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LodgingNews May 2016 | Vol. 13 | No. 4





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Applause for Clique Hotels

From left: Wayne Rothermel, Manni Purewal and Farra Gillis of Clique Hotels.

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CALGARY — As Wayne Rothermel drives guests from Calgary airport, he tells them what to expect when they reach the nearby Hotel Clique or its recently added, adjoining sister hotel, Applause. “When I tell them the hotels are locally owned, they really get excited. I tell them what’s in the hotel, what’s available in the rooms. I help them visualize what they’re coming to — it’s so much nicer than most hotels,” he said. “This place represents customer service, from housekeeping to the front counter to the shuttle service, everyone puts in that extra effort,” he added. “I hope in 20 years, it’s still exactly the same.”

For many guests, the shuttle is their first contact with Hotel Clique, which opened in March, 2015 and Applause Hotel, which opened last October, another wing of the same building, a little more trendy and a bit more upscale. The conjoined hotels are built on property leased from the Calgary airport by owners Clique Hotels. They are on the northwest side of the airport, where hotels have sprouted like mushrooms ever since direct access to the south side hotels was blocked with the closure of Barlow Trail. Inside the joint lobby, guests are greeted by glittering silver furniture and a coffee table that

looks like a repurposed airplane wing. Carts, like those at the airport, are available to help guests take their luggage to their rooms. Manni Purewal, who often works the front desk, started working hotel front desks at age 18, right out of high school. “I used to be a scared little mouse, when I first started working at the front desk,” she said, “and I couldn’t say a sentence that didn’t contain ‘wicked’ or ‘cool’. My experience [with Clique Hotels] has helped me grow more professional and better able to talk to strangers. Even with difficult customers, I am learning how to manage them and growing every second. I’ve learned to greet them with kindness and a big smile, and I can’t see myself doing anything else.” In an area of Calgary that now includes a Hilton campus, a Westin conference centre under construction across the way, two Wyndhams, a Best Western, a Candlewood Suites and more, Clique Hotels has set out to create a difference through its decor, amenities and customer service. The 110-room Hotel Clique and the 102room Applause share two rooftop hot tubs with views of downtown Calgary and the mountains beyond, a fitness centre, free parking, the free 24-hour shuttle, free Wi-Fi and Tonic Kitchen & Bar, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The guestrooms are basically the same size and configuration, with features such as a padded bench ideal for suitcases, two work spaces, an in-room fridge, a funky, curved lounge chair in the king rooms and an under-the bed lighting package that can change colours, create a strobe effect, or be shut off completely for guests wanting a completely darkened room. Applause is aimed at the executive V.I.P., with more upscale amenities, including complimentary minibar snacks and beverages, a drink Continued on page 3

ahLa MeetS at LaKe LOUiSe sPeCIAl tWo-PAGe rePort


taLKing MiLLenniaL tO attRaCt BOOKingS


RePOSitiOning deltA GrAnd oKAnAGAn


heating and aiR COnditiOning trends for hotels


Recent conversion: Days Inn - Vermilion

CONVERSION SUCCESS STARTS HERE. Ready for a change? Our Canadian-based support team is here to help you every step of the way. 416.966.8387

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 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.

Briefs WestJet introduces robotic food dispenser named RALFH CALGARY — WestJet is replacing standardissue food and beverage carts with the Robotic Automated Light Food Handler (RALFH), it was announced April 1. RALFH provides guest service utilizing a powerful memory, a facialrecognition camera and an audio conveyance system that allows it to interact with guests to deliver food and beverage orders in an efficient and personalized manner. “We have simply evolved and reinvented the flight attendant, resulting in the most beautiful and powerful hi-tech food dispenser in the world,” said Richard Bartrem, vice-president, marketing communications in a release. “Anyone who wants to order a coke, a sandwich or even just a bottle of water is going to love RALFH.” Editor’s Note: It was an April Fools joke!

Analytics reveal impact of guest sentiment on hotel reviews Kevin Forget of OTMPC outlined ways in which properties can maximize the marketing and advertising bang for their buck.

Online insights delivered at ROO 2016 By Don Douloff, Assistant Editor ORILLIA, Ont. — Adopting the theme ‘connect to your network,’ the Resorts of Ontario (ROO) spring conference delivered key insights on how properties can leverage the power of online, during an action-packed two days April 4-5 at Fern Resort and Casino Rama. Outlining how to take advantage of new technology — specifically, live interactive video broadcasting via the Periscope smart phone app and Facebook Live — were Gord Bell, of Beauview Cottage Resort, and Caroline Elmhirst, of Elmhirst’s Resort. “The interactive nature of social video is game-changing because viewers can participate,” said Bell, who, since May 2015, has been hosting, on his cell phone, one daily Periscope session of about 15 minutes, discussing, for example, tourist activities in the area surrounding his resort. Elmhirst video-streams behind-the-scenes tours of the resort’s kitchen or tours of the property’s shoreline. Periscope was introduced in April 2015 for iPhone and Android. Bell observed that customers buy from people and businesses they know, like and trust,

so live video streaming, which lets hosts connect directly with potential customers, quickly builds that trust. He also noted that social video streaming doesn’t replace commercially produced video, but, rather, “offers another dimension.” Key, he said, is for properties to “choose their hosts/broadcasters carefully, since they become the de facto face of your brand.” Steve Roome, of First Page SEO, outlined how to leverage social media by creating relatable, shareable content allowing people to connect with resorts’ messages. It’s important, he said, to create content that is business-focused and consistent, and that people will want to share. It’s also crucial to react quickly, and with empathy, to negative online posts and reviews. Discussing ways to market on a shoestring, a panel led by Julia Holliday, Suzanne Rubinstein and Kevin Forget, all of OTMPC, outlined ways in which properties can maximize the marketing and advertising bang for their buck. For example, roadside travel information centres display properties’ brochures and other information; and offer attraction and event tickets and gift certificates, media relations and specialized broadcast programs, and accom-

modation, reservation and referral programs. Rounding out the conference was Monday afternoon’s trade show, held at Casino Rama, where some 40 suppliers displayed their goods and services. Preceding that was a series of 15-minute supplier roundtables. Monday night, Fern Resort hosted the President’s Dinner, which took a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party theme, complete with appropriately surreal and whimsical headgear and an elaborate scavenger hunt. Also this year, members of the Federation of Ontario Bed & Breakfast Accommodation (FOBBA) attended the conference, as part of the formal marketing/administrative alliance between that organization and ROO announced in April, 2015. Resorts of Ontario announced that Doug Rolling was acclaimed to a one-year extension of his term as president of the preferred suppliers board (and will remain on the ROO board for another year). Mark Downing continues as ROO president as part of his two-year term. New to ROO’s board are Jo-anne Snyder, of Beachwood Resort, and FOBBA representative Doug Frost, of Oro-Medonte, Ont.

Enthusiastic customer service pays off Continued from page 1 voucher for Tonic, premium movies, slippers, a loofah and a Bosch Tassimo cappuccino maker, said Farra Gillis, Clique Hotels’ marketing manager. “Airport business is a huge target market, with leisure guests using our Park, Stay and Fly for seven- or 14-day packages. We’re aggressively targeting weddings and staycations in Calgary, because we know Albertans are staying home because of the economy.” For newlyweds, staycationers and others, Hotel Clique offers three theme rooms. Taboo is the sensuous boudoir, complete with shocking pink couch, round bed and dancing pole. Vinyl has vinyl records and record player, pictures of

Pink Floyd and The Beatles, and a minibar that looks like a jukebox. The Corner Pocket suite has a pool table, fireplace and huge televisions. Rate per night is $399 for the Vinyl and Corner Pocket suites and $499 for Taboo. Clique Hotels, formerly Summit Resort Management has been around since 1997 Owner Jim Muir was a pioneer in the northof-the-airport movement, starting with the Acclaim Hotel, which has since been sold. “We’re not a standard brand and we’re unique with our design,” said Gillis. “We’re cool, funky and different, and people talk about those wow factors.” It’s no accident that employees like Rothermel and Purewal greet guests so enthusiastically. “We test all our employees to make sure

they are responding to guests — that they say hello when they make eye contact, or smile and nod.”

