO of Hampshire Hotels Management LLC, where he introduced Début Hotel Group, a collection of lifestyle hotel brands. He was also president and CEO of Wyndham Hotel Group; president and CEO of Starwood Hotels; and president and COO of Carlson Hotels Worldwide.

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Choice Hotels Canada announced on Aug. 10 the appointment of Graham Marsh to the position of franchise development director, Ontario. “Graham has significant knowledge of hotel development and real estate, which will be vital as he recruits new properties into the Choice Canada system,” said Brian Leon, managing director, Choice Hotels Canada, in a release. Marsh comes to Choice Hotels Canada with over 15 years experience brokering hotel transactions throughout Ontario. Prior to joining Choice Canada, Marsh was the broker of record at Marsh Realty and Business Brokers, based in Toronto.

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From left: Larry Law, president, Living Water Resort; Lisa Banks, vice-president, external relations, Georgian College; Janice Eales, manager, major gifts, Georgian College; Warren Smith, vice-president, Law Development Group; Don Buckle, general manager, Living Water Resort.

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Silver Hotels’ $25K for The Cure TORONTO — Silver Hotel Group GMs and regional office staff gathered at Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport July 28 to celebrate their $25,000 donation to The Cure. They raised the money through events inspired by National Denim Day. National Denim Day was chosen as the CURE Foundation’s fundraising event in 1997 because jeans are universal attire, worn by Canadians regardless of their socioeconomic status. Participating Silver Hotel Group properties celebrated National Denim Day on May 14 and all month long, with the “Denim for the CURE” campaign. They partnered with Bluenotes Jeans to raise funds towards a breast cancer cure through creative denim inspired events, contests, promotions and donations. Travellers across Canada participated in the campaign simply by staying at one of the hotels. Participating hotels offered a “Denim for the CURE” Package for the month of May. Guests could enjoy an overnight stay at their hotel of choice including full American breakfast, and then shop with a $25 gift card at Bluenotes Jeans. Silver Hotel Group donated $5 from every package sold to the CURE Foundation. Silver Hotel Group’s goal was initially to raise at least $10,000 for breast cancer research across Canada — they more than doubled that goal with this year’s campaign.

Ontario resorts mourn Robert Downing

ORILLIA, Ont. — Ontario’s hospitality industry is mourning the loss of one of its mentors.

Robert Downing, 80, passed away peacefully on Wednesday (July 15) at Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital in Orillia. “We are all grieving his passing,” said Grace Sammut, managing director of Resorts of Ontario. “He was such an amazing icon in this tourism and hospitality industry.” Downing, originally from Port Dover, Ont., in 1958 married Mary Lou Rumble, whose family owned the Fern Resort. After graduating from Ryerson University at age 21, Downing was hired as the assistant manager of the Hudson Bay Company’s restaurant in Vancouver. After three years in the restaurant industry, the Downings returned to the Fern Resort to assist with its operations. Although Downing once vowed to “never work in the resort business” he agreed to assist with the Orillia hotel for one year. His one-year commitment turned into 55 years with the resort. Downing also served as president of Resorts of Ontario for two years and as the organization’s marketing chair for 25 years. This year, Mark Downing followed in his father’s footsteps and became president of Resorts of Ontario, the third member of the family to hold the title. “Robert was there to see his son become president,” Sammut said. “We are so pleased that he was present to see this take place.”

Bill Tremblay joins Ishcom Bill Tremblay joined Ishcom Publications in early July as assistant editor of Ontario Restaurant News, Pacific/Prairie Restaurant News, Atlantic Restaurant News and Canadian Lodging News. Tremblay brings a decade of community news experience to his new position. Most recently, he was with The Orangeville Banner as a reporter and photographer.

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Living Water pledges $100K COLLINGWOOD, Ont. — Living Water Resort & Residences, in Collingwood, Ont., announced that it has committed to donating $100,000 over multiple years to support scholarship programs and building developments at the South Georgian Bay campus of Georgian College. The donations will be raised from an annual golf tournament and other initiatives, including support from the owner. As of June 30, the resort had already raised up to $15,000 through its 1st Annual Cranberry Charity Golf Tournament.

