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LodgingNews March 2016 | Vol. 13 | No. 2

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HOTEL ASSOCIATION OF CANADA REPORT

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FEATURE: IN-ROOM ELECTRONICS WHAT TODAY’S GUESTS WANT

Tony Pollard to retire from HAC OTTAWA — The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) announced on Feb. 10 that president Tony Pollard is retiring, effective Aug. 31, after a quarter century with the organization. “I am grateful to have spent the past 25 years with the association working on behalf of our members and the Canadian lodging industry,” said Pollard. “I am very proud of what the HAC has accomplished during the past two-plus decades.” He served as an active member on many committees with Destination Canada and is a member of the editorial advisory council of Canadian Lodging News. More HAC news on pages 5.

Realstar’s Prince rappels for charity

Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40010152

TORONTO — Realstar Hospitality president and COO Irwin Prince rappelled down a Los Angeles hotel in late January to support Shatterproof, an organization committed to protecting children from addiction to alcohol and other drugs and ending the stigma and suffering of those affected by this disease. During the Americas Lodging Investment Summit conference, held at the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton at L.A. Live, the hotel indus-

try united on Jan. 25-26 to change the conversation of addiction one rappel at a time. Prince accepted the challenge and rappelled down 26 stories of the JW Marriott L.A. Live. “It was a great honour to participate in this unique event in support of such an important initiative,” said Prince. “Gary Mendell’s story continues to inspire so many people. Shatterproof is a remarkable

organization with a message that resonates with millions across the globe.” After losing his son to drugs in 2011, hotel executive Gary Mendell started to rethink the meaning of success. He embarked on a new path, leaving his career after 25 years to start an organization to combat drug and alcohol addiction. In 2012, Mendell founded Shatterproof with $5 million of his own money.

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Chef’s first task: serving the PM, caucus

Airbnb’s impact on NY hotels

By Colleen Isherwood, Editor ST. ANDREWS, N.B. — Even before Ron Kneabone officially started his full-time job as executive chef at the Algonquin Resort, Autograph Collection, in St. Andrews, he hosted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his caucus at the property. “It went very well, it was amazing,” Kneabone said. “The ministers were great people, really relaxed. The RCMP officers were nice and down-to-earth. [The Prime Minister] took the time to greet everybody and thank everyone at the retreat.” Kneabone brings both European and Canadian experience to his new position. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown, and apprenticed at the Calgary Winter Games. He spent most of the next 11 years as a chef in France, Switzerland and Germany, working in properties ranging from local bistros to Michelin three-star restaurants. Then he returned to Canada to work with celebrity chefs Michael and Anna Olson at On the Twenty in the Niagara area. In addition to television and live cooking demonstrations, he has spent the last 10 years as executive chef and food and beverage director of the Marriott Fallsview in Niagara Falls, Ont. It’s not the first time Kneabone has hosted a world leader — he had met Trudeau in Niagara Falls at a Liberal Party pre-campaign event, he hosted what was then the G-10 Summit leaders in France, and has cooked for the president of France and former German chancellor Helmut Kohl.

Kneabone’s father is from McAdam, N.B., just 80 km north of St. Andrews, and he has happy memories of summers spent in the area. “When the opportunity arose, I took it,” he said. He also likened St. Andrews to Niagaraon-the-Lake. “One has wine on the lake while the other has seafood on the coast, and they both have that Victorian appeal,” he said. The resort is now open all year, and Kneabone said the historic property offers a private golf club, an upscale hotel, fine dining and casual dining all in one property — plus one of the world’s richest sources of seafood. At press time in mid-February, Kneabone had been on the job for two weeks and was rewriting the menus for Braxton’s fine din-

ing, banquets, the golf club and poolside. “We have all kinds of special occasions and parties booked for the next six months, including a Prohibition Murder Mystery and dinner, with menus, characters and uniforms from the Roaring Twenties.” Starting this month, the executive chef plans to participate in farmers’ markets, serving specials in conjunction with local suppliers. The local clientele is key to the Algonquin’s success in the off-season, whereas the summer clientele consists mainly of hotel guests. As for future plans, Kneabone noted that he is very competitive. “We don’t just want to be one of the top five resorts,” he said. “We want to be the top one.”

Falcon Crest: 4 TripAdvisor wins in a row

CANMORE, Alta. — Clique Hotels and Resorts has four hotels in Canmore, on the edge of Banff National Park, and they are rated No. 1, 2, 3 and 4. Falcon Crest Lodge, their 10-yearold condo-hotel is ranked No. 1 among the town’s 30 hotels on TripAdvisor. At press time at the end of February, Stoneridge, Blackstone and Copperstone occupied the number 2, 3 and 4 spots respectively. Falcon Crest has the added distinction of ranking within the top one per cent of hotels around the world rated on TripAdvisor for the past four years. “It’s a condo hotel with fireplaces, barbecues on the patio — each unit a real home away from home with full living room and separate

BRIEFS

bedroom,” said Cory Haggar, general manager. “Cory and the team are on the ball,” said Farra Gillis, marketing manager for Clique Hotels. “There is a 24-hour concierge and a handy guide book to Banff packages. And they always answer the phone!” Haggar said staff are excited about their jobs and between them they have done just about every activity in the area. “Each employee has their specialty. Libor, our front desk supervisor is a hiking specialist. Taflin is our restaurant guru. Staff undergo Signature training, and they are shopped and graded on how they field and answer questions. This results in competition with each other.” Haggar added that the staff “go deep,” ex-

periencing activities such as their caving tour and dog sledding — activities that are hard to describe unless you have actually tried them. This year Clique worked with Travel Alberta on a promotion called Canmore in the Bag, which offered gifts and a coupon book for 40 local retailers, restaurants, ski resorts, equipment rentals, activities and more. They will definitely repeat and expand the promotion next year, said Gillis. The promotion, which runs from Sept. 15, 2015 to March 31, 2016, was designed to generate more traffic during the off-season — all of the above dates except for Christmas. The campaign also had a social media component asking people to go out and take pictures of the bag in various locations, making them eligible to win a grand prize of a weekend in the Blackstone Resort penthouse private suite. On a smaller scale, the resorts are reaching out to Canmore Cave Tours to promote caving and have promotions with Calgary and Banff restaurants, said Gillis. Clique also has two properties in Calgary, Hotel Clique and the soon-to-be-open Hotel Applause. Unlike much of the rest of the province, which is reeling from the drop in oil prices, business in Canmore is unbelievable, Haggar said. “Americans are coming up in busloads, and we will have a busy summer for sure,” he said. The hotel will be completely refurbished starting in October. “The designs are coming in. They will keep the great feel of the lodge, but new,” said Haggar. They are always coming up with new concepts. “We don’t just think outside the box; we make a new box,” he said.

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. — Airbnb unit sales do not materially affect hotel performance in Manhattan, according to an STR analysis that used data provided directly by Airbnb. The data set — which aggregated Airbnb daily data (supply, demand, revenue) from Dec. 1 2013 to Nov. 30 2015 — is the largest Airbnb has provided to a third-party hotel research company. The analysis revealed that Airbnb does not cannibalize hotel demand. There is no evidence that a unit occupied by an Airbnb guest is a room taken from a hotel. Airbnb-occupied nights in 2015 (1,496,260) were 5.5 per cent of overall lodging demand (25,788,543 hotel room nights sold). This was up from 4.4 per cent in 2014. With only a few daily exceptions, Airbnb occupancy ran well below hotel occupancy.

Rare whisky at Pacific Rim VANCOUVER — Fairmont Pacific Rim began serving 50-year-old Balvenie Scotch whisky in its Lobby Lounge on Feb. 12. Regarded as one of the world’s most prestigious luxury spirits, Balvenie is going for $2,600 CAD for a one-ounce pour, which guests sip in their own handcrafted and specially numbered collector’s edition Baccarat crystal glass. Fairmont Pacific Rim has the only bottle made available in Canada. “We often host a sophisticated clientele in the Lobby Lounge who enjoy the finer experiences in life. This scotch is in itself a part of history and highlights years of elegant craftsmanship,” said Grant Sceney, head bartender.

Starwood: cage-free eggs by 2020 STAMFORD, Conn. — Starwood Hotels & Resorts has announced plans to source 100 per cent of its eggs from cage-free chickens across its supply chain by 2020. “Animal welfare is important to our customers and our company, and many of our hotels around the world already use cage-free eggs. By transitioning to 100 per cent cage-free eggs by 2020, we further our commitment to doing the right thing,” said Andrea Pinabell, Starwood’s vice-president of sustainability. “Our commitment also involves our suppliers and we call on them to make this important change as well. We’re excited about our commitment and look forward to helping foster a more humane food system.”