Farra Gillis by the rooftop hot tub.

ITHACA, NY — Hotel guests often post a review of their stay along with a numerical rating of the hotel, but a new study from the Center for Hospitality Research finds that the comments and the ratings don’t always match up. Instead, negative comments have a heavier weight on the guests’ ratings than positive comments, a finding that points to the importance of consistency in hotel service. The research found that negative reviews tended to be relatively long and focused tightly on a limited number of hotel attributes. In particular, unhappy guests focused on elements relating to the value provided by the hotel and its transactions — that is, the mechanics of the stay. On the other hand, guests who wrote relatively briefer reviews that took a wider view of their hotel stay generally assigned higher ratings.

IHG and Coca-Cola bring back Share Forever promotion ATLANTA — IHG and The Coca-Cola Company announced on April 12 that they are bringing back sharable rewards with their second annual Share Forever promotion. Americas-based IHG Rewards Club members who register for Share Forever, and stay at an IHG property from May 1 through Sept. 5, 2016, can earn at least 65,000 bonus rewards points. Plus, they may earn an additional free night to share with someone else, redeemable at any IHG hotel in the Americas. Members earn more points and rewards for every additional night stayed, and at 15 nights, IHG Rewards Club members earn a free night to share with someone else.

Ekies Resort in Greece introduces eco-luxury suites BERLIN — Ekies All Senses Resort announced in late March that it is introducing Pine and Evergreen suites. Set amid the lush greenery of the coastal hotel in Halkidiki, Greece, the 10 eco-luxury suites pay homage to the surrounding woodland through the use of natural, raw materials and a fluid design that links the open-plan living space, private garden, plunge pool and forest path. The exterior of each suite has been crafted to blend seamlessly with the landscape, while the handlaid herringbone stone flooring is a nod to traditional Greek artisanship.

May 2016 | 3



Through Chinese travellers’ eyes At the Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association conference last month, I sat beside Li Baodong, a Chinese journalist from Xinhua, the country’s largest news agency, who was covering the conference and travelling throughout Alberta. After talking to him, and listening to Grace Xin of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, many of my preconceived notions of what constitutes a great travel experience went flying out the window. Here in Canada, our beautiful, iconic railway hotels are considered old. But now I understand that from a Chinese, and quite likely European, point of view, history is measured in thousands of years, not mere hundreds. The Zhou Dynasty is old; just as the Roman Colosseum is old. Banff Springs and Chateau Lake Louise hotels are mere youngsters. It’s no wonder Canadian museums aren’t high on the list of Chinese travellers’ “must do” lists. We talked about the Rockies, and while

my breakfast companion agreed that they are spectacular, he said they had mountains just as magnificent in Tibet. Of course they do! The Himalayan mountains are the highest in the world! He said that Tibet is becoming a popular destination for Chinese tourists. In fact there is a highspeed railway that brings tourists from Beijing to Tibet for the reasonable fee of several hundred dollars. When compared with Via Rail’s Canadian train, it’s certainly a deal! There’s only one problem — the train is booked solid way ahead of time. In her conference session on welcoming Chinese travellers, Xin stressed the size and diversity of mainland China. “There are 31 provinces, with a huge population, regional cultures, different dialects and cuisines,” she said. “It’s not like here, where I can go from Ottawa to Alberta and restaurant menus are the same.” In China, there has been a one-party policy and a national and business culture that has evolved over the past 60 years. “If Ottawa wants to attract the MICE [meetings, incentives, conferencing and ex-

hibitions] market, they will have to emphasize that Ottawa is a government town with government resources — not the leisure and entertainment part,” she said. “Do it yourself is not in the culture,” said Xin, adding that this is why neither IKEA nor campgrounds are popular with Chinese tourists. In China, 95 per cent of the people are Han national — they think the West should be all white and later realize that’s not so. “Face is the most difficult feature of Chinese culture to understand,” said Xin. “People don’t want to lose face. You never say ‘no’ directly — you have to be creative.” There are many things that Chinese tourists value about our country. Canada’s food safety system is known as one of the world’s best. And they brag about our air quality. One tip for hotels offering breakfast to Chinese travellers: learn how to make Tea Eggs. They’re easy to make: just cook eggs in a pot with tea leaves, water and soy sauce. And make sure you sell specials, as Chinese travellers love a good deal! — Colleen Isherwood, Editor


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Talking millennial to attract bookings By Joe Pooley Synthesizers, big hair, legwarmers: these weren’t the only unforgettable things to come out of the 80s and early 90s. The decade also produced babies that have grown up to be known as the millennial generation. These tech-savvy young people have been immersed in web technology from the time they were old enough to type. Today 90 per cent of millennials go online every day. So if your hotel is looking to target millennials in earnest, it’s no secret where to find them. But what’s the best approach? From a millennial himself — and a hotel digital marketing expert by trade — here are a few tips.

Craft Your Social Media Presence Carefully Sixty-two per cent of millennials say that they are more likely to be loyal to brands that engage with them on social media. But simply being active on these platforms isn’t always enough. Millennials are social media snobs. They can sniff out the un-savvy among us like a shark to blood. So it’s important to carefully craft your approach to social media. Stay away from plugs and promotions on social media and provide your audience with content that’s interesting and entertaining. One way to do this is to in-

4 | Canadian Lodging News

centivize your guests to share photos and videos of their trip with you so that you can, in turn, share their ‘stories’ on your social media channels. Social media loves a good story, and your hotel is crawling with them. When it comes to engaging directly with people on your social media channels through comments and messages, avoid overly professional or stuffy language and try to relate in a lighthearted, conversational tone. (Canned phrases like “Thanks for your inquiry” should be a no-go).

Be Mobile Friendly Mobile ecommerce is the future for all of us. But millennials are early adopters, of course, so it’s no surprise most of them are booking hotels exclusively on their mobile devices. Skift reports that 52 per cent of millennial business travellers book on their mobile devices. This can be contrasted with boomers, who, according to the AARP are “more likely to book in advance and are going hotels direct to book.” How can you capitalize? Most importantly, build a website geared to mobile. Be aware that having a separate ‘mobile’ version of your hotel website is a thing of the past. Mobile-friendly websites of today are designed using responsive coding, meaning that the website can adjust proportionally to display on any size of screen, from the smallest smartphone to the biggest desktop monitor.