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O PE N I NGS/SALE S/R E N OS North York Holiday Inn Express gets new look TORONTO — Vrancor Group unveiled the multi-million-dollar renovation of its Holiday Inn Express Toronto-North York on July 13. The 163-room hotel is the second largest Holiday Inn Express hotel in Ontario, and fifth largest in Canada, by number of rooms. A complete redesign of public spaces includes a new lobby and expanded fitness centre. Refreshed guestrooms feature new carpet, wall vinyl and bathroom upgrades. The transformation of the hotel intends to evoke a warm and upscale feel through a colour palette incorporating shades of pumpkin, sage green, brown and gold. Vrancor owns and operates 15 branded and independent hotels in Ontario.

Old Mill Toronto sold TORONTO — After 24 years owning and operating the century-old landmark Old Mill Toronto, Lark Hospitality president Michael Kalmar announced the sale of the iconic restaurant, 57-room hotel and banquet complex to an asset and property management group directed by Frank De Luca, long-time Etobicoke resident.

In a July 17 news release, Kalmar expressed mixed emotions at “ending this chapter in the century-long ancestry of the Old Mill Toronto.” He said three things have made this property what it is today: “At the forefront were the visionaries, risk-takers and entrepreneurs who guided growth and transformation of the ever-evolving complex throughout its existence — founder Robert Home Smith, followed by the dynamic William Hodgson, and latterly, George and Michael Kalmar, the father/son team who orchestrated the addition of a boutique hotel and spa in 2001, and established the Home Smith Bar which has become one of the city’s most popular jazz venues. “Of primary importance, too, has been the generations of dedicated staff who have personified the value and importance of customer service as a guiding principle of Old Mill policies from our earliest beginnings. And our loyal customers, a multigenerational roster who have enjoyed, and helped create the century of memorable experiences that enrich our history.” Commenting on acquisition of the Old Mill Toronto and plans for its continuing operations, De Luca said it would be a “seamless transition.” According to the release, “It will continue to be operated with respect

for the establishment’s colorful heritage and a commitment to maintaining the integrity of its current standing in the local, national, and global communities. The vision for the future will reflect its celebrated history as a centre for the community.”

Super 8 opens in pumpkin capital of Alberta EDMONTON — Wyndham Hotel Group announced on Aug. 4 the opening of a Super 8 property in Smoky Lake, Alta., about 70 miles northeast of Edmonton. Situated in the pumpkin capital of Alberta, the 29-room hotel is located near Mons Lake, Bellis North Natural Area and Smoky Lake Town & Country Golf Club, and offers amenities and services such as an outdoor picnic area, free Wi-Fi access, complimentary SuperStart Breakfast and free parking. Additionally, the hotel participates in the Wyndham Rewards loyalty program that offers members a pointsearning structure along with a flat, free night redemption rate.

Hyatt Montreal lobby reno a winner MONTREAL — The Hyatt Regency Montréal announced in mid-July that the hospitality interior architecture and design firm Virserius Studio

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North York Holiday Inn Express’ new lobby design.

Toronto’s historic Old Mill. received an award by Luxe and Al International Hotel & Property Awards, a hospitality interior architecture and design firm based in the UK, for the lobby and lounge renovation of the Hyatt Regency Montreal. Project designer Therese Virserius, director of the boutique New York firm Therese Virserius design, opted for a sculptural space. Wide, curved stairs and a boomerang-shaped ramp lead up to modern check-in pods, which replace the traditional banker-style registration desk. Design elements include custommade wallpaper, 16 columns wrapped in hand-made Italian leather and an all-white library with violet fabrics. An elevated wine room overlooking the lounge will feature an Enomatic System allowing guests to try 24 wines by the glass and provide a flexible open space for up to 30 people. The lounge features a 20 ft by 5 ft media wall, which can be used to project corporate logos. Over the bar, 6 ft sculptural clouds encase LED lights that radiate saturated reds, soft yellows and deep purples during the day.