Canadians’ top travel choices TORONTO — Once again, New York, Las Vegas and London, England held fast as the top three international destinations for Canadians travelling outside the country in 2015. Even though demand for European destinations increased, there was renewed passion by Canadians to travel to more exotic destinations, a trend evident in the latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index (HPI). Some of the biggest increases among the top 20 most popular international cities for Canadians were outside of North America. Bangkok, Tokyo and Hong Kong jumped five, four and three spots respectively, while in Europe, Amsterdam climbed four spots and Rome and Barcelona jumped a respectable two spots each.

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EDITORIAL

Why customer feedback matters By Jamie Vander Kooi So you’ve done everything possible to satisfy your customers and leave a lasting impression on them. Now how do you know if it worked? How do you know if you’re creating a good experience or a great experience? Do you know what they like and dislike about your products and services? The first step to fully understand a customer’s perception is by asking them directly, and the best way to get “the voice of the customer” is through customer feedback. There are many tools available that can gather these valuable insights to help improve every aspect of your business. Here are five reasons gathering customer feedback is important. You’ll understand what your customers like and dislike: Customer feedback helps businesses determine the preferences of their customers. When you ask your customers to give you feedback, you’re going to learn what they like and don’t like about your business. Just because you think they like it, doesn’t always mean they do.

This is extremely useful. If you know what’s working for your customers and what isn’t, you can tweak things to better serve your customers. Knowing your customers’ likes and dislikes is one sure route to success as it gives you a precise idea of what matters to your customers so you can act on those ideas. It shows customers that you care about their experience: By asking for your customers to provide you with feedback, you’re communicating that you value their opinion and you care about what they have to say. When your customers are listened to and heard, it creates a positive feeling from them about your business, which can eventually result in more sales and positive customer retention. It gives you a better perspective on your company: Customer feedback also helps you see the strengths and weaknesses of your products from a consumer perspective. When you look at your own company, you might not see a lot of flaws. However, when you ask for customer feedback, you are obtaining the perspective of the situation from outside of your business. Customers are often better able to note your flaws than you are.

It helps you see, and take advantage, of new market trends: Customer feedback can also be valuable in gauging market trends. It is important to know what trends are popular for customers, so that you can fine tune your products, services, and marketing messages to keep up. It is a lot easier to keep up than to try and catch up. It helps you improve your products and services: By collecting this information, you can consistently improve your offerings, making sure they are the best they can be. If you’re always listening and seeking feedback, you always have a pulse on what’s working for your customers, and what’s not. Ultimately, this will lead to better business, better sales, and a better customer experience. With customer feedback, businesses can make appropriate changes to their offerings to ensure that the product meets the needs and expectations of their customers. Such changes are likely to increase customer satisfaction. That, in turn, is sure to improve the profitability levels of any business. Are you listening to your customers? If you would like more information, contact Jamie Vander Kooi at TIAPEI, jamie@tiapei. pe.ca. Article courtesy of Tourism Tides.

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A “free tip” for employers, for now By Jay Josefo Bill 12, earlier versions of which were previously introduced into the Ontario Legislature by the NDP, was recently proclaimed as Ontario law. It changes the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (ESA). The main goal is to prevent employers from withholding, deducting from, or collecting tips/gratuities from employees unless doing so is authorized by law. The bill passed unanimously — meaning all party support. Its language and impact is similar to laws in Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. The bill is intended to combat the perceived problem of “tip theft” by employers. Query whether industry lobby groups have sufficiently addressed this issue to win the battle in the court of public opinion; yet that ship has now sailed. Bill 12 is in force as of June 10, 2016. It enacts new Part V.1, “Employee Tips and Other Gratuities” in the ESA. The industry thus has until June to review and adjust their current tips and gratuities policies as needed. Bill 12 has a definition of “tips and other gratuities” to widely cover: • Voluntary payments made by a customer to an employee which might reasonably be inferred as intended to be kept by the em-

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ployee or shared amongst other employees, • Voluntary payments made by a customer to an employer which might reasonably be inferred as intended to be redistributed to an employee or employees, • Payment of a service charge or similar charge which might reasonably be inferred as intended to be redistributed to an employee or employees, • Other payments to be prescribed by regulation. Bill 12 specifically exempts “such charges as may be prescribed relating to the method of payment used, or a prescribed portion of those charges,” as well as any other exempted payments as prescribed by regulation. To date, there have been no regulations enacted which would further clarify what kinds of additional payments would be included or exempt from the bill’s definition of “tips and other gratuities”. Based upon the exemption as currently written, it is unclear what arises with service charges imposed by credit card companies by each sale. Currently, it is arguable that if a customer makes a payment over and above the bill total on a credit card (15 per cent of the bill, for example), the entirety of that must be passed along to the employee(s), even if the establishment pays a transac-

tion charge to the credit card company. A regulation may exempt this charge. Bill 12 permits the pooling of tips and gratuities where such policy exists, so long as all that is pooled is disbursed to the employees. Yet the boss (employers) cannot share this pooling except by specific exceptions (the owner/director/shareholder habitually working and doing the same work performed by some or all of his or her employees). Where a collective bargaining relationship is in place, and when such covers tips/gratuities, the provisions of the existing collective agreement applies even if it differs from Bill 12. Yet this is only until a new collective agreement comes into effect. At that time the parties are again free to collectively contract out of these ESA provisions, or otherwise, Bill 12 will apply and prevail over the old collective agreement. What is needed next is clarity that the regulations will hopefully bring. The industry should seek details that it requires in that regard, and can seek exemptions regarding credit card fees and other charges. Employers should also review and consider their current tip/gratuity policy or approach and begin to plan for the new reality starting this coming June. Jay Josefo is counsel with Ricketts Harris LLP, Barristers & Solicitors, Toronto. JJosefo@rickettsharris.com.

MARK HOPE Coast Hotels ELIZABETH HUESTON Sysco Guest Supply Canada Inc. BRIAN LEON Choice Hotels Canada Inc. ROBIN MCLUSKIE Colliers International Hotels BRIAN STANFORD CBRE 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 13 · NO. 2 · March 2016 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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Record attendance at HAC 2016

From left, Cameron Gordon of Twitter Canada, Muneeb Mushtaq of AskforTask Inc., Tim Wooten of Rover Parking and Aaron Zifkin of Airbnb all spoke on how the shared economy is shaking up existing business models. TORONTO — The Hotel Association of Canada’s (HAC) Annual Conference, held February 29-March 1 at the Hilton Toronto Hotel, garnered enthusiastic reviews from the many delegates in attendance. “The solid attendance is the result of a robust program which clearly resonated with the industry”, said Tony Pollard, HAC President. “A special thank you goes out to Minister Bardish Chagger for her excellent speech on government initiatives designed to support the tourism industry. Our members and guests came to share opinions and gain ideas on the key issues we all share. Everyone left with more than one takeaway.”

Mohamed Khanat of IDeaS (left) presents Scott Allison of Marriott Hotels with the HAC Hall of Fame Humanitarian Award. Allison will retire this month after 43 years in hospitality.

Tony Pollard, left, with Philippe Gadbois, chair of HAC. Gadbois paid tribute to Pollard who is retiring in August after 25 years with the association.

Vito Curalli, right, of Hilton Worldwide, heard from the next generation of hoteliers. From left, Alyson Gregoire, Sheraton Centre Toronto; Jamie Knoepfli, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto; Brian Nam, Sheraton Centre Toronto; Giovanna Vallejo, Hilton Toronto Hotel and Morgan Da Rocha, Sheraton Gateway Hotel.

IHG Canada winners honoured at sales conference TORONTO — IHG Canada hosted its annual Sales Leadership Conference last month at the InterConti-

nental Toronto Centre, presenting the winners with their awards. Holiday Inn Express and Suites

Huntsville had the Winning Metrics Award for 2015. The winning hotel scored well

From left: Charlie Cahill, SVP Franchise Performance, Ravi Aurora and Matthew Phillips of Holiday Inn Express & Suites Huntsville and Tim Trowbridge, manager, Franchise Performance Support.

above target in all measures in 2015. In 2014, the GM of this hotel returned full time to this property from another hotel to give a singular focus to drive performance. What a difference focus can make. “Words can’t describe how immensely proud I am of the entire team that I have the privilege of working with every day,” said general manager Matthew Phillips on receiving the award. “I merely collected the award on their behalf as it was all of their hard word, dedication and commitment to 100 per cent guest satisfaction that resulted in us being honored by IHG.” Other winners included the following: • Heartbeat Award: Holiday Inn Kitchener - Waterloo Conference Centre, Ont. • Loyalty Recognition Award: Holiday Inn Ex-

press & Suites, Montreal Airport. Problem Handling Award: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Drayton Valley, Alta. Revenue Growth Index Award 2015 (Midscale brands): Holiday Inn Express & Suites Slave Lake. Revenue Growth Index Award 2015 (Upscale Brands): Crowne Plaza Gatineau-Ottawa. Hotel Sales Support Partner of the Year Award: Nicole Kemp, director of sales and marketing, Holiday Inn KingstonWaterfront. Americas Sales — Hotel Sales Partner of the Year Award: Sara Brar, regional director of sales.