Wear Your Social Conscience on Your Sleeve A recent Forbes survey reports that 75 per cent of millennials say that it’s “important that a company gives back to society instead of just making a profit.” Having a social conscience doesn’t mean you need to make huge donations to local charities or have your GM photographed rescuing orphaned kittens. It can take other forms like, for example, sharing on social media the story of an employee who overcame hardship to achieve success. Or taking small measures to reduce your hotel’s environmental impact. If you are active in the community or have implemented eco-friendly policies, add a page to your website that details these activities. Be careful, however, to not appear too desperate or disingenuous with your attempts to display this social conscience. If, for example, it’s a bald-faced ploy to cash in on the ‘sustainability’ craze, millennials can sense it. And, after all, authenticity is important to these folks: the same Forbes survey says “43 per cent of millennials rank authenticity over content.” Be authentic, be human, and have the strongest digital presence you can. These are the things that are most important to the millennial demographic. Joe Pooley is senior communications strategist at Digital Hospitality where he helps hoteliers make sense of Internet marketing. Read more of his work at

VITO CURALLI Hilton Worldwide 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 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. 4 · MAy 2016 Canadian Lodging News ( 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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$9 million repositioning for Delta Grand Okanagan

OAK + CRU restaurant rendering for Delta Grand Okanagan. By Don Douloff, Assistant Editor KELOWNA, B.C. — An ambitious $9.4 million construction project is in the process of dramatically modernizing Delta Grand Okanagan Resort and Conference Centre’s entranceway, lobby, restaurant and deck. “We see a fantastic opportunity to position the resort at a higher level on a national scale and to drive the destination to a higher level,” Martin Stitt, area vice-president, Canada, Marriott Hotels of Canada, told CLN. “This isn’t a renovation. It’s a repositioning.” Featuring 392 guestrooms, villas and suites,

the property opened in 1992 and in 2013 underwent a renovation that refreshed all guestrooms, suites, corridors and the Club Lounge. Begun last December, and on track (at the time of writing) to finish in June, the 2016 project will reconfigure exterior signage and redo the front water-fountain feature in a “Mission-style feel, to make it more of an aesthetic draw.” The interior entranceway will feature a more elegant, upscale ambience thanks to plenty of wood (such as oak) and will offer views into the redone restaurant. Retractable picture windows, looking out onto Okanagan Lake, will provide access to the patio that’s being rebuilt as part of

the renovation. Hanging 20 ft. over the lobby will be a steel, made-in-Kelowna chandelier featuring two rings, 7 ft. and 12 ft. in diameter and outfitted with 19 hanging lanterns. Communal lobby tables will, in the morning and afternoon, host guests availing themselves of the grab-and-go outlet. “The lobby won’t just be a place to walk through. It will be a part of the hotel experience,” said Stitt. Seamlessly integrating that experience, the lobby, lounge and restaurant will all flow together. The reimagined restaurant, OAK + CRU Social Kitchen and Wine Bar, located on the waterfront

with panoramic lake views, will feature 263 seats, including 150 outdoor patio seats and 72 lounge seats, and boast a new, engaging, upper-casual look — highlighted by ample oak throughout — created by designer mackaywong. The menu, overseen by executive chef Iain Rennie, will draw inspiration from the bounty of the Okanagan Valley’s 300-plus wineries and profusion of farms, purveyors and artisans. Signature menu items will include smoked brisket with compressed pear, cambozola blue cheese, hoisin tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella; marsala prawn flatbread with goat cheese, cilantro, marsala sauce and fresh mozzarella; and cast iron-seared ribeye steak. Fronting the kitchen will be a 10,000-pound Wood Stone oven producing breakfast items, roasted meats and even desserts such as crème brulee, said Stitt. As its name implies, the restaurant and wine bar are intended to be the lobby’s social, interactive hub. Besides featuring 300 Okanagan labels, the wine bar will offer a tasting program and communal table for up to 10 people. Complementing the wines will be a cocktail program, overseen by food and beverage manager James Addington, featuring a full slate of drinks, many bourbon-based, as well as a selection of nonalcoholic drinks served in the morning. Spilling out from the restaurant will be the rebuilt deck, extending into the lagoon and outfitted with propane heaters, firepits and a retractable awning covering a sizeable portion of the terrace.

Grand opening for first Delta outside of Canada

Paul Cahill.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Delta Hotels and Resorts held a splashy event on April 21 to officially launch the Delta Orlando Lake Buena Vista, the first Delta branded hotel to open outside Canada in recent memory and the first step in the banner’s ambitious global expansion plans. To that end, there are 80 Delta hotels in the U.S. pipeline, targeting new builds and conversions in primary, secondary and tertiary markets; 12 hotels in the Asian pipeline, including three for Shanghai, China; and 12 properties in the Canadian pipeline, targeting new builds and conversions, Paul Cahill, global brand leader, Delta Hotels & Resorts, and area vice-president of operations, Canada, Marriott Hotels of Canada, told a briefing of Canadian media at the launch event. Since Canada is a tourism “feeder market” to Orlando, it made sense for Delta to locate a

D.J. Rama of JHM Hotels cuts the ribbon at the Delta Orlando Lake Buena Vista. property in that market, said Cahill. To entice guests to visit, the property is offering discounts of 20 per cent to 30 per cent to Marriott Rewards members and previous Delta Privilege members. A conversion of an independent property, and opened by Marriott International in partnership with JHM Hotels, Delta Orlando Buena Vista was a complete rebuild, and features 241 guestrooms; an outdoor swimming pool that will soon feature a kids’ splash zone complete with pirate ship; an outdoor firepit; a kids’ game room; Community Table room offering daily hot and cold breakfast buffet; Peet’s Coffee & Tea and Grab-N-Go Deli, and D-Flats restaurant, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Other amenities include 1,035 square feet of meeting space and a fitness centre. The hotel is a member of the Disney Good

Neighbor Hotel program and offers complimentary daily transportation to Epcot Center, at Walt Disney World. The launch press conference unveiled a new, more contemporary and streamlined Delta logo as part of the integration of the brand into the Marriott lineup. Also during the press conference, to celebrate the Delta launch, JHM Hotels presented a $5,000 check to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. In addition, the Delta team will volunteer their time and donate room nights to Second Harvest. Following the ribbon cutting, guests adjourned to the Delta Orlando’s lobby to enjoy a selection of cocktails and craft beers and nibble on a selection of foods displayed at a raw seafood bar, a poutine bar and a cheese and charcuterie bar.

The kids’ game room at Delta Orlando Lake Buena Vista.

May 2016 | 5

the following list of canada’s largest hotels and the largest umbrella brands by number of hotels was compiled using data gathered by canadian lodging News for, our directory of hotel and restaurant chains, and for the brands Report in the april issue. the information was gathered during march and april 2016.