Microtel now in Casselman TORONTO — Wyndham Hotel Group announced on July 9 that Microtel Inn & Suites has opened in Casselman, Ont. Located off Highway 417/Trans-Canada Highway near Ottawa International Airport (YOW), the new-build 61-room hotel offers a fitness room, laundry facilities and 520-square-foot contemporary meeting room. Amenities include free large-vehicle parking, complimentary breakfast and free Wi-Fi access.


Skyline buys Cleveland Renaissance... TORONTO — Skyline International Development Inc. announced on Aug. 12 that it has reached an agreement with a company controlled by CTF Holdings Limited to buy the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, for almost $20 million USD. Built in 1918, the 491-room hotel covers nearly one million square feet, which includes 15,000 square feet of penthouse space, 68,000 square feet of meeting space, several restaurants, 10,000 square feet of commercial space and a parkade accommodating 304 vehicles. This is Skyline’s third U.S. acquisition and second in Cleveland, and follows the 2011 purchase of the Hyatt Regency Cleveland. Building on the past owner’s renovation investment of $60 million, Skyline will continue its tradition of restoring and revitalizing legacy properties. Skyline won the bid to purchase the Renaissance property over three other hotel operators. Currently managed by Marriott Corporate, the hotel is scheduled for a multi-million-dollar renovation once the deal closes in October. Handling the transaction is Jones Lang LaSalle.

Comfort Inn and Suites, Calgary; Comfort Inn and Suites, Bonnyville, and Comfort Inn and Suites Edmonton International Airport. Close to Calgary International Airport, Comfort Inn and Suites, Calgary features 100 guestrooms, and onsite meeting rooms accommodating groups of up to 115, along with amenities such as an indoor heated pool and whirlpool, exercise room, complimentary Wi-Fi, airport shuttle service, weekday newspaper and parking. Close to attractions including Beaupre Park, Bonnyville Golf & Country Club and Jessie Lake Trail, Comfort Inn and Suites, Bonnyville offers 85 guestrooms in addition to an indoor hot tub and steam room. With 101 guestrooms, Comfort Inn and Suites Edmonton International Airport provides easy access to local attractions 54964 CHF_2015_ORN.qxp_CHF_2015_ORN 2015-08-19 11:14 AM Page 1 such as the West Edmonton Mall, the Edmonton Valley Zoo Comfort Inn and Suites Calgary. and the Art Gallery of Alberta.

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... and sells Cosmo to Executive Hotels TORONTO — In related news, Skyline International Development Inc. announced on July 15 the sale of the Cosmopolitan Hotel Toronto to Vancouver-based Executive Hotels and Resorts for $13 million. The sale, finalized July 8, will not affect guests and clients of the 50-room upscale boutique hotel, now renamed Executive Hotel Cosmopolitan. The transaction includes the sale of 29 Skylineowned rooms, lobby restaurant, conference rooms, spa space, parking and other amenities. Located in downtown Toronto, the mixed-use development was built by Skyline and first opened its doors in 2005. Handling the transaction was brokerage firm Cushman and Wakefield.

Best Western opens in Bowmanville PHOENIX, Ariz. — Best Western announced on July 8 that it has opened a Best Western PLUS property in Bowmanville, Ont. The newly renovated 52-room hotel features an indoor pool, fitness centre and conference facilities, and serves a complimentary hot breakfast. In addition, the property is located on Highway 401 at the Liberty Street exit, with ample free parking for trucks and buses, and is close to the Bowmanville Zoo, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Ontario Power Generation and Lakeridge Health Corporation.