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Immaculate Reception by Don Douloff

No longer a check-in way station, lobbies are now places for guests to gather, eat, drink, work and play — and for owners to generate revenue.

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o hotel public space has changed as radically in recent years as the lobby. Where once the lobby was strictly a way station — the place to check-in and then flee en route to the guestroom — that area has evolved into so much more. It’s now a multi-use space and, increasingly, viewed as an opportunity to generate revenue.

nology that can help guests stay connected, explore a new city or stay entertained in its lobby spaces, said Holthouser. “When you overlay this increased convenience and entertainment value with a return on investment through increased food and beverage or occupancy rates, it feels like a win-win proposition for both our guests and our hotel owners.”

“The importance of entrance lobbies is growing, as social encounters become more and more dependent on this particular hotel area. Hotel lobbies should provide a multi-use space for casual as well as formal talks, working on laptops, plugging in various devices,” said Judy Henderson, principal and owner of Vancouver-based Inside Design Studio Inc.

One example of a Hilton smart-technology pilot project is the iRobot partnership, Ava the Robot. Launched in 2015, Ava the Robot is a lobby ambassador at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, in McLean, Va. “When one of our team members dials into the robot remotely, their face appears as the face of the robot, and they can manipulate the robot’s movements to interact with guests in real time,” said Holthouser.

Besides catering to the needs of different guest demographics — “the hotel lobby can be a business-friendly hub during the week

will host a complimentary tasting of local craft beers, wines or spirits. At Best Western, “we found that utilizing outdoor spaces as an extension of the public areas was an important factor in the overall guest experience,” said Amy Hulbert, managing director of design. For Best Western’s Vīb banner, “we created an outdoor patio adjacent to our Līt coffee outlet, which includes a walkway, allowing guests to be served from this space as an extension of the lobby and food and beverage areas,” said Hulbert. Best Western designs its lobbies to serve

Residence Inn Vancouver and family-friendly over the weekend,” noted Henderson — attracting guests to “spend more time in the lobby also can lead to increased food and beverage sales.” Food and beverage is key to the revamped lobby at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village, in Los Angeles. Last year, the property added Stir, a contemporary coffee bar “that seamlessly integrates with the lobby and front drive. We found that the concept has warmed the space and encourages more interaction amongst guests,” said regional vice-president and general manager Robert Cima. “We’ve focused on how to make lobbies appealing to guests as well as how these spaces might generate incremental revenue for owners,” said Jim Holthouser, executive vice-president, global brands, Hilton Worldwide.

DoubleTree West Edmonton

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SMART TECHNOLOGY To that end, Hilton is testing out smart tech-

The new Tru by Hilton brand includes a Fairfield Inn 2,776-square-foot lobby dubbed ‘The Hive’ and divided into four zones: Eat, Work, Lounge and Play. Each zone is distinct yet fluid with flexible seating. The Play Zone includes table games like foosball or ping pong, a large portable TV and dry-erase unit, and stadium-inspired tiered seating. Together, “these zones help promote multiple levels of social activities and get guests engaged in the space,” noted Holthouser. COMFORTABLE SHARED SPACES Lobbies in the Canopy by Hilton brand include open and comfortable shared spaces, a variety of meal options and a focus on design that reflects the hotel’s neighbourhood. The new concept will feature a comfortable and open main floor that can easily transition from morning café to lunchtime bistro and to evening bar service. Each evening, the lobby bar

multiple demographics. “With Vīb, for example, we have the Xbox, which younger leisure traveller can use for gaming, while business traveller can use the screen for a small meeting or to review a presentation.” To lessen their formality, contemporary lobbies sometimes jettison front desks in favour of pods. “We have recognized the success of pods, as they allow our front desk teams to interact on a more personal level with our guests,” said Hulbert. MULTI-USE SPACE Over at Choice Hotels Canada, “guests are searching for multi-use space for business and leisure, where they can come out of their rooms and connect with people and technology wher-


ever their journey takes them. We see this not just with millennials, but with key demographics, including business travellers,” said Brian Leon, managing director. With Choice’s new Quality prototype, “we are planning to move away from the traditional lobby and enclosed business centre to an informal area where travelling is easier and more fun than ever before. Now guests can check-in easily with pods, comfortably access free Wi-Fi and meet in a large open space to connect with others,” said Leon. Recently, Holiday Inn Express introduced an updated design for new-build and renovating hotels. “We are finding that more and more business travellers, especially millennial business travellers, want communal work spaces where they can collaborate with co-workers or simply surround themselves with activity,” said Jennifer Gribble, vice-president, Holiday Inn Express Brand, The Americas, IHG. Catering to guests wanting more space outside of their rooms, Holiday Inn Express hotels featuring the new design include community tables located in the hotel’s Great Room just

Based on this insight, we developed a business centre that is centrally located and integrated within the lobby. Guests can use stations provided or hook-up their own devices and can print wirelessly throughout the hotel,” said Gribble. Hotels now feature two side-by-side checkin pods or an approved open front-desk concept such as an island or peninsula. “These openstyle designs enhance interaction between hotel staff and guests and allow hotel teams to easily oversee the entire Great Room,” noted Gribble. Reflecting a design-forward sensibility is AC Hotels by Marriott. “The AC Lobby is a curated collection of inviting furnishings, modern designs and textures that evoke the feeling of a well-curated art gallery,” said Toni Stoeckl, vice-president of lifestyle brands, Marriott International. Ambient lighting and cozy seating in the AC Library & Lounge areas invite traveller to relax in chic surroundings while also creating a space in which to conduct a business meeting or socialize with friends.

store, whether they are looking for a traditional table setup or want to relax on a sofa and watch something on a big-screen TV. Some locations even do gaming in the flex space.” For Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, whose new Radisson RED brand will see its first hotels open in 2016, “the common areas are being designed to flow between spaces, breaking down the walls that traditional hotels use to separate areas such as lobby, restaurants, bars, meeting space, etc. Radisson RED marries them together into one integrated flowing social hive,” said Richard Flores, vice-president, branding, Radisson & Radisson RED. Furthermore, the lobby design “creates energy in the hotel through art and music. We don’t have front desks — instead, staff will be equipped with tablets. We don’t have meeting spaces in the traditional sense, but instead, we have multi-functional flexible spaces that can be used to meet or can be used to play.”

Evenings, guests can enjoy local craft beers, signature cocktails or specialty wines and a curated selection of tapas-style small bites.

In February, Radisson Blu announced a new interior-design styling of social spaces that takes shape through well chosen furniture pieces, attentive use of lighting and the flexibility to introduce unique elements according to each hotel’s location.

Marriott’s Moxy hotels feature the communal NOW public space outfitted with games from tabletop to game tables and

LOBBY RENOVATION Delta Grand Okanagan, in Okanagan, B.C., is undertaking a lobby renovation, and Catherine Berardi, director, design, said “ideally the lobby is open to the restaurant and

Viceroy Anguilla divided into four zones — Zone 1 (Library/Plug In); Zone 2 (The Welcome); Zone 3 (Beverage + Food); La Purificadora, Puebla. Credit: Undine Pröhl and Zone 4 (Lounges) — off the lobby. Tables are designed for both busi- “whose intensity subtly shifts from calm to ness and leisure guests and include outlets as energetic,” said Stoeckl. The layout allows well as wireless device charging, which allows guests to hang at their own pace, on a couch guests to stay powered up whether they are with mobile device in hand or at the bar. “The watching a movie, researching a place for din- bar is full-service and the hub of activity in the lobby” and also where guests check-in, said ner or finalizing a last slide on a report. Stoeckl. OPEN STYLE DESIGN The Great Room and the lobby as a whole BLURRING THE LINES “There’s no question that people work difwere designed in an open style, with a mix of community tables as well as additional soft and ferently today when on the road and they blur hard seating. “Initially, we considered doing the lines between work time and free time. away with the business centre, given that, on The result is that spaces need to do more and average, our guests travel with four devices. serve more than one function,” said Aodhan However, research showed us that our guests Sheahan, vice-president, operations, Masterlike having a place to print boarding passes or BUILT Hotels Ltd. “Our spaces allow guests quickly check email, and they hate when they to be getting work done while also getting an cannot locate the business centre to connect. evening snack or something from our micro-

lounge, so we can provide a seamless transition from one zone to another.” In addition, “there has been much discussion revolving around the front desk and its functionality. First, we don’t want barriers between guests and associates, which contradicts the welcoming experience. So the goal is to reduce reception-desk size so guests have a better experience checking in/out if they want faceto-face interaction with staff.” Delta Grand Okanagan’s desk will be designed so that the work area can be easily changed out in the future (without having to replace the entire desk) to accommodate smaller equipment and technology. “Technology is the driving factor behind a lot of the anticipated changes to the check-in experience. We will work with our brand partners to bring in self-serve check-in via phones or be checked-in/out by a greeter carrying an iPad,” said Berardi.