chelsea Hotel locatioN: Toronto, ON Rooms: 1,590

sheraton centre


Fallsview Hilton


fairmont Royal York

locatioN: Toronto, ON Rooms: 1,377

No. Name of Hotel


fairmont Queen elizabeth

locatioN: Toronto, ON Rooms: 1,365

locatioN Rooms 1,000


Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown

Westin Harbour Castle

Toronto, ON



Embassy Suites


Fairmont Banff Springs

Banff, AB



Hilton Suites Toronto Markham


Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre

Vancouver, BC



Fairmont Waterfront Hotel


Sheraton on the Falls

Niagara Falls, ON




Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

Quebec City, QC



Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain

Montreal, QC


Hilton Toronto


Hilton Quebec


Delta Toronto Downtown


Fairmont Hotel Vancouver


Fairmont Chateau Whistler


Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

6 | Canadian Lodging News

locatioN Rooms Toronto, ON


Niagara Falls, ON


Markham, ON


Vancouver, BC


Marriott Ottawa

Ottawa, ON



The Fairmont Empress

Victoria, BC




Sheraton Gateway

Toronto Airport, ON


Toronto, ON



Sheraton Montreal Airport

Montreal Airport, QC


Quebec City, QC



Marriott Toronto Eaton Centre

Toronto, ON


Toronto, ON



International Plaza Hotel

Toronto Airport, ON


Vancouver, BC



Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

Jasper, AB


Whistler, BC



Vancouver Marriott Pinnacle

Vancouver, BC


Lake Louise, AB



Marriott Fallsview

Niagara Falls, ON




Rooms: 1,037

No. Name of Hotel

Niagara Falls, ON


locatioN: Montreal, QC



No. Name of UmbRella bRaND



1. Wyndham



2. Choice



3. Best Western



4. IHG



5. Marriott



6. Hilton



7. Starwood



8. Vantage



9. Carlson Rezidor



10. Fairmont



Killarney Lodge reaps dividends from $18 million reno KILLARNEY, Ont. — Killarney Mountain Lodge is well into Phase 2 of an ambitious, three-phase $18 million renovation that is substantially improving the property’s amenities and is already paying dividends. After year one of the renovation, sales have increased by 30 per cent, said general manager Kelly McAree. “We expect 60 per cent growth in 2016 and another 50 per cent in 2017.” Completed in 2015, Phase 1 renovations saw construction of a new marina; fully renovated the Carousel Bar and Pilot House Chalet; added a new coffee house and bakery; and installed new beds in all guestrooms at the 52-acre property that opened in 1947 on Georgian Bay’s north shore, in Central Ontario. Spurring the refurbishment was the January 2015 purchase of the property by Holden Rhodes, of London, Ont. Phase 2, underway this year, will expand the marina. More significantly, the second phase will add 28 new guestrooms (studio suites with one king or two queens) featuring large bathrooms, vaulted ceilings and air conditioning, said McAree. Nine rooms face the water. This year’s reno, scheduled to be completed in June, will also build a new great room, complete with 30 ft. ceiling, wood beams and bar, augmented by a patio. Also receiving an upgrade is the property’s dining room. First up is expansion of the restaurant space, said McAree, who joined the property in January 2015 and previously managed hotels on Salt Spring Island, B.C., and in Kelowna, B.C. Key to freeing up that extra space was the removal of the front desk, previously located in the dining room and relocated next to the great room. In addition, the refurbishment will install, in the restaurant, new lighting; new windows, on the water-facing side; refinish the floors in gleaming hardwood; and increase seating capacity by 25 per cent, to 120 seats, including those at the waterside barbecue. But the biggest change is taking place on the plate, courtesy of executive chef Guy Bedard, who joined the property in April 2015. Bedard is tweaking the menu, with the aim of “refining it more,” said McAree. Currently built on a style McAree describes as Canadian cottage cuisine, the menu will evolve to include more game, such as venison and buffalo, and will also reflect a more hands-on, DIY philosophy. “We will move toward growing our own produce, such as root vegetables like potatoes and carrots, onsite,” said McAree. To that end, the property has designated one-eighth of an acre to host the veggies, which will augment the herbs and edible flowers already harvested on-property. Also on the radar is an expanded kitchen, slated d for Phase 3 of the lodge’s renovations, which will involve gutting, rebuilding, expanding and better equipping the space to accommodate the expected increase in capacity due to the influx of leisure guests and the growing events and groups business. “We’ve more than doubled our groups already from last year.” This year’s renovation will also add new executive offices; new staff accommodations in a two-storey building (this year’s plans call for the property to add 40 staff, bringing the employee complement to 85); new management accommodations (eight units in all, including a new onsite home for McAree expected to be completed by Christmas); a new vehicle maintenance shop; and a new laundry facility. Phase 3, slated to begin by early November and be completed by May 2017, will also add 30 more guestrooms (all luxury suites), bringing the total to 90. McAree added that the resort is “working towards operating year round,” and to that end, will remain seasonal until 2018. “We recognize the demand and want to take advantage of snowmobilers, hunters and corporate retreats during the winter season.”

Carousel Bar exterior.

Pilot House living room.


Broad-Midscale New Construction Boutique Prototype Innovative • Fresh • Flexible

Building Success • Cost effective, suit to site build strategy • Ideal for secondary downtown and urban markets, business parks and highway locations • Flexible construction for various sites

Prototype • Minimal 9770 sq. ft. footprint • Multi-use public space design; lobby flow into breakfast that includes concealable displays • Guestrooms – streamlined design maximizes space • Center loaded bathroom provides space savings with no hall entry

QUEEN 287 sq. ft.

KING 249 sq. ft. | 800.847.2429 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. ©2016 Best Western International, Inc. All rights reserved.

NAD_205 500.1015.16 Canadian Lodging New Glo V4 Approved.indd 1

4/5/16 4:07 PM

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AHLA Convention 2016: Stronger Together By Colleen Isherwood, Editor LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Stronger Together was the theme of the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association Conference held April 18-20 — an apt theme when much of the province is reeling from the drop in oil prices. “Alberta’s economy is challenging hoteliers in all four corners of the province,” the conference program stated. “Stronger Together, the theme of this year’s convention, underscores the need for AHLA members to combine their efforts to build a strong and vibrant tourism industry that benefits all Albertans.”

Great member retention Held at the Chateau Lake Louise in Lake Louise, Alta., the conference attendance was lower than in previous years, with many hotels sending one delegate rather than a few. The association remains strong, however, reporting a 99 per cent member retention rate despite the bad economy. The conference kicked off with Mark Bowden, author of Train the Primitive Brain, giving delegates a lesson on body language. His talk resonated as many of the subsequent speakers made reference to his comments on where to put your hands to create the right impression on your audience. The trade show took place on Sunday night and Monday morning. The Alberta Hospitality Safety Association took the prize for Best Booth, and exhibitors provided many prizes for delegates.

ebrations were all part of the conference. On Tuesday night, AHLA president and CEO Dave Kaiser honoured Tony Pollard, who will be retiring from the Hotel Association of Canada at the end of August, with a Life Membership in the AHLA. Former AHLA chair Doug Shandro also received a Life Membership. Bill Fowler, who has been with the AHLA for a few decades, received a Lifetime Achievement Award. (He also received a package of Cheezies, his favourite!) Peter Parmar, vicepresident of operations for Nova Hotels, received an Award of Distinction. Outgoing chair Steve Watters, general manager of Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre in Fort MacMurray, Alta., handed over the gavel to Perry Batke, general manager, Best Western Denham Inn and Suites, Leduc, Alta. The next AHLA Conference will be held April 9-11, 2017 at Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper, Alta.

From left: Shelley Grollmuss, Travel Alberta; Steve Watters, AHLA outgoing chair; Dave Kaiser, AHLA president and CEO; and Perry Batke, incoming chair, AHLA.

Energy on the agenda Conference sessions emphasized solar and new energy technology, climate change policy impacts, and cutting waste to cut costs — all of which is timely given the carbon tax announced in the budget of Alberta Premier Rachel Notley last Thursday.

From left: Tina Tobin, Chateau Nova Kingsway and outgoing chair of the Alberta Hospitality Safety Association, received a gift basket from AHSA executive director Lena Cimmarrusti and training coordinator Erica Blewett.

Jean-Guy Groleau of LOC International was on hand at the AHLA Trade Show. He said mini-fridges are still a big seller for LOC, but that many hoteliers are now opting for empty fridges rather than stocked units.

Dave Kaiser (left) and Tony Pollard.

Peter Parmar of Nova Hotels accepts the Award of Distinction.

Welcome Chinese tourists One of the most interesting sessions was presented by Grace Xin of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, dealing with welcoming Chinese Travellers. Her message was that the Chinese traveller is wealthy, well-educated and used to new and luxurious hotel accommodations. It’s no longer enough to have a hot pot in the room — but a little bit of understanding the Chinese culture goes a long way. The conference received some press coverage by China’s largest news service, Xinhua News Agency, as Li Baodong reported on the meeting and Alberta tourism attractions.