Vaudreuil-Dorion’s Holiday Inn Express TORONTO — InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced on July 23 the opening of the new-build 134-room Holiday Inn Express and Suites in the Montreal suburb of Vaudreuil-Dorion, following a $13 million investment by the ownership. The city’s first Holiday Inn Express, the new property features an indoor saltwater pool, 24-hour fitness centre, 24-hour business centre, and seven business suites featuring a private meeting room for up to four people. The hotel also offers 1,820 square feet of meeting space accommodating up to 225 people for a cocktailstyle reception. Guestrooms feature queen, king-sized or two double beds, a sitting area with a lounge chair and an in-room coffee machine. A complimentary Express Start breakfast bar features an expanded selection of healthy items, including Oikos yogurt, whole-wheat English muffins, Kellogg’s breakfast cereals, new Quaker oatmeal flavours in cups and a toppings bar for yogurt, cereal and pancakes.

Choice opens three Alberta new-build properties CALGARY — Choice Hotels announced in late June that it has opened three new-build hotels in Alberta:

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MasterBUILT/Superior VIP night at the races EDMONTON — On a beautiful summer evening in mid-July, over 40 industry guests gathered for the first annual MasterBUILT / Superior Lodging VIP Night at the Races Event at the Edmonton International Speedway. Cars with the logos of Microtel and Super 8 prominently displayed were driven by Ashley Halsey, winner of the NASCAR provincial rookie of the year award for 2014, and Ryan Knowles winner of the rookie of the year award for 2013. Sponsored by Serta Mattress, Eden Textile, Rogers Insurance, National Neon, and MasterBUILT Hotels, the event was by invitation and was attended by a number of hoteliers from various parts of the country, including three of Canadian

Lodging News’ Advisory Council members. Jason Cheskes of Above the Line Solutions, who helped arrange the event and oversees the company’s purchasing programs, told CLN, “It was a great event for the first time. We look forward to building it into a larger industry event next year where we can have even more participants from both MasterBUILT and Superior Lodging’s brands of Microtel, Super 8 and Travelodge, as well as several other prominent Canadian hoteliers.” Guests enjoyed an opportunity to get up close and personal with the cars and drivers, take a few laps around the track prior to the race in the sponsored cars, followed by dinner and VIP seating in a specially designed raised area trackside.

NASCAR driver Ryan Knowles (left) and Marc Staniloff with Microtel car.

PROVINCIAL NEWS Licensees in Saskatchewan to require SIRS training REGINA — In an effort to reduce the ills of alcohol, Saskatchewan is implementing a mandatory training program for servers. On June 22, the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) announced the province will phase in mandatory enrolment in the Serve it Right Saskatchewan (SIRS) course for all owners, managers and front-of-house staff of licensed establishments. “Making sure all staff are trained is consistent with the government’s goal that beverage alcohol needs to be sold as safely as possible,” said David Morris, spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority. “It’s also consistent with what’s being done in other jurisdictions,” Morris added. SIRS is a course designed to reduce underage drinking, overconsumption of alcohol, impaired driving and the risk of violence that may arise in or near establishments with liquor licences. Jim Bence, president and chief executive officer of the Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association, applauded the new requirements for servers. “As an association, we think it’s a great thing,” Bence said. “We do serve liquor and we want to make sure we’re at the front end of that and doing it responsibly.” Bence noted the idea of mandatory training has been talked about for years throughout the province. As well, many restaurant and hotel owners already employ the SIRS training program for their staff. “We are one of the last jurisdictions to have a server program,” Bence said. “It’s been much anticipated and there’s been lots of preparation for it.”

Alberta plans to scrap server minimum wage Alberta’s incoming $15 minimum wage will force restaurateurs to cut jobs or employee hours, according to Restaurants Canada. On Oct. 1, the province’s liquor-server minimum wage will increase $1.50 to $10.70 an hour. In 2016, the liquor-server wage will be eliminated in favour of a single minimum rate for all employees throughout the province. The general minimum wage rate is set to increase $1 to $11.20 on Oct. 1. The re-