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March 2016 | 7


Quarterdeck adds beachfront lofts, rec centre, dining SUMMERVILLE, N.S. — Work continues on ambitious multi-milliondollar renovations at The Quarterdeck Beachside Villas & Grill that will add new loft rooms, a new recreation centre and a rebuilt restaurant to the property on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Construction is well underway on a four-storey building, overlooking Summerville Beach, which will feature 12 lofts (three bachelor units; five one-bedroom suites; and four twobedroom suites). “We needed more units to meet demand in peak season,” said Greg Whynot, part of the family ownership team that bought the property in 2014. The new loft suites will feature an “upscale” look and will offer picture windows and recessed terraces providing privacy, said Whynot. Plans call for construction to be completed by early July, he said, but the hotel has already been accepting bookings for early August. “Demand has been strong.” This follows a refresh to the existing 13 townhouse-style villas that upgraded amenities (new carpets and kitchen appliances, for example). Whynot expects this to be finished by

late March. Directly behind the new villa building sits the rec centre, which, when completed, will feature 3,000 square feet of space offering a 15 ft. x 25 ft. indoor pool; sauna, hot tub and weight room; lounge; and 18-seat theatre. The rec centre, said Whynot, will round out the Quarterdeck’s amenities, and is expected to be built by early July. Also featured in the rec centre will be a facility allowing the hotel to do its laundry onsite instead of outsourcing it, said Whynot. A gift shop/ice cream store, opened in summer 2014, operates in the peak April-to-October season.

Old restaurant torn down Last November, the ownership team decided to demolish the restaurant building, which had been around since the Quarterdeck opened more than 80 years ago. In its place, a twostorey building, under construction (and expected to be finished by the end of May), will house a revitalized Quarterdeck Beachside Grill restaurant. To feature 90 inside seats and another 40 on a wraparound patio, the restaurant, said Whynot, will “have

Beachfront lofts at The Quarterdeck. the same soul as the previous building,” with a similar feel, but done with “East Coast modern flair.” On the plate, Quarterdeck Beachside Grill “will showcase straightforward, modern presentations of traditional Nova Scotian cuisine,” according to new executive chef Adam Langille. “We are making connections with local fishermen, farmers and foragers in order to steady our focus on both local and ethical food choices and suppliers.” Augmenting seafood such as hali-

PKF rebrands to CBRE Hotels

TORONTO — Brian Stanford, senior managing director of CBRE Hotels Canada, says he will have to change his tie from PKF blue to CBRE green, and that the rebranding of PKF Canada continues the process set in motion last August. On Feb. 1, CBRE Group announced that it had completed rebranding and integration of PKF Consulting USA, PKF Hospitality Research and PKF Consulting Inc. (Canada) into its portfolio of global real estate services. CBRE had acquired PKF in the U.S. in 2014, followed by PKF Canada on August 1, 2015.

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“It’s all part of the global effort by CBRE to be dominant in the hotel space,” Stanford, whose previous title was national managing director at PKF, told CLN. “David Larone and I have 40 and 35 years of experience respectively, and we built a good brand with a strong presence. But CBRE has 400 professionals in 60 offices — PKF doesn’t come close to that.” “We’re happy to have an infrastructure that’s fully dedicated,” said Bill Stone, executive vice-president CBRE Hotels, adding that he had the opportunity to see the integration and collaboration of CBRE and PKF first hand at internal meetings before the American Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS) in January. “We had a large group of 50 people, and it was a very productive meeting.”

Client response favourable He added that on the client side, the response has been really good, almost without exception. “It’s become more and more apparent, the

depth and breadth of the entire team. We’ve had deeper discussions at high levels of the organization.” Both Stone and Stanford stressed the lateral integration of the capital markets and brokerage side of the business headed by Stone, and the hotel valuation and advisory side that includes Stanford, Larone and Brian Flood, senior managing directors on the consulting and advisory side. And there is also vertical integration with the U.S. practice in particular. At times, one side of the business will do projects that are confidential from the other, maintaining a Chinese wall between the two sides of the business, Stone said. The Canadian operation also includes a new tourism and leisure practice that includes Fran Hohol and Rebecca Godfrey, looking at the public sector, tourism and remote communities. Cindy Schoenauer is the director in the Vancouver office. While the Vancouver CBRE and PKF are all located at 1021 W. Hastings Street in Vancouver, the Toronto offices of PKF are expected to move to the CBRE location at 145 King St. W., Suite 600 in about four months. Stanford noted that CBRE Hotels is the only practice group with a distinct logo. “We have 25 professionals now, and that makes us by far and wide the largest advisory brokerage practice and the most qualified.”

but, lobster and scallops will be landlubbers’ fare — the likes of locally raised pork, beef, lamb and chicken, he said. A takeout window will allow customers to order food to-go and enjoy it al fresco on the patio or adjacent beach. Whynot said he hopes to operate the restaurant year round, rather than seasonally, as was the previous norm. To bolster business in the slower months, the ownership team is building, on the level above the new res-

taurant, a meeting space accommodating 75 people that’s designed as a destination for small group functions, said Whynot. Peering into his crystal ball, Whynot said that micro-cottages, located in a secluded wooded area on the hotel’s 43 acres, are “on the radar.” But although he added that “we feel we won’t have a problem filling those cottages in peak season,” Whynot said that “we want to get the new additions right” before undertaking any new projects.

Resorts adapt to mild winter in Ontario ONTARIO — In business, if life serves up a lemon, make lemonade. During the recent December holiday season, a number of Ontario resorts made lemonade when the weather gods handed them a gigantic lemon, in the form of unseasonably mild, spring-like temperatures. At Blue Mountain Resort, in Blue Mountains, the team responded by opening its three ziplines and by making its Ridge Runner gravity-fed rollercoaster operational. To its credit, the resort communicated proactively with incoming guests, in case they wanted to modify their stays, said director of sales Mark Rich. Customers appreciated the communication and the fact that the property offered alternative options that helped them enjoy their stay. The resort’s lodging numbers from Dec. 18 to Jan. 2 were “very solid,” he said. Fern Resort, a 105-room property just outside Orillia, offered shuffleboard and mini-putt; family hikes on its wooded trails; and opened its covered, outdoor pavilion housing three trampolines, said president Mark Downing. Some guests played the resort’s regulation golf course (after asking permission), with particularly hardy souls even donning bathing suits on Christmas Eve to take a quick dip in Lake Couchiching. Occupancy for

this holiday season was up 15 per cent year-over-year, according to Downing, a fact he said is more attributable to the low Canadian dollar. At Bayview Wildwood Resort, just north of Orillia, the team got creative. Instead of the regularly scheduled snowman building competition, the property offered an arts ’n’ crafts version employing rice-filled socks, elastics and felt pieces, said guest services manager Jason Stanton. “The mild weather was a mixed blessing, since people expect winter during the holidays,” said Ben Samann, general manager of Viamede Resort, on Stoney Lake, in the Kawarthas. Nevertheless, the property adapted, offering its brand new 1,000-square-foot indoor pool (offering a swim-out to the outside) that opened Dec. 29. But the most popular activity was the dog walks offered with Ben’s two seven-year-old golden retrievers, Toby and Daisy. Walks on wooded trails, pony rides, barn tours and horse-drawn wagon and sleigh rides (on the resort’s roads) were featured at Elmhirst Resort, in Keene, Ont., said general manager Greg Elmhirst. Guests took kite-flying lessons, held on the resort’s seaplane runway. Indoors, at the 14seat cellar table, the resort presented wine tastings culled from the property’s 100-plus vintages.


Delta joins Marriott Rewards TORONTO — Twenty-two Delta hotels are now part of the Marriott Rewards program, including the new one in Florida, with the other 14 expected on board by the first week of May, said Don Cleary, president of Marriott Hotels of Canada. “Delta Privileges is no more — its members have already been made Marriott Rewards members. As of January 16, the new Marriott Rewards means they are able to earn points at 22 Delta hotels. And now former Delta Privileges members are free to earn rewards globally across 19 brands in more than 80 countries,” Cleary told CLN. He added that achieving this means fully integrating Delta hotels with all of Marriott’s systems, an ongoing process that just takes time. “Once we had a critical mass of properties, we decided to go ahead and launch.” Canada currently has 2 million Marriott Rewards members, including 310,000 from the Delta Privileges program, some of whom were members of both programs. “Our goal is to go up to 2.3 million members by year-end 2016,” said Cleary. “Obviously it is a powerful

program. It has won Freddie Awards [for the Best Hotel Rewards Program in the Americas] for the last eight years, and it is frequently recognized as best in class.”