Awards and more awards! Housekeeping Awards, Gold Key Awards and Employer of Choice cel-

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Karaoke, foot massage to welcome Chinese tourists LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Ni Hao, everybody, said Grace Xin of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, welcoming delegates in Chinese to her session at the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association conference last month. Welcoming Chinese tourists to Canada was a hot topic at the conference, since Hainan Airlines will be flying directly from Beijing to Calgary three times a week starting June 30, with plans to offer a fourth flight later this year. “The new direct flights from China may be a pain-killer,” said Xin, referring to the province’s embattled economy. “I’m not going to give you any data — just talk about karaoke and foot massage.” Xin, who came to Canada 16 years ago, is well-equipped to talk about differences between mainland Chinese and Canadian cultures. “If we know about the culture, we can better understand the people — we can understand, anticipate and engage.” Xin praised Hilton Huanying, a program that offers Chinese travellers a customized hospitality experience during their stay, rolled out to more than 110 Hilton Worldwide properties globally last year. Similarly, IHG’s Zhou Dao program, which offers

training on Chinese etiquette, culture and hospitality, has been rolled out to tens of thousands of the hotel company’s employees. Xin alluded to TIAC’s new program (see below), which has been expanded to include all interested stakeholders. “There are 1.3 billion Chinese. If only one per cent travel, that means 13 million people. China hasn’t opened the doors for long,” she said. “In 1999, a single woman going abroad was as difficult as going to the moon.” The Chinese people coming to Canada are wealthy, said Xin, noting she once saw one person spend $20,000 (CAN) in 15 minutes. Food safety is very important, as is air quality. In China, Alberta air is for sale, and buyers will pay upwards of $15 for a little can of it. China is all about competition and density — that means they are looking for serenity when they are travelling. When mainland Chinese tourists come to Canada, they are interested in shopping, gawking, seeking medical care, gambling and visiting schools. “Don’t underestimate education as a tourism driver,” Xin said. Some of the cultural influences on service are tangible — for example, Chinese people do not like to

TIAC AnnounCes new ChInA engAgemenT sTrATegy MONTRÉAL — The Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and Destination Canada (DC) announced a new China engagement strategy called the Canada-China Tourism Advancement (CCTA) program at RendezVous Canada 2016 late last month. CCTA expands on the Canada China Inbound Tour Operator Registration Program to help all members of Canada’s tourism industry take advantage of growth opportunities in the Chinese marketplace. “TIAC takes pride in the achievements of the ADS program, including an average annual growth rate of 24 per cent per year generating over $3 billion in revenue,” said Charlotte Bell, president and CEO of TIAC. “However, the Chinese market is changing due to the new 10-year multiple visa, the growth of the Free and Independent Travel (FIT) segment, increased air capacity, as well as increased competition.” “We are pleased to partner with TIAC to move Canada’s tourism industry from ‘China Ready’ to ‘China Ambitious,’” stated David Goldstein, president and CEO of Destination Canada.

The CCTA program provides a coordinated platform to develop tourism assets that support the Canada brand developed by Destination Canada through the following: • Provide Chinese market readiness programs • Relevant trade missions • Coordinate and present bilateral forums • Develop meaningful partnerships with Chinese tourism related organizations and the investment community • Update the Registration Program with new measurements for reputation management and better promotion for registered tour operators. China’s UnionPay International has joined the CCTA program as a key partner. Pilot projects to be launched in 2016 include: a trade mission to China with financial support from Global Affairs Canada via the Global Opportunities for Associations (GOA) program, a partnership with Tourism Nova Scotia in destination development for the Chinese market and an industry bilateral forum with the Shanghai Huangpu Hotel Association hosted in Canada.

have a mirror facing a bed or to have fans blowing on the bed. The number four is always bad because it is close to death — number eight is good. China has a hierarchical culture, with the attitude, “When I pay money, I am the master.” They complain that servers don’t give them enough respect. At the same time, drivers at the International Motorcoach Association complain that the Chinese are too rude. “The two sides need to communicate to understand,” said Xin. In restaurants here, we serve glasses of water with ice cubes; Chinese visitors would prefer hot water with lemon and no ice. They don’t like cold food; they don’t drink without food; they have three precise meal times and dessert is usually just fruit. Xin gave a profile of the Chinese visitors to Canada. She said 60 per cent are female, and they shop a lot. There’s also a younger demographic, students in grades 7 or 8. “They call me Teacher Xin and ask what they can buy with their $100 bills.” They tend to travel during the winter school holiday or the Chinese Spring Festival. Sixty-seven per cent of adult travellers have a Bachelor’s degree and 30 per cent have a Master’s. They all have mobile phones. They are also affluent, and many have travelled a lot already — Canada is late with their ADS designation — we’re the 146th country. This means that many are already sophisticated travellers. Chinese hotels were built more recently than many of our Canadian properties, with grander lobbies and newer buildings. We often have to lower their expectations of other countries’ hotels, Xin said. When they are dining, a good centrepiece is important. At a busi-

Grace Xin of Tourism Industry Association of Canada. ness lunch, there are generally eight to 10 appetizers and a similar number of main courses. People share everything. After dinner, they might want a private room for Karaoke followed by a foot massage. How to bridge the gap? Chateau Montebello arranges private rooms for groups of Chinese diners, who tend to be noisy when they eat. Key to playing the Chinese game is offering UnionPay, as they have to pay more exchange fees on cards like

Visa or MasterCard and those cards have a $50,000 (USD) per year limit — not helpful when they are looking to buy items such as a car for their kids. In China, they are not allowed to gamble, and UnionPay cannot operate inside gaming establishments. Smart establishments such as Edgewater and River Rock casinos in the Greater Vancouver Area have large UnionPay signs and machines just outside the property.

Check in Canada’s metasearch campaign LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — Check In Canada is a home grown, invisible booking engine designed to route more bookings to member hotel websites and away from the online travel agencies (OTAs). Check In Canada continues to attract more participants, with the B.C. Hotel Association and B.C. Lodging and Campgrounds Association, Travel Manitoba, Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association and the Hotel Association of Canada confirmed on the industry side, AHLA president and CEO Dave Kaiser told CLN. Provincial marketing agency Travel Alberta is onside, and Destination B.C. has completed implementation of the program. Check In Canada now has 1,400 listings through Hello B.C. Late last month, they signed a

memorandum of understanding with OTMPC to implement Check In Canada on their website. There are 900 properties listed in Ontario, thanks to participation during the Pan Am Games. “We are up and running in three provinces,” said Kaiser, noting that Jim Bence of the Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association, and Tourism Saskatchewan are also interested.

metasearch in edmonton Check In Canada has just completed a metasearch campaign in Edmonton, involving the destination marketing fund (DMF) and Edmonton Tourism. “We learned a lot,” said Kaiser. The campaign was funded by the Edmonton DMF group of hotels. They bought placement on Google,

Trivago and TripAvisor, which allowed guests to book directly with the hotels. Edmonton Tourism provided the marketing message about the destination for people looking or planning to come. “There are huge volumes of users on those channels,” said Kaiser. The next step is to do a pilot with individual properties using metasearch and Check In Canada to get hotels more exposure than they could get with their own advertising dollars. “We know the cost of customer acquisition is lower than an OTA, and the hotel owns the customer. “We’re learning as we go — we have controls to lower the cost of customer acquisition. “Here in Alberta, we want to pilot a small group with more data points before we roll it out to the industry,” said Kaiser.

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Expedia launches new Accelerator tool for hoteliers

Shiva Naidu, user experience researcher, at work in Expedia’s innovation lab. By Bill Tremblay, Assistant Editor BELLEVUE, Wash. – There’s a new tool for hoteliers looking to improve their property’s visibility in the Expedia marketplace. The online travel agency recently launched Accelerator, (available for Expedia and Hotels. com) which allow hotels to boost their ranking in a consumer’s search results. “We’re here to give our consumers an amazing experience, but also help our hoteliers compete against the real competition, which is the hotel down the road,” Mark Okerstrom, Expedia’s chief financial officer, said during a recent international media tour of the company’s headquarters in Bellevue, Wash.