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cently announced wage increase is the first step towards a $15 minimum wage that will be implemented by 2018. “No employer can just absorb that type of increase,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada’s vice-president of Western Canada. “We are perfectly happy to keep up with the cost of living.” A $15 minimum wage would require a restaurant with 25 employees to cut three positions or 3,300 work hours to stay afloat, according to Restaurants Canada. “Other prices are going up too,” von Schellwitz said, noting alcohol and food costs have also increased. In response to the wage hike, Restaurants Canada created a petition requesting Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Lori Sigurdson, minister of jobs, skills, training and labour, consider other options. “In any democratic country, if citizens are worried about something, they have the right to make their voices heard,” von Schellwitz said. “If the economic situation in Alberta continues to deteriorate, and if the unemployment rate goes up, perhaps they will moderate their position.” The petition asks government to reinstate the liquor-server wage rate as well as announce minimum wage increases annually based on economic climate. Restaurants Canada also requests the implementation of a “first-job wage differential” to encourage small businesses to hire young and inexperienced workers. “There is certainly a lot more work to be done on demonstrating to the government the adverse impacts of the minimum wage announcement,” von Schellwitz said.

TIANB tackles restructuring FREDERICTON — The Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick (TIANB) has been working over the last two years to restructure and rejuvenate the organization. Executive director Ron Drisdelle has been tackling the task since he joined the nonprofit organization in April 2013. TIANB represents more than 500 members in the accommodations, food and beverage, recreation and entertainment, transportation and travel service industries. Drisdelle has slowly been building the five-person team, which consists of accounting officer Mehmet Yunli, industry training

co-ordinator Veronique Arsenault and the most recent additions Emma Thompson, front desk and team liaison, and communications and marketing manager Shelley Munn. “When I arrived, the association was poised to look at itself and determine future directions and that’s what we’ve been working on: bringing stronger structure within the organization and concentrating on our members,” said Drisdelle. He said good governance is an important mechanism to ensure the next three decades of the 32-yearold organization. Drisdelle added that the association is working with training company LearnSphere Canada on this matter. Drisdelle said the process applies to internal employees as well as the TIANB board, who are responsible for creating vision and direction for the industry, while the staff deal with day-to-day operations. The plan will reduce the number of people on the board — currently at 23 members — as the sweet spot is between nine and 12 members.

CHF Ball set for October TORONTO — The Canadian Hospitality Foundation’s annual fundraising gala is being held Oct. 24 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto. This year, the benefit for Canadian culinary and hospitality students has the theme Black and White Masked Ball — A Night in Gotham. Proceeds from the event fund scholarships for students entering the foodservice, lodging and hospitality industry. Tickets cost $450 each and sponsorship tables of 10 are available for between $4,500 and $25,000 for a platinum sponsor table. Donations are accepted at thechf.ca.

South Thompson Inn Hall of Fame winner

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — South Thompson Inn & Conference Centre, a family-owned and operated hotel in Kamloops, B.C., was recently named TripAdvisor’s 2015 Hall of Fame winner, recognizing the property for earning the Certificate of Excellence — consistently outstanding traveller reviews — for five consecutive years. For those five years, TripAdvisor’s Certificates of Excellence have recognized the property as the best hotel (out of 54) in Kamloops. The hotel features 57 guestrooms and lies on 55 acres overlooking the South Thompson River, on the outskirts of Kamloops. David Patriquin, who has owned the property since it launched in 1994, attributes the hotel’s success to a relentless dedication to customer service. “We never say ‘no’ to a guest, unless it’s ‘no problem,’” Patriquin told CLN. “We don’t necessarily hire on experience — good attitude is important.” Unusual for a hotel, the South Thompson doesn’t have a general manager, instead employing, for the past six years, a management team to oversee operations. “It just makes sense to me,” said Patriquin, adding that “we’re more of a democracy. Everyone on the team cares about the business, because they all know they have an equal voice and that their opinions matter.” The team oversees all aspects of operations, including staffing, maintenance, housekeeping and setting room rates, and weekly, meets with Patriquin to discuss hot topics. Total staff at the hotel, including management, numbers about 50 people, said Patriquin, who characterizes his ownership style at South Thompson Inn as “hands-on” and also owns the Keg restaurant and Brandy’s sports bar, both in Whistler, B.C. At South Thompson Inn, the focus on service takes many forms. “We believe that guest service starts at physical plant,” with the property manager paying “keen attention” to maintaining that aspect of the hotel, said Patriquin. More than eight years ago, South Thompson Inn introduced free Wi-Fi, the first hotel in the area to do so, said Patriquin. Rather than source product from hotel suppliers, the hotel buys all its furniture from “quality suppliers” such as Hudson’s Bay. Little details, such as the hardness of water in guestroom bathrooms, are carefully monitored and adjusted as needed. Additionally, the South Thompson Inn features rooms that are dogfriendly; allergen free; and wheelchair accessible. As an independent, South Thompson Inn “is not a chain flag. We are a guest-service flag. TripAdvisor is our flag,” said Patriquin.