Compatible cultures ease transition Cleary said the integration of Delta and Marriott has gone very well, mainly because the cultures of the two organizations are quite compatible. The Delta operating system has been almost completely dismantled and integrated into the Marriott full service platform. “Systems installation, training and change management will substantially have been done by the end of April — over the past year all has gone well. Delta has become another one of our brands in terms of sales, marketing and other processes.”

Expansion plans In addition to the first Delta outside Canada now up and running in Orlando, Fla., Marriott has discussions ongoing regarding possible Deltas in the U.S., Asia and Europe as well as more Delta-branded hotels in Canada.

“We continue to grow. We believe we can turn Delta into real growth velocity both inside and outside of Canada,” Cleary said. He added that they are on schedule to open 21 Marriott hotels in Canada in 2016, including the Renaissance Montreal, which opened last month and has the only rooftop bar in the city; and the TownePlace Suites in Kanata, near Ottawa. “We have a steady flow of deals with more than 44 in the pipeline,” he said.

New faces Marriott has added Michelle Bozoki as vice-president brand, marketing and digital for Marriott Hotels of Canada. Bozoki’s previous position was as Marriott’s director of marketing and e-commerce for Caribbean and Latin American resorts, a position she held for almost 14 years. At press time, Marriott was also in the process of hiring a PR person Michelle Bozoki for Canada.

CBVI, Lexington brands growing TORONTO — Va n t a g e Hospitality Group Inc. is mapping out caut i o u s , steady Bill Hanley growth during the next two to three years in the Canadian market for its Canadas Best Value Inn and Lexington Hotel banners. To that end, the franchisor announced in early February that the former Howard Johnson Sudbury will become Canada’s next Lexington Hotel. The 75-room property with restaurant, lounge and six meeting rooms accommodating up to 750 people is undergoing renovations to all guestrooms and public areas to meet brand standards, and is expected to open March 1. In addition, the former Cardinal Inn Sudbury will become the newest Canadas Best Value Inn (CBVI) and 34th Canadian property in that banner, with a target opening date of March 1. The 45-room property is completing a renovation program that will enhance the exterior, upgrade guestrooms and also result in a new lobby and breakfast area. In addition, the property features two restaurants, Taphouse and Fired Up Pizza.

Going forward, plans call for CBVI to target six to eight locations, each, for the Western and Eastern Canadian regions, during the next several years, Bill Hanley, group president for Vantage Hospitality’s international division, told CLN. Typically, the best fit for CBVI is secondary and tertiary markets and suburban areas in large cities, said Hanley. Vantage will consider newbuilds, but prefers converting branded or independent properties featuring 40 to 70 guestrooms. Particularly desirable for CBVI, said Hanley, are conversion properties attached to food and beverage outlets that make those hotels attractive to travellers. Typically, that brand is a roadside destination, he added. “We want to bring in (to the CBVI banner) hotels that meet the expectations of travellers in that segment — limited- or select-service properties,” said Hanley. The launch of the Lexington Hotel in Sudbury will bring that banner to two Canadian locations (the other property, opened in 2014, operates in Windsor, Ont.). Plans call for Vantage to target four sites this year, five next year and six in 2018 in that banner, total, for Canada, he added. For the Lexington Hotel brand, Vantage likes conversions of branded or independent properties that feature 60 or more guestrooms (ideal is around 80, said Hanley) and also

have a food and beverage outlet attached. Vantage, however, will also consider new-builds featuring 60 to 200 guestrooms and, typically, two meeting rooms. In Canada, the franchisor will consider, for the Lexington Hotel brand, cities big, small and in between; locations adjacent to airports; and resort locations. The focus, however, is on major cities and the suburbs surrounding them, said Hanley. Typically, Lexington properties are full-service; aren’t roadside destinations; target corporate (as opposed to independent) business travellers, the meetings market and larger families; and feature higher guestroom standards (and larger rooms) than CBVI (and therefore, command a higher price point, $80 to $125 per room versus about $80). A companion banner, Lexington Inn, differentiates itself from Lexington Hotels by offering select-service food and beverage (breakfast only) as opposed to its sister banner’s fullservice F&B. Hanley said Vantage would consider Lexington Inn for Canada if it were the right fit for a given market. Also on the radar for Canada are two other brands, Jameson Inn & Suites and Country Hearth, which Vantage bought in February 2015. “We feel these fit in very well in Canada and that expansion is possible,” said Hanley.

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In Room Electronics by Colleen Isherwood

A few years back, hoteliers expected guests to bring one digital device with them to the hotel; now the average guest brings three. And when Derrick Brian, vice-president of product strategy for Guest-Tek, travels around the world he takes not one, not three but five devices with him — a laptop, iPhone, iPad, Samsung tablet and one more phone. With all the changes in consumer electronics, it’s hard to know which is changing faster, the exponential need for bandwidth, or consumer views on what in-room entertainment they need. “Hotels have to upgrade their bandwidth to the latest standards for entertainment and high speed Internet access (HSIA) and have infrastructure to support the future,” Brian says. Consumers want everything they have at home, and seamless connectivity from their phone or tablet to the television, says Andrew Chlebus, director of sales, business solutions, hospitality division for LG Electronics Canada. The most common considerations are first, to allow guests to sync their devices with the hotel television, providing access to their own content and social media sites; and second, the extent or scope of all other in-room entertainment services provided by the hotel to the guest, says Geoffrey Baker, solutions specialist for Bell Business TV. “Guests now expect to use their own devices and have great HSIA, says Brian of Guest-Tek. “This is the biggest driver for guests, and to deliver it hotels must invest in technology. For guests who use a lot of bandwidth, Marriott, for example, offers an HSIA tiered bandwidth pricing system. “A lot of people overlook power sources,” he adds. “Guests take a look around for ways to plug in their devices. I’ve been known to plug a USB into the back of the TV if there’s no easy access to power.”

LED vs. LCD — less power

Other benefits for hoteliers

Hoteliers would like their televisions to last for nine years, but between years five and nine, they should have a capital plan in place and look at upgrading their televisions. LG commercial televisions are designed to run for 90,000 hours — that’s about 10 years if the television is run non-stop. Hoteliers have found that LCD televisions work great but may be looking a little dated. These have a very low failure rate, says Chlebus. “Increasingly hoteliers are looking for televisions that are elegant, sexier and use less power.” LED televisions can save the hotelier an average of $21 per year per set — when multiplied by the number of guestrooms, savings can be substantial.

Samsung LYNK SINC content management solution allows staff to send personalized updates, hotel information and entertainment options instantly to guests on their in-room TVs, says Stephen Perkins, vice-president sales and marketing, enterprise business division, Samsung Canada. “Guests want to feel like they’re not one of hundreds or thousands staying in a particular hotel property; they want to feel like they’re receiving a personalized experience,” says Perkins. “If hoteliers learn it’s a guest’s birthday at check in, the front of house team could populate a celebratory message that would pop up on their in-room TV when they got into their suite, for example. Or if they’re in town for meetings, they could flag conference room changes as a message on the TVs to all the guests registered to that group block in real-time. This all adds up to a seamless, customized and connected guest experience,” Perkins says.

More advanced features Bell’s Baker notes that more advanced inroom entertainment interfaces will leverage advanced Internet protocol television (IPTV) solutions. Those advanced features include personal video recorder (PVR) capabilities, in-room environment control, pay per view events, gaming, interactive advertising and point of sale. IPTV also supports, an interactive programming guide, video on demand, free to guest TV in SD/HD and eventually 4K. IPTV can also enable over-the-top (OTT) content such as Netflix and YouTube.

Pay per view “There’s still demand, believe it or not, for pay per view,” says Chlebus. “Hoteliers still get complaints when the pay-per-view movies aren’t there.” LG likes to offer flexible options to hoteliers, so that the guest can have any avenue they like, including pay per view, Chlebus says.

BELL CANADA Geoffrey Baker, senior sales manager, Bell Business TV, says Bell is focused on in-room entertainment solutions that meet the needs of a wide range of hospitality properties ranging from smaller roadside motels, boutique hotels, resorts and large scale branded properties coast-to-coast including the most rural parts of Canada. “Our solutions can be fully integrated with the latest inroom entertainment, smart TVs and third party set back boxes to complete stand-alone systems.” Other Bell services include: Internet, Wi-Fi network, phone lines and PBX solutions.

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TV as control console Depending on the bandwidth and infrastructure along with understanding of what experience a hotelier wants to offer their guest, the interface can be built within the TV or exist externally, says Bell’s Baker. According to Samsung’s Perkins, in-room entertainment is no longer just about putting any TV into a hotel room and considering the box checked. “It’s about creating a personalized, distinctive and enhanced guest experience through premium TVs that display content beautifully and offer guests a smarter, more connected experience. Many guests today are used to syncing their mobile phones or tablets with their TVs at home, and wirelessly sharing content for example. They now expect those types of features when visiting hotels too.”