To use Accelerator, operators are able to adjust the commission paid to Expedia up to 15 per cent per booking. An Accelerator preview tool, available in Expedia Partner Central (EPC), allows the operator to see a prediction of where their property will rank. The use of Accelerator is not highlighted in a consumer’s search results. “It’s a marketplace approach to our hotel listings,” Okerstrom said. “The strategy here is to allow hoteliers to come onto our platform, with a low base margin, and allow them to use our marketplace in a way that suits them.” Accelerator is designed as an occasional tool for hoteliers to boost their product’s visibility during difficult booking times. On average, hoteliers use the tool for a two-week span. “It’s a way to showcase a hotel during a particular time,” said Aman Bhutani, president of Brand Expedia Group. “This is a short-term product. It is not meant to use forever.” While the new tool is available to all hotels, a property with a low rating will not be able to pay its way to the top of search results. “You can’t cut across a cohort,” said Benoit Jolin, vice-president of global product for Expedia. “It benefits the hotel without hurting the customer experience.” A hotel is ranked based on its offer strength, a formula generated by combining historical

price point, the property’s popularity on Expedia, location, traveller review scores and amenities. Properties are also ranked on quality score, which factors in value as well as content provided to Expedia customers. “It’s things like: Do they give our customers the cheapest rates? Do they make their inventory available to our customers? And are their photos up to date?” Okerstrom said. “Importantly, do our consumers give them good ratings?”

New app Last year, Expedia launched a mobile app for Expedia Partner Central (EPC), an online dashboard designed to help hoteliers operate their property. Jolin explained the app is designed to answer key questions raised by operators including how well the hotel is performing in the Expedia marketplace, whether the property is performing better than its competitors and how the operator could improve. “Anything you can do on EPC you can now do on your mobile phone,” Jolin said. “You can manage your entire property now through your mobile device.” In real time, the app allows an operator to see the number of visitors to their listing, whether or not those visits translated into bookings

and how a competitor is performing. As well, the EPC app alerts the operator of potential issues like availability, rates and content issues as well as rate changes at nearby properties. “We want to provide as much marketing power as we can,” Jolin said. “Our tools need to solve their problems in their world.”

Lines of communication In early April, Expedia also launched EPC Conversations worldwide, which allows hoteliers to communicate with their guests. Jolin explained Conversations solves the problem of communication between hotel and consumer. “It’s almost as if we erected a wall, between our guests and our hotels,” Jolin said. The interaction also helps solve problems before the guest decides to leave a possibly negative review of the hotel. “Hoteliers will know what they were doing well or not doing well,” Jolin said.

Chef Trevor Ritchie chosen for Bocuse d’Or 2019 One of the most prestigious culinary competitions in the world, it brings together 24 young chefs from many countries, and has them prepare meat and fish courses, each accompanied by three original garnishes, in five hours and 35 minutes. The Bocuse d’Or audience is known for its enthusiasm and journalists from around the world cover the competition.

Master chef Judd Simpson said the George Brown competition provides participants with an example of just how challenging the Bocuse d’Or will be. “Irrespective of who wins, the camaraderie, learning and unique food products provide a learning experience for each and every one of you.” He added that Olberg tried seven times before he had the chance to represent Canada

Chemistry/TallSky combine Chef Trevor Ritchie with Cornelia Volino, manager CCFCC Bocuse d’Or Canada. TORONTO — Trevor Ritchie, chef technologist at George Brown College, and his commis Navjeet Singh will represent Canada at the 2019 Bocuse d’Or after winning the 2016 National Selection Competition held at George Brown late last month. Chef Dan Craig, executive chef at Delta Hotel Toronto and his commis Ian Yau placed second, and chef Roger Ma and commis Brittany Lygo of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, Vancouver, came third. Other finalists included Keith Pears, executive chef at Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre, Burnaby, B.C. and commis Jason Hsu; Eric Lee, chef/owner of Damso Restaurant, Vancouver, and commis Peter Kim; and Samuel Sirois, executive chef, Manor Rouville-Campbell, St. Hilaire, Que., and commis Philippe Juhos. Jury members included Normand Laprise, grand chef Relais & Chateaux, TOQUE! Restaurant in Montreal; Jean-Pierre (JP) Challet,

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executive chef at The Fifth Grill & Terrace in Toronto; Didier Leroy, master chef and restaurant consultant who has worked at Michelin star restaurants in France and Canada; Judson Simpson, CMC and executive chef, House of Commons, Ottawa; Simon Smotkowicz, executive chef, Shaw Conference Centre, Edmonton and Cornelia (Connie) Volino, manager CCFCC Bocuse d’Or Canada. Kitchen judges were chef Luc Boissy and chef Tony Fernandes. Sponsors included Rougie Sarlat, who provided the duck and foie gras for the meat course, Cacao Barry chocolate, Chef ’s Hat Inc., and Acadian Sturgeon and Caviar, who provided ingredients for the fish course. Founded in 1987 by chef Paul Bocuse, the Bocuse d’Or is held every two years in Lyons, France. Ritchie will represent Canada and the CCFCC in the 2019 competition; the 2017 representative, James Olberg, Glowbal Group culinary director and executive chef, Coast Restaurant, Vancouver, has already been chosen.

VICTORIA – Starting April 1, two successful and complementary consulting firms – TallSky Consulting Group and Chemistry Consulting Group – Christine Willow will join together as the leading provider of business and human resources services on Vancouver Island. The combination of these two private companies will enable Chemistry Consulting Group to provide Vancouver Island with an expanded ability to serve clients with executive search, staff recruitment and project HR, as well as outsourced HR and outplacement services. Both TallSky and Chemistry share similar values and an emphasis on excellence in customer service. The expanded HR practice will capitalize on the two companies’ strengths, while broadening services offered to clients throughout the island. Chemistry is a leader in business and HR consulting, conference management, as well as international recruitment; and TallSky has enjoyed success as a trusted and highly

experienced HR consulting firm. With the combination of the two teams, the new merged company will provide an even greater and more compreEileen Harper hensive range of HR and recruitment services for Vancouver Island. “We are very excited about this new partnership. We will continue to provide our clients with the same professional HR services and expertise they’ve come to rely upon from TallSky for well over a decade. Now we will be able to provide our clients with additional services to help them grow their business or organization,” said Eileen Harper, principal, TallSky. Christine Willow, partner, Chemistry Consulting added, “I am thrilled that the joining of our two teams of HR professionals will bring a unique depth of knowledge and a comprehensive list of services to our clients. The combined result of our two companies, and more importantly, those of our people, will be a rare collection of subject matter expertise.”

Luxus boutique hotel raises the bar in St. John’s, N.L.