S U P P LY L I N E S Samsung drives Delta Toronto’s in-room offerings By Don Douloff

Mark Holmes

Zonetail growing exponentially TORONTO — Zonetail, a free mobile platform for hotels that connects guests with the hotel and surrounding area, is expanding rapidly, founder Mark Holmes told Canadian Lodging News recently. In March, they hired Troy Rainville, formerly a general manager with Choice Hotels Canada, and since then they have grown from six participating hotels to over 100. “The hotels are from across the board including all the major chains and independents,” Holmes said. “We are in 10 Canadian provinces and nine U.S. states and have an offshore installation in the Cayman Islands. We are fielding calls from all over the world, including the U.K., France, Italy and Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. “It’s the right product at the right time at the right price, a complete mobile hotel platform free of changes. It’s white labelled and can be customized to each hotel. It can also be built to brand standards.” The Chelsea hotel, which changed its name recently from the Eaton Chelsea, is one of the early adopters of Zonetail. They rebranded their app when they changed their name, Holmes said. He added that the app is now in version 2.0, with “new bells and whistles.” It now offers check-in/check-out capabilities, in-app notifications and push messaging regarding things like happy hour at the lobby bar, to drive incremental revenue. The app also can drive incremental revenue before the guest even checks in, prompting them to book the spa in advance on the app for half price, for example.

Troy Rainville “We are the only ones who offer the whole thing for free,” said Holmes, adding that the millennial travellers are tuning into mobile more, and the cost to independents of offering this type of mobile platform is out of reach. “Independents don’t have the capability of a robust mobile app. We can supply that and get them up to speed. Zonetail also offers a booking channel that allows each hotel to have direct booking by redirecting users back to their booking engine. “Our future is bright, with green pastures and blue skies,” said Holmes. They have just begun operations in a U.S. office just outside L.A. and they also plan to open a European and Asian office to service offshore clients later this year.

provide content customized for each guestroom or group of rooms. The TVs on the property’s network — in Delta Toronto’s case, Samsung 40-, 46and 55-inch sets in standard rooms and 65-inch curved sets in suites — can be controlled from one central location. Delta Toronto can then communicate, across its TV network, specialized information such as area attractions and activities or details of its Greenstay sustainability program, or send customized messages (such as happy birthday wishes) to guests, said Stephen Perkins, vice-president, display business, enterprise business division, at Samsung Canada. In fact, all the information formerly contained in in-room books and binders can now be communicated over the network and easily updated, said Perkins. Delta Toronto is serving as the template for the brand’s smart in-room system, said Ahmed Amer, area systems director, IT, Ontario, for Marriott Hotels of Canada. He added that Marriott plans to roll out the system to other Delta properties, but said no timeline has been finalized.