Samsung hospitality SMART TVs, allow guests to connect their personal devices to the TVs to stream their favourite content, and give real-time updates on conference room changes and weather. They receive a personalized, userfriendly experience. Guest-Tek also offers this type of solution, says Brian. Their OneView media server provides a better user interface with the TV. It offers both horizontal and vertical formats using HTML5, making the user interface more seamless. It offers more options to design the look and feel. Whether the guest is using a tablet, phone, laptop or TV, that expression is to be reflected. It’s a step above the usual, and offers more options for the guest. But while companies such as Guest-Tek and Samsung are looking at the television as the central console for the room, LG doesn’t promote this idea. “Chains are not looking to have all devices connected to the TV. We have that capability, but we are listening to our customers,” he adds. “They’re interested in what the TV can do now. We’re not being asked about flexible features or functions [that mimic] a mini-computer. At HITEC, the feedback from Starwood and Marriott was that there is no interest. We have this capability if the hotel wants it. “With LG, we’re an in-room television subject matter expert. There are growing pains — other companies have expertise in things like LED switches, security switches and door locks.” Brian, on the other hand, can’t wait for more of this type of integration. When he was in Baltimore recently, he stayed at a Hilton and downloaded the Hilton app. He never went to the front desk. The digital key function enabled him to access the elevator, press the correct button for his floor, find his room and unlock the door. That app gave him access to the room, elevator and lounge. “I used my device and I

SAMSUNG CANADA More leading hoteliers, including Delta Toronto, are turning to Samsung to enhance their guest experiences, says Stephen Perkins, vice-president sales and marketing, enterprise business division, Samsung Canada. “From LED to stunning curved screens, our hospitality displays offer immersive, smart viewing experiences. Like we’ve just showcased through our partnership with the Delta Downtown Toronto Flagship hotel, guests can view or stream their favourite content instantly and in premium picture quality through wireless screen mirroring from their personal Samsung devices.”


What is a Smart TV?

never went to the front desk. It was all running over my network. Guests want to avoid lineups and work and play at their own leisure,” he says.

Smart Home for Hotel Rooms “What we have done in partnership with the Delta Toronto is a sign of things to come,” says Samsung’s Perkins. “Allowing our guests to connect easily from their own devices to the room is one thing, but the next level is what you might call ‘Smart Home for Hotel Rooms.’ “Our Samsung HMS LYNK solution would enable them to control the lighting, temperature, TV, etc. from a fully integrated technology solution perspective. The hotel room of the fu-

ture also offers guests the ability to easily stream UHD content from any movie or music streaming service onto a 4K UHD TV.” Samsung has also launched 4K TV last year and is starting to see great momentum from free to guest providers for hoteliers to offer better viewing experience to their hotel guests, says Perkins. Samsung is also now focusing on an extension of 4K TVs and will be launching a DOCSIS 3.0 Built-in TV in 2016, which will enable hoteliers to get the Smart TV experience without upgrading the overall cable plant to each room. This will benefit in overall savings for hoteliers and offer an uninterrupted experience to guests.

LG ELECTRONICS “Hotel guests are increasingly demanding their at-home viewing experience, greater customization and flexibility of their TV service,” says Andrew Chlebus, director of sales, business solutions, hospitality division for LG Electronics Canada. “LG hotel TVs provide the built-in capability to support customized applications and services through a wide array of system integrators and service providers. The finest and smartest mode of control and customization for hotel TVs, LG Pro:Centric Smart offers all the customizable tools needed to optimize a property’s TVs with IP based programs including HTML5, Java and Flash.”

A Smart TV is one where that interface is built into the TV and the TV is connected to the Internet along with a central server vs. a TV that has a basic tuner and screen and/or an external interface that may or may not be connected to the Internet and a priced at a premium, LG: 4K not central server. At very least a commercial grade Chlebus adds. yet ready hotel TV should meet the following specificaChlebus sees Organic for hotel tions: NTSC/ATSC/Clear QAM tuners, LED or OLED as the wave prime-time MPEG-2/MPEG-4 H.264, AC3 of the future, but stresses it’s LG’s Chlebus decoding and Pro:Idiom.

says 4K TV has not quite caught on for hotels. He knows of two hotels that are evaluating it, but right now it’s slow. It’s nice to have but maybe not required. The two hotel customers considering 4K are both Videotron customers from Montreal. Videotron has made a big push towards 4K, and once Rogers has more 4K content, Ontario customers may be interested as well. More and more games are being broadcast in 4K. It’s still

not hotel-operator-ready either. “The OLED design is much thinner. It’s razor thin. The colours are better; black is true black, etc. We’ve spent $1.3 billion in manufacturing OLED TVs, but right now, the 55-inch model costs about $5,000 compared to a little over $1,000 paid by hoteliers on average. No hotel operator can justify that, but 18 to 24 months out... “It’s exciting because it will mean renewed interest in in-room televisions.”

GuEST-TEk “Hotel chains are taking the time to look and listen to their guests. Casting means the guest no longer wants to be controlled by the hotel saying they can have certain movies or TV channels. They want to go where they want to go,” says Derrick Brian, vice-president of product strategy for Guest-Tek. “Marriott now has guest room entertainment systems with casting, so guests can get Netflix or YouTube. “Hotels have to upgrade their bandwidth to the latest standards for entertainment and HSIA and have infrastructure to support the future.”

Calgary Marriott Downtown mobile key sends guests straight to their rooms CALGARY — Checking into and accessing your guest room is even faster and easier for Marriott Rewards members at the Calgary Marriott Downtown, thanks to the launch of the new mobile key app. Using mobile technology, smartphones now act as their room key, allowing guests to bypass the front desk and go straight to their rooms. “The mobile key is an exciting innovation that we’re very pleased to offer our Marriott Rewards members,” says hotel general manager, Joseph Clohessy. “For the past year we’ve focused on creating a space that provides guests with a luxurious and rewarding experience at our completely renovated hotel. The mobile key is a feature that provides them with an ease of entry unlike other hotels.” Mobile key will allow Marriott Rewards members to use their mobile devices as a key to access their guest rooms as well as common areas, including the MClub Lounge, fitness centre and pool.

How does the mobile key work? Easy guest room access in five simple steps: 1) Guest completes mobile check-in, submits arrival time and receives room ready notification via the Marriott mobile app. 2) Guests must use a Passcode or Touch ID (iOS) to access room information. 3) Guest is now allowed to skip the front desk and download the mobile key. 4) Guest receives mobile key and follows the instructions to unlock the door. 5) Guest conveniently enters their unlocked room. The mobile key is available via the Marri-

ott mobile app on Apple iPhone 4s or above. Guests must use mobile check-in in order to use mobile key. To support multiple guests in one room, it is possible to have mobile keys on up to six devices, provided these guests log into the same Marriott Rewards account through the Marriott mobile app.

Following a multimillion-dollar renovation, the Calgary Marriott Downtown Hotel affords business and leisure travellers a chic welcome to Alberta. The upscale hotel offers guests custom duvets; 48-inch, flat-screen televisions; highspeed Internet access and dramatic views of the city and the Canadian Rockies.

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PEOPLE

Morgan Martin, associate, Dolden Wallace Folick.

Adele Larkin, general manager, Nootka Marine Adventures. Law firm Dolden Wallace Folick announced that Morgan Martin has joined the Toronto office as an associate. Martin’s hospitality experience includes acting as preferred counsel to one of Toronto’s largest entertainment lifestyle companies, defending claims arising from the service of alcohol, forcible ejection, interior/exterior maintenance, and occupiers’ liability. Over the course of his career, he has defended hundreds of claims against the largest clubs and the smallest pubs on behalf of both domestic insurers and the London Market Insurers. Hyatt Hotels Corp. has named Patrick Grismer chief financial of-

Patrick Grismer, CFO, Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Nathalie Corredor, SVP corporate strategy, Hilton. ficer, reporting to Mark Hoplamazian, president and CEO, effective March 14. Grismer joins Hyatt from his post as chief financial officer at YUM! Brands, where he previously held a number of roles, including chief planning and control officer and chief financial officer. He also worked as vice-president, business planning and development for The Disneyland Resort and chief financial officer for the Disney Vacation Club. OPUS Hotel Vancouver has appointed Christopher McFadden as the new wine director of the hotel’s La Pentola restaurant. A member of CAPS (Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers), McFadden

Christopher McFadden, wine director, La Pentola, Opus.