The bar at the Luxus Hotel in St. John’s. Photo: Crockwell Photography. ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Born and raised in the east end of St. John’s, John F. Smith watched as his old stomping grounds on Water Street became home to developments like Raymond’s, voted Canada’s best new restaurant in 2011, and the King George V luxury condominiums. When a building came up for sale with a

view of the harbour, right next to Raymond’s, Smith thought about what he might do with the property. Smith had moved to New Brunswick and started Atlantic Mazda in Dieppe, N.B., doing extremely well in the car business. He and his wife had travelled extensively and he decided to

build a small, luxury hotel that corrected all the things he didn’t like about many other properties. “For example, I don’t like to have suitcases visible in the hotel room. I don’t like a dresser — I want my room to look like a living room that just happens to have a bed.” Smith designed the Luxus Boutique Hotel, with just six “really special” suites, four of them 500 to 550 square feet and two measuring 900 square feet. The name of the hotel comes from the Latin, Luxus, meaning luxury. There are no dressers; every room has a walk-in closet; he paid special attention to the way things hang in the closet; there are safes and ledges for suitcases. He describes the rooms as modern and luxe. The entrance is made of marble. The walls are of high-gloss walnut, and there are huge armoires built into the walls. He didn’t want any metal, so all the door facings are done in wood with small reveals. “They don’t have that commercial feeling,” Smith said. The bathrooms include a rainfall shower with three shower heads, heated floors inside

the bathroom and the bedroom, a toilet with bidet features, heated mirrors that don’t fog up, and heated towel racks. There’s a soaker tub with a huge window looking into the room, with blinds, of course. Televisions are 70-inch flat screens; ceilings at 11.5 feet tall, and window shades are powered using a control from the bed. “Nowhere did we cut a corner,” Smith told CLN. “At the entrance is a high-end lounge where drinks are properly mixed in a proper sense, with all high-end liquor, though if you want a rum and coke, we’ll do it.” Callum Parker serves as both hotel general manager and mixologist. The hotel opened in December, but is already heavily booked for the summer with travellers from all over the world, Smith said, noting that Zita Cobb from Fogo Island Inn has visited and taken note of the hotel for her high end customers coming from St. John’s. At press time in late April, they were charging $379 for the four smaller suites and $579 for the two large suites.

Acoustic expertise is the key to successful remediation, industry reports say. It is not enough to add thicker or more layers of glass. The product chosen by Howard Hospitality was engineered by professionals that have developed strategies for sound recording studios, one of the most noise-sensitive environments on the planet.

Also, when comparing the efficiency of window products, look for a rating called Sound Transmission Class (STC.) The higher the number, the more noise is stopped. A typical rating for standard windows is 26 to 28. By adding the soundproof windows installed in Florida, the STC rating is now 52 to 55.

S U P P LY L I N E S AJM provides EcoSmart for William Gray hotel MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — AJM Solutions Group announced on April 12 that it will provide an EcoSmart Energy Management System for the Hotel William Gray in Old Montreal, slated to open this summer. AJM will install a network-based solution to integrate with its guestroom lock system, Tray Tracker software and its Oracle Property Management System. The EcoSmart system will also employ EcoCentral Virtual Engineer to provide cloud-based 24/7 monitoring, including granular EcoSmart device control, cloud-based data backup, and the ability to process raw data into 25 usable, actionable reports. EcoSmart energy management solutions are manufactured by Telkonet, a partner of AJM. The arrival of William Gray is poised to revolutionize Old Montreal with its array of offerings for both local Montrealers and international travellers. Located on St-Vincent, just steps away from Place Jacques-Cartier and the Old Port, the hotel offers 127 guestrooms and suites, over 10,000 square feet of event space, a 180-seat restaurant, a rooftop terrace, a luxury spa with an outdoor pool, a boutique, a café and views of Montreal’s iconic landmarks.

with Soundproof Windows, Inc., to install 176 special inner windows along the front of the Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard, in Miramar Beach, Fla. Howard Hospitality was convinced to sign on after engineers installed one test window in a two-room suite. The noise-levels dropped 95 per cent.

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Soundproof windows help guestroom noise issues MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. — If a hotel guest had a bad night’s sleep due to exterior noise, do not be surprised if the manager is the last to know. Viral social media grousing has gone ballistic and its impact can be immediate and long-lasting. Howard Hospitality, a hotel developer and hospitality management company, discovered a simpler solution that was cost-effective, did not require removing existing windows, and quickly restored its online reputation: soundproof windows. In 2015, Howard Hospitality contracted







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Climate Control New-style high-efficiency HVAC systems are operating more quietly and efficiently, giving guests a better night’s sleep and saving hoteliers money.


eating, ventilation and air condition- but limited-service flags as well, said Ireland. ing (HVAC) represents a significant The most popular systems include features such expenditure to hoteliers, with power as scalability, which should include the ability costs alone carrying a hefty price tag. As one to start with a basic (networkable) digital therexample, the monthly electricity bill for a large mostat and progress all the way to a networked hotel in Canada can average about $30,000 and server-based system. Remote monitoring of energy management systems is gaining traction, range from $20,000 to $70,000. So the choice of HVAC systems is not made ranging from an on-site client work station (calightly. These days, the gold standard is the pable of monitoring all components) to a thirdpackaged terminal air conditioner (PTAC), self- party monitoring service. At the upper end of guest comfort, smart contained heating and air conditioning systems — typically designed to fit through a wall — TVs are wirelessly enabled to communicate to featuring vents and heat sinks both inside and all in-room controls using the ZigBee Home Automation (HA) standard, according to Ireoutside. Newly engineered, high-efficiency PTAC land. In addition to in-room energy controls, systems allow easier management of HVAC, the smart TV is able to manage smart door operate more quietly and use less energy, help- locks, motorized blinds and shades, door and ing to ease the burden on operators’ expense window sensors, room signage and other technologies. The smart TV also acts as an interface lines. One recent advancement in hospitality in- to both the onsite property management system dustry PTAC systems, for example, is sound as well as the management platform for comsuppression, according to Paul Ireland, vice- plete device monitoring and support. president, sales and marketing AJM Solutions Group. Developed, tested and validated at a third-party independent U.S. certified acoustical laboratory in accordance with ASTM Standards E90, E413 and E1332, sound suppression PTACs reduce exterior sounds entering the room through Eco Touch, AJM the PTAC and improve sound quality, “since the operation sounds of the PTAC are Among AJM Solutions’ product line, Telalso reduced.” konet’s EcoSmart energy management solutions provide open, scalable and standardsbased architecture that allows the platform to WEB-BASED MONITORING Optional lighting control and web-based integrate seamlessly with back-office managemonitoring is another advancement, said Ire- ment systems, property management systems, land, as PTAC manufacturers are expanding and building management systems as well as adtheir product offering to include integrated ditional third-party network architectures. This lighting controls, load shedding and virtual me- approach enables the development of customtering. Features include full unit details for every ized energy management deployments while PTAC, visible from the front; automatic emails protecting existing investments. Over at Belimo, there’s a new line of Zonefor PTAC maintenance; the ability to change all settings on the unit; enhanced diagnostics; sys- tight compact valves, available in regular pressure-dependent and energy saving pressuretem verification; and site statistics. In addition, energy management solutions independent versions. “They would be used are making their way into most hotel properties, on hotels where hot or chilled water is used for including not only boutique and luxury brands, space comfort,” said Belimo’s Rick Ellul.

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By Don Douloff

REDUCING NOISE DISRUPTIONS “Whether it be noise created by the unit itself or outside noise being brought into the room as a result of the PTAC’s through-the-wall installation, manufacturers are focusing their technology on reducing these noise disruptions more than ever, to prevent guest complaints and any necessary compensations,” said Arno Ricci, chief operating officer at Gordon R. Williams Corp. “A peaceful night’s sleep is the most valuable commodity hoteliers can provide their guests,” he continued, and PTAC manufacturers are building units that “will in no way deter a customer from having a positive experience worth recommending and revisiting.” Nevertheless, energy efficiency still stands as the top priority for PTAC manufacturers, dominating as the easiest and fastest way to provide hoteliers with immediate savings, said Ricci. Especially in retrofit applications, upgrading older units to more energy efficient PTACs has become incentivized by Canadian utility companies because it is the most cost-effective solution to reduce the demand on the utility grid. Among Gordon R. Williams’ lineup, GE Appliances’ improved line of Zoneline PTACs feature effective sound barriers and structural components that specifically reduce noise. Available in a wide selection of power sizes, the new Zoneline units also feature different models to address different climates. Energy efficient heat pump models are available along with climate-specific models that address issues involved with dry air and coastal regions.