TORONTO — Samsung Canada provided a look at the technology powering Delta Toronto’s in-room entertainment at an Aug. 6 press briefing at the hotel. “Staying connected is vitally important for today’s travellers,” who, when staying at a hotel, want to listen to music and watch TV shows or movies they’ve downloaded onto their personal devices and watch their favourite streamed TV content, said Mark Childs, Samsung Canada’s chief marketing officer, at the briefing. Delta Toronto guests can do all of that by connecting wirelessly or via wired connections to their in-room, menu-driven Samsung smart TV. Key to the in-room entertainment in Delta Toronto’s 567 guestrooms is Samsung’s LYNK SINC, an IP digital-based interactive TV content management system allowing the hotel to remotely control its network of televisions. Via LYNK SINC, property managers or technicians can provide applications and content individualized to guests’ needs, and hotels can Ahmed Amer, Marriott Hotels of Canada.

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September 2015 | 2 9


D E S I G N F E AT U R E

Residence Inn Montreal reopens MONTREAL — A 15-month, multi-million-dollar renovation at the Residence Inn by Marriott Montreal Downtown has thoroughly updated the extended-stay property’s suites and public spaces and added 20 suites, bringing the room count to 210. “Our property caters to a more savvy customer looking for convenience and accessibility,” general manager Marco Carelli told CLN. That transformation to a younger, urban look begins with the exterior, which the renovation updated by removing the cement block and replacing with stainless-steel sheathing. A modernized colour palette favours grey and black. Inside, the refreshed lobby features new LED lighting, wall treatments and ceramic tiles; a dual fireplace; big-screen TV; a new accessibility ramp; and the lobby market, displaying drinks and convenience foods. Chic colours run to two-tone greys, a design accent repeated throughout the refreshed hotel. The project reconfigured the mezzanine level, which now offers a 100-plus seat dining area, framed by floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Peel Street; 538-square-foot boardroom with new carpet, ceiling lights and updated AV; gym, including new cardio machines, free weights and recumbent bikes; and self-serve

laundromat. Placing all of those amenities on the same floor rather than on the 23rd and 24th floors has greatly enhanced guest convenience, according to Carelli. Hotel corridors, too, were gussied up with new wallpaper (in grey and beige-grey) and carpet (grey streaked with bold red) and new LED pot lights. Elevators were refreshed cosmetically (updated cabs) and mechanically. Guestrooms now feature ceramic tile (in the washroom and kitchen) and carpet (in the bed area). There are new beds and mattresses, and oversized headboards complementing accent walls redesigned in teal. One-bedroom suites offer a double hide-a-bed, while studio suites have a sofa/chair. Suites are now outfitted with piano-style work desks and ergonomic chairs. All bathrooms were revamped, and the vast majority now feature walk-in showers (with the exception of two to three suites per floor, which feature soaking tubs, and two redesigned handicapped rooms that offer roll-in showers, said Carelli). In addition, Residence Inn guests will find kitchens outfitted with new brand-name appliances; ceramic cooktops twinned with convection microwaves; new refrigerators and dishwashers; and updated sinks and faucets. A layer of drywall, added between each suite, will help insulate against noise from adjoining rooms, said Carelli. On the tech side, suites offer 42-inch flat-screen high-definition TVs, and free wired and wireless Wi-Fi. Guests also have the option of paying a “small fee” to receive wider broadband, said Carelli.

TOP 10 LIST The 10 hidden benefits of no-chemical cleaning Matt Montag, sales manager at CleanCore Technologies, based in Omaha, NE, manufacturer of aqueous ozone cleaning systems, lists the following 10 hidden benefits of no-chemical cleaning: 1. No packaging required: Using no-chemical cleaning systems means no cleaning chemicals must be packaged in containers or boxes. 2. Reduces transport needs and its environmental impact: Cleaning solutions are transported every day throughout the U.S. and Canada, which costs money, requires fuel and releases greenhouse gases. 3. Reduced storage needs: Some no-chemical cleaning systems are compact enough to be installed directly to water fixtures in a facility, essentially eliminating storage requirements. 4. Always available: Some no-chemical cleaning systems are designed to be used on an ‘on-site/on demand’ basis. 5. No hazards: Aqueous ozone systems’ SDS (MSDS) indicates there are essentially no hazards when using these systems. No gloves, goggles or protective gear is required. The cleaning water can be disposed of by pouring down the drain. 6. Safety: Because no chemicals are involved, there is no mixing or diluting of chemicals. Many cleaning worker injuries occur when they are mixing/diluting chemicals.