Stephen Ehrhardt, chair, IHG Owners Association for 2016. brings 16 years of restaurant experience to La Pentola. McFadden has spent the past four and half years with Hy’s of Canada Steakhouses in Vancouver (Hy’s Encore & Gotham) as sommelier and restaurant manager. Victoria Behune, president and CEO of OTEC job grant training supplier, has announced key staffing changes. Wendy Paradis has been promoted to senior vice-president. Paradis joined OTEC in 2007 and leads a team dedicated to helping clients achieve outstanding customer service and leadership results through the strategic pursuit of human resource

and training initiatives. Adam Morrison has been promoted to vice-president, projects and partnerships. Since joining OTEC in 2008, Morrison has led OTEC’s workforce development projects such as the national Ready-to-Work network of training projects. Since joining the OTEC team one year ago, Janet Morrison has led the design and development of OTEC’s new leadership series of workshops LX – Leadership Xelerator, and has been promoted to director, learning and leadership excellence. Paula Lanza has been promoted to marketing, communications and technology project manager. Lanza is responsible for managing OTEC’s marketing and branding activities. Ava-Dawn Mair rejoins following maternity leave as OTEC’s learning and development specialist. Fishing resort operator Nootka Marine Adventures recently announced the appointment of Adele Larkin to the position of general manager. In her new capacity, Larkin will oversee Moutcha Bay Resort, Nootka Sound Resort and Newton Cove Resort on Vancouver Island, B.C. A native of Ontario with over 20 years of hospitality experience in B.C., Larkin’s background spans positions with the Whistler Lodging Company, Sundial Boutique Hotel in Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb Mountain, Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort in Parksville and Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet. Hilton Worldwide announced on Jan. 22 that Nathalie Corredor has joined the company as senior vicepresident, corporate strategy, based at its global headquarters here. Prior to joining Hilton, Corredor spent much of her career working in Sili-

con Valley, most recently at Google as global head of vertical search ad development and sales. Before Google, Corredor was an engagement manager at McKinsey & Company, supporting strategy development for several global clients, including Hilton Worldwide. The IHG Owners Association, which represents InterContinental Hotels Group franchise hotel owners worldwide, has announced that Steve Ehrhardt is the new chair of its board of directors for 2016. Ehrhardt owns and operates Ehrhardt Properties and SJS Hospitality, operating 11 hotels in Missouri and Oklahoma, and is part of a family business that includes a portfolio of 27 hotels. Included in this mix are many hotel companies and three Intercontinental Hotel Group brands: Candlewood Suites, Holiday Inn Express and a Hotel Indigo under development. Mickael Damelincourt has been named managing director of the Trump International Hotel, Washington D.C., set to open in September. Damelincourt has been with Trump Hotels since 2007. He helped open the Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto in 2012 as GM. Prior to that, he was the executive assistant manager of Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago. Alexandre Audet is the new general manager of the Quality Inn & Suites Val D’Or, Que. Audet initially joined the hotel team in 2011 as assistant manager. At that time, he helped establish the high standards that have made the hotel an awardwinning property. Audet was named Quebec’s Upcoming Tourism Leader at Quebec’s Provincial Tourism Gala Grands Prix du Tourisme Québécois in 2013.

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American Metalcraft’s Melamine Naturals Collection serving boards look like wood but are actually durable, washable, stain and oilresistant melamine. Rustic Wood and Acacia boards are available in three sizes: 14-inch diameter, 21 5/8-inch diameter and an oval shape 25.5 inches long x 10.25 inches wide. Both styles feature round feet that lift boards 1 inch off the table for convenient serving and clearing. www.amnow.com


OPENINGS, SALES AND RENOS Holiday Inn Express opens in St. John’s, N.L. ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The Holiday Inn Express & Suites St. John’s International Airport opened its doors on Feb. 11. Managed by Maryland-based Urgo Hotels Canada and owned by MP LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, the hotel features 120 guestrooms (including suites) over five floors. Each room is equipped with a smart TV that includes preloaded apps such as Netflix, Facebook and YouTube. Other hotel features include Wi-Fi in all guestrooms, meeting rooms and lobby; an indoor pool and fitness centre; business centre; and 1,800 square feet of event space with capacity for 115 people in the largest room. Helming the hotel is general manager Greg Ivany. As the latest addition to the global Holiday Inn Express portfolio, the hotel offers a modern interior inspired by local artists and the city’s distinct bright hues. Guestroom walls, for example, are adorned with custom artwork by St. John’s-born James Miller. “We are delighted to continue to expand the growing network of Holiday Inn Express hotels in Canada’s Northeast coast and are especially pleased to have Greg Ivany leading the hotel opening,” said Serge Primeau, vice-president of operations and development at Urgo Hotels Canada. The ownership entity is a partnership between the Penney Group, led by Gail Penney, and Regal Realty, led by Bill Mahoney, both of whom are local businesspeople

Chelsea parent company to open three U.S. hotels in 2018/19 HONG KONG — Langham Hotels & Resorts, the marquee luxury brand of Hong Kongbased Langham Hospitality Group, announced on Jan. 26 that it will expand its presence in the U.S. with three new hotels, Langham Place, Wade Park, in Frisco, Texas; Langham Place, San Francisco; and The Langham, Bishop’s Lodge, Santa Fe, NM. Slated to open in 2018/19, all three hotels will offer destination restaurants and bars, fullservice spas and upscale accommodations. Langham Place, Wade Park will open in early 2018 as part of the Wade Park development, a $1.6 billion, 175-acre project created by Thomas Land & Development. The hotel will feature 35 floors, including 25 hotel floors and 10 floors of residences; 250 guestrooms, includ-

Langham Wade Park, day view.

ing several one- and two-bedroom suites and two 2,906-square-foot presidential suites; and more than 25,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. Langham Place, San Francisco will be part of the $4.5 billion Transbay Transit Center Project, located at First and Mission Streets, encompassing 11 local and regional transit systems. Langham Hotels and Resorts will bring a full-service luxury hotel to the development in 2019. Formerly Bishop’s Lodge, owned by an affiliate of HRV Hotel Partners, The Langham, Bishop’s Lodge will re-open in spring 2018 after a multi-million dollar renovation. Located in the foothills of New Mexico’s Sangre de Cristo range of the Rocky Mountains, this historic property will be Langham Hotels and Resorts’ first resort in the U.S and will feature 317 acres, including private stables and trails for horseback riding. The renovation will include the demolition and re-modelling of the rooms and public areas at the property, as well as new construction that will expand the hotel to 139 guestrooms and suites.

Travelodge opens Ontario property, launching in Nova Scotia April 1 CALGARY — Travelodge Canada announced on Feb. 18 the opening of Thriftlodge Kingston, in Ontario and the upcoming launch of Travelodge Sydney, Nova Scotia. Opened in early February, Thriftlodge Kingston, formerly the Peachtree Inn, located near downtown Kingston on Princess Street, is owned by Tidan Inc. (general manager is Jennifer Hewitt). The pet-friendly property offers free continental breakfast, free Wi-Fi and free parking. All 74 guestrooms and suites feature in-room coffee, refrigerator and microwave and 32-inch flat-screen TVs. The hotel also offers meeting space accommodating 200 people. Opening April 1, the 117-room Travelodge Sydney, Nova Scotia, located at 480 Kings Road, is owned by Holloway Lodging (general manager is Gloria LeForte). Formerly a Days Inn, the property with a harbour view offers free breakfast, free Wi-Fi and free parking, as well as petfriendly rooms. Amenities include heated indoor swimming pool, hot tub, sauna and fitness and games room. Meeting space for up to 80 people is also available.

William Gray boutique property to open in Montreal in summer MONTREAL — The William Gray boutique hotel is slated to open this summer in Old Montreal, it was announced in early February. Located on St-Vincent, close to Place Jacques-Cartier and the Old Port, the property will offer 127 guestrooms and suites, more than 10,000 square feet of event space, 180-seat restaurant, rooftop terrace, luxury spa with outdoor pool, boutique and café. This new structure includes eight floors and incorporates two historic buildings. Introducing a new glass tower that sits atop the restored historic Maison Edward-William-Gray and Maison Cherrier, the hotel’s rooms and suites will feature local art, rich wood and floor-to-ceiling windows that will allow for natural light. Also outfitting rooms will be light-coloured floors

Holiday Inn Express. St. John’s, N.L. and walls, concrete ceilings, black metal light fixtures, white sheer curtains and espresso-hued furniture.