RETROFITTING Retrofitting PTAC systems can be an issue. “There are manufacturers of new PTAC units who design new retrofit models to fit perfectly in place of older models from brands that are no longer available,” said Jacqueline Manitaros, vice-president of business development at NRG Equipment Inc. “Brands such as KeepRite, Seasonall, Climette, Singer EA, Remington RS, McQuay EK Series and Zoneline are just

Gordon R. Williams


Gordon R. Williams some of the examples of older models that are no longer available. Trusted brands such as Perfect Comfort, on the other hand, have manufactured premium quality PTAC units that can be used for retrofitting and replacement of the older systems.” NRG’s Perfect Comfort models include various standard and non-standard PTACs, and NRG also offers water source heat pumps and split systems. “Rising energy costs and reducing our society’s carbon footprint have in essence been a catalyst to create higher efficient HVACR (R = Refrigeration) equipment to reduce our carbon footprint and day to day operating costs,” said David Morden, president and CEO of Morden National Sales and Marketing Inc. The company’s EMI Enviroair PTAC and PTHP (packaged terminal heat pump) save energy and harmonize with the total HVAC/ mechanical building envelope by connecting easily with hotel buildings’ automation systems. Many buildings today are third-party automated to fully maximize the efficient usage of the building’s hydro, water, lighting, security and HVACR systems. Both cooling and heating efficiencies have been increased over the past few years to improve the overall cost of ownership, noted Mike Leach, director of sales, applied products, Airxcel Inc., Marvair Division. Specifically, the Suburban Dynaline PTAC utilizes electric cooling, but instead of a heat pump or electric heat, the Suburban utilizes economical gas heating, he said. “Gas heat is more cost effective in colder climates and can increase the room ambient temperature faster for improved creature comfort.” Suburban also offers a ducted throughthe-wall unit for hotel suites that require more than one particular zone of conditioned air. The Suburban Dynapack unit is available in the one- to three-ton capacity, and also utilizes gas heat for a more economical approach to energy savings in colder climates.

BENEFITS TO HOTELIERS From the hotelier’s perspective, advance-

ments in HVAC systems have brought good news all around. “For guests, the new design advances (in PTAC systems), such as dual motors, have reduced the noise generated significantly. And with increasing EER (energy efficient ratio), the PTAC units are more environmentally sound, leading to a reduction of energy costs for owners,” said Brendan Gibney, director of franchise operations at Choice Hotels Canada. At IHG, “environmental sustainability is one of the two pillars of our corporate responsibility agenda,” said Maury Wolfe, director, corporate social responsibility. “We put the environment right at the heart of how our hotels operate. Many of our hotels have implemented green solutions to drive performance of HVAC units, either by installing energy efficient technologies and/or setting thermostat dead-band levels in guestrooms and public spaces to reduce unnecessary heat and air use. In total, 1,553 green solutions related to improved HVAC have been completed in IHG Green Engage (online sustainability tool). Across all of our environmental sustainability green solutions, we have achieved a 3.9 per cent carbon reduction per occupied room against a 2012 baseline.”

HILTON’S CREATIVE HVAC SOLUTION At The Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites Conference Centre & Spa, in Markham, Ont., just north of Toronto, a change, some years ago, to its HVAC system has paid dividends. Some background: The hotel’s main chillers plant was approximately 22 years old in 2010, when the property embarked on this project. “We had budgeted for the design and replacement of our existing chillers plant; however, due to the age of the heating and cooling system, and the phasing out of the R-11 refrigerant, it prompted an imminent capital expenditure on the HVAC system,” said general manager Patrick Regina. “Upon researching the various options, we saw that there was an opportunity for connection of our building to the nearby Markham District Energy Inc. sys-

Amana PTAC, AJM tem, and after much due diligence, opted for this alternative.” The District Energy option continues to offer a number of benefits for the Hilton Toronto/Markham: “We avoided the risk on our chillers replacement project (including any cost overruns and project management and administration costs and resources). This is not our core competency — we want to focus on the main thing, which for us, is transforming our guests’ experience by consistently delivering quality service,” said Regina. “We eliminated all risk on the need for further capital for unscheduled replacement, repair or early replacement of equipment.” Plus, the building’s annual operations and maintenance budget has been reduced. “We benefit from increased redundancy – the District Energy system has multiple chillers and plants providing system redundancy, which benefits our guests by not having service disruptions. Cooling is available year-round and can be utilized at any time without a lengthy switchover period.” Moreover, the project simplified operations and reduced maintenance contracts, unforeseen failures, supervision, administration and material purchases. It also eliminated refrigerants on the site (reduced health and safety risk) and future legislation on refrigerants (no concern over future requirement for change-out). Moreover, District Energy assumes the risk of equipment failure or replacement. It’s also resulted in a quieter building, noted Regina. “Given that we are surrounded by condominiums, we wanted to ensure we were good neighbours by ensuring our roof HVAC equipment did not disturb anyone.” Connecting to the District Energy system has also contributed to lower air emissions. “The overall system appears to be 50 per cent more efficient, resulting in proportionately fewer emissions than properties operating on a standalone basis, therefore reducing our carbon footprint.”

May 2016 | 1 3

OPENINGS, SALES AND RENOS Delta Sherbrooke sold for $6M TORONTO — Colliers International Hotels announced in mid-April the sale of the 178room Delta Sherbrooke Hotel & Conference Centre, in Sherbrooke, Que., on behalf of InnVest Real Estate Investment Trust, to Sterling Group. The sale price was $6 million. This 11-storey CAA three-diamond hotel occupies a prime location in the heart of the business district, and with more than 21,000 square feet of space across 22 meeting rooms, is the premier venue for meetings and conferences in Sherbrooke. Additional features include an indoor saltwater swimming pool, whirlpool hot tub, fitness centre and on-site bar and restaurant. Following this acquisition, hotel investment company Sterling Group has added to its portfolio of 25 properties across Canada and the U.S.

Starwood opening second Element, renovating Four Points Toronto Airport STAMFORD, Conn. — Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced in late April that it is partnering with Easton’s Group of Hotels to open the second Element Hotel in the Greater Toronto Area and renovate Four Points by Sheraton Toronto Airport. The eight-storey Element Toronto Airport will open in summer 2018 adjacent to the seven-storey Four Points Toronto Airport, which will remain open throughout the $5 million renovation. The recent acquisition of Four Points Toronto Airport and upcoming opening of Element Toronto Airport represent the second and third Starwood hotels in Easton’s Group of Hotels’ portfolio, joining The Westin Bristol Place Toronto Airport, currently under renovation. Both Element Toronto Airport and Four Points Toronto Airport will act as a strong anchor on the airport’s western strip. The newbuild Element Toronto Airport will offer 144

guestrooms outfitted with modular furniture, fully equipped kitchens, the signature Heavenly Bed and spa-inspired bathrooms. Amenities will include free Wi-Fi, complimentary bikes to borrow, the healthy Rise breakfast and the Relax evening wine reception. By December 2017, Four Points Toronto Airport will complete a comprehensive renovation that will include a top-to-bottom transformation of all 204 guestrooms, business centre, bar, restaurant and pre-function meeting rooms. The project will also result in upgrades to the porte cochère and all public areas, including the hotel’s 10,000 square feet of meeting space. Four Points Toronto Airport will be directly connected to the newly constructed Element Hotel