Lobby before.

7. Cold water: Most no-chemical cleaning systems work on cold water, eliminating the need and expense for hot water. 8. Step beyond green cleaning: Without chemicals in the cleaning process, this form of cleaning has no impact whatsoever on the environment. Lobby after.

KItCHeN SUIte after.

COMING EVENTS Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2015: Shared Ownership Investment Conference. Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Information: 877-700-1153 / 305-668-3495. E-mail: information@sharedownershipinvestment.com. Fax: 305-668-3413. Website: sharedownershipinvestment.com. Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2015: Global Gaming Expo 2015. Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Las Vegas. Contact: Kevin McDonald. Tel.: 203-840-5997; E-mail: kmcdonald@reedexpo.com. Website: globalgamingexpo.com. Oct. 6-9, 2015: The Lodging Conference, Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, AZ. Contact: Brent Tinter, conference manager. Tel.: 800-2523540. E-mail: info@lodgingconference.com. Fax: 646-619-4181. Website: www.lodgingconference.com

3 0 | Canadian Lodging News

Oct. 18-19, 2015: CONNECT Food + Drink + Lodging. Vancouver Convention Centre West. Contact: Samantha Scholefield. Tel.: 604-628-5655. Email: Samantha@connectshow.com. Website: connectshow.com. Oct. 19-20, 2015: Western Canadian Hotel & Resort Investment Conference. Hyatt Regency Hotel Vancouver. Contact: Orie Berlasso. Tel.: 866-8874453. Email: Orieberlasso@bigpictureconferences.ca. Website: hotel-resortinvest.ca. Oct. 19-21, 2015: B.C. Tourism Industry Conference. Pan Pacific Hotel, Vancouver. Contact: Nora Cumming. Tel.: 250-382-3303, ext. 204. E-mail: n.cumming@chemistryconsulting.ca. Fax: 250-383-4142.

Oct. 20, 2015: MHA ‘15 Tradeshow, Manitoba Hotel Association. Victoria Inn Hotel, Winnipeg. Contact: Jerry Weir, show manager or Ryan Kirkness, sales manager. Tel.: 204-942-0671 or 888-859-9976. Email: info@centrex.ca. Website: www.ManitobaHotelAssociation.ca/mha15. Nov. 17, 2015: Hotel Capital Connection, Arcadian Loft, Toronto. Contact: Orie Berlasso. Tel.: 866-887-4453. Email: Orieberlasso@bigpictureconferences.ca. Website: bigpictureconferences.ca/HotelCapitalConnect/. Dec. 7-11, 2015: Vantage International Conference & Trade Show. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. Contact: Al Cohen. Tel.: 888-316-2378. Email: acohen@vantagehospitality.com. Website: vantagehospitality.com.

9. No chemical residue: Chemicals left on surfaces can cause rapid re-soiling on floors, carpets and other surfaces. This is eliminated with no-chemical cleaning systems. 10. Effective: Ozone has been shown to oxidize germs faster and more effectively than chlorine bleach.


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STAYING AGILE IS CRITICAL. FORTUNATELY, OPENING MORE THAN 1,100 NEW* HOTELS HAS KEPT US IN SHAPE. In the past six years, Hilton Worldwide has opened more than 1,100 new hotels around the world, bringing us to more than 4,000 hotels in 90 countries today.* In Canada, we have 104 hotels open from coast to coast with a growing pipeline of over 40 signed projects. Impressive growth, made possible by our ability to adapt to the world’s increasingly complex business environments. As a result, we’ve developed a wealth of experience creating and operating the most award-winning portfolio of hotels in the industry. Not a bad workout for a 95-year-old.

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*From January 2008 to January 2015

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Canadian Lodging News - September 2015  
Canadian Lodging News - September 2015