Sheraton Vancouver Airport unveils new ballroom RICHMOND, B.C. — Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel announced on Feb. 24 that it has debuted the Britannia Ballroom, the centerpiece of the newly built Hotel William Gray. Artist’s rendering: Jérôme Mireault, 18,000-square-foot confer- Colagene Clinique Créative. ence centre. Offering an additional 10,000 square feet of Located at 1251 Maritime Way, the Towneflexible meeting space, the ballroom is divisible Place Suites Ottawa Kanata operates as a Marinto three sections and features 19-ft. ceilings. In riott franchise, owned and managed by Silver addition, the new space features state-of the art Hotel Group of Mississauga, Ont., and completechnology, upgraded Wi-Fi, a new kitchen and ments the Fairfield Inn & Suites Ottawa Kanata contemporary décor, and can accommodate up opened in November 2015 by the same group. to 800 attendees. The first extended-stay hotel in Kanata, this With the addition, the hotel now offers property offers studio, one-bedroom and two40,000 square feet of meeting space. bedroom suites featuring kitchens fully equipped Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel features with stainless-steel appliances and granite coun390 guestrooms and amenities that include on- tertops, as well as separate living/working and site dining at Harold’s Bistro & Bar. sleeping areas. The hotel is pet-friendly (fees may apply) and also provides laundry facilities. The property is 25 minutes from Ottawa InTownePlace opens in Kanata, Ont. KANATA, ONT. — A 116-suite TownePlace ternational Airport and 15 minutes from downSuites by Marriott opened in Kanata, Ont., on town Ottawa, close to attractions such as Parliament Hill, Rideau Canal and ByWard Market. Feb. 11.

Colliers 2015 transactions: $450M plus TORONTO — Colliers International Hotels reported that it had completed 25 transactions representing more than $450 million in deal volume in 2015. In the province of Quebec, for instance, Colliers’ lodging transactions included the TRYP Hotel PUR (242 keys), in Quebec City; Hilton Garden Inn Montreal Airport (159 keys); and Delta Trois-Rivieres (261 keys). In Alberta, the company’s transaction activity included Delta Lodge at Kananaskis (412 keys), while in Nova Scotia, the company brokered a transaction at Holiday Inn Halifax Harbourfront (196 keys). B.C. transactions included the From left: TRYP Hotel PUR Quebec, The Westin Westin Grand Vancouver (207 keys). Prince and Courtyard by Marriott Toronto. Ontario transactions included The Westin Prince Toronto (395 keys); Courtyard by Marriott Toronto (575 keys); the Westin Bristol Place Toronto (288 keys); Radisson Suites Toronto Airport (216 keys); Radisson Toronto East (240 keys); and Hilton Garden Inn Niagara-on-the-Lake (118 keys). Colliers International Hotels is one of Canada’s most active hotel brokerage operations having been involved in 400-plus Canadian hotel and resort property transactions with an aggregate asset value of $8 billion.

March 2016 | 1 3


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

Icy warm feeling at Days Inn Cranbrook Before

By Colleen Isherwood CRANBROOK, B.C. — Every time he walks into the lobby of the Days Inn Cranbrook, Joe Komaric realizes how much he loves the 89-room hotel’s recent $2 million renovation. “We went for a mountain lodge kind of feel. It does have that, but it has an icy warm feeling — the colours are very soothing. They say that less is more and this is a prime example. You can clutter up a place with stuff or you can leave it clean and refreshed looking,” he said. After purchasing the property last year at the end of May, Mikaya Hotel Ventures Inc., a subsidiary of Stampeders Inn (1990) Inc., started right in on renovations, completing everything but the pool by the end of Joe Komaric. August. ‘The hotel was dated and neglected,” Komaric told CLN. The first two floors were built in 1969, while another two floors were added in the 1970s. “We redid the lobby, replaced the bathtubs on the third floor, moved the breakfast room into one banquet room, moved the fitness centre into another banquet room, painted the exterior, replaced the air conditioning and retiled the entire pool. We added new casegoods, linens and curtains. top of each other. If they need to work until We put in a fireplace and a big-screen TV 1 a.m., they will do it. Logan, my son, did in the lobby. We cleaned it up — gave it a the painting. “We work so well together. With renos, good update.” Komaric added that Robert Cowie of you’ve got control. If you’re building new, Hospitality Design provided the casegoods. you pass that control along to the general They closed the hotel for a few weeks contractor. We can make immediate deafter discovering asbestos in the ceiling of cisions — yes, let’s fix that or no, take it the lobby, but things were back up and run- apart.” The Days Inn used to have a bar, but, ning by the beginning of July. “I enjoy doing renovations rather than said Komaric, “we’re not in the business new builds,” Komaric said. “You rip walls of food and beverage. We stick to hotel apart and you either get a good surprise or rooms.” He adds that there is still leasable a bad surprise. We have a few guys we work space if someone wants to entertain the with, including P&B Tile, Jason Bujold idea of a restaurant. Cranbrook, a town of about 25,000 for construction, Kimberley Electric, and M&K Plumbing for the HVAC. It was such nestled in the East Kootenay area of B.C., a short time frame they were all working on gets a lot of rubber-tire traffic, but also has

an international airport that encourages some business travel. “We get a little bit of everything,” said Komaric. On the street side of the property, there are 40 rooms with king-sized beds — or almost half the hotel. “The rooms are smaller and we couldn’t fit two queen beds in the rooms,” said Komaric. “We put in a queen bed and a double sofa bed to give the customer some options. The business traveller who wants to relax now has a beautiful sofa. We provided 48-inch flat screens, fridges and microwaves, everything brand new.” Mikaya also owns Days Inn Cochrane, Alta., recently sold Days Inn Calgary Northwest, and has acquired Super 8, Strathmore, Alta.

April 4-5, 2016: Resorts of Ontario Conference and Trade Show, Casino Rama and Fern Resort, Orillia, Ont. Contact: Michelle Duff. Tel.: 705325-9115 or 800-363-7227. Email: michelle@resortsofontario.com

April 24-26, 2016: ApEx trade show, Cunard Centre, Halifax. Contact: Chuck Nervick. Tel. 416-512-8186, ext. 227. Fax: 416-512-8344. Email: Chuckn@mediaedge.ca. Website: apextradeshow.ca

Hotel & Hospitality Association Convention & Trade Show, Delta Bessborough, Saskatoon. Contact: Warren Nerby. Tel.: 306-522-1664, ext. 2. Fax: 306-525-1944. Email: Wnerby@sasktel. net. Website: skhha.com

April 17-19, 2016: Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association Convention and Tradeshow, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Contact: Jordan Mckay. Tel.: 780-436-6112, Email: Jmckay@ahla.ca. Website: ahla.ca/convention-and-tradeshow

April 27-29, 2016: Travel Gay Canada LGBT Tourism Conference. Delta Winnipeg Hotel. Contact: Colin Sines. Tel. 866 300-7556. Website: travelgaycanada.com

May 16-17, 2016: Canadian Hotel Investment Conference. Fairmont Royal York & Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Contact: Orie Berlasso. Tel.: 866-887-4453. Email: Orieberlasso@ bigpictureconference.ca. Website: hotelinvest.ca.

1 4 | Canadian Lodging News

Seven ways hoteliers can operate a more sustainable property while achieving ROI.

After

COMING EVENTS

May 12-13, 2016: Saskatchewan

TOP 7 LIST

Green Key Global has outlined the following measures that can give hoteliers the keys to success while going green. 1. Connect with your suppliers. Reduce excess packaging by communicating your environmental goals to suppliers. 2. Expand recycling programs. Work with your waste management company to determine what kind of recycling programs are available. 3. Participate in energy saving programs. Learn about energy savings programs in your community. 4. Develop a maintenance program. Ensure all is running smoothly, e.g., no leaking taps or faucets and installing timers on lighting. 5. Inform and engage employees. A team that shares your commitment ensures your success. 6. Listen to consumer demand. An increasing number of travellers sees value in hotels working to reduce their environmental impact. 7. Join Green Key Global. Participating in an environmental certification program assists hoteliers with meeting the immediate expectations of guests while paving the way for long-term savings. For information go to www.greenkeyglobal.com.


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WHY I CHOOSE WYNDHAM HOTEL GROUP TO BE MY PARTNER “My relationship with Wyndham Hotel Group began in 1992 with a single Super 8 in Calgary. Since then we have opened more than 150 Super 8 hotels and have recently added Microtel to our portfolio. We worked together to develop a prototype that was good for Canada, and Wyndham Hotel Group was very receptive to our input. Throughout this partnership they have been consistent, supportive and understanding of our goals. With plans to open 75 more Microtels in Canada over the next 25 years, our future is firmly with Wyndham Hotel Group.”

Marc Staniloff President and CEO Superior Lodging Corp. Calgary, Canada

For further information call (888) 223-4680 or visit us at www.whgdevelopment.com This is not an offer. Federal and certain state laws regulate the offer and sale of franchises. An offer will only be made in compliance with those laws and regulations, which may require we provide you with a Franchise Disclosure Document, a copy of which can be obtained by contacting Wyndham Hotel Group at 22 Sylvan Way, Parsippany, NJ 07054. All hotels are independently owned and operated with the exception of certain hotels managed or owned by an affiliate of the company. © 2016 Wyndham Hotel Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Canadian Lodging News - March 2016  

Canadian Lodging News - March 2016  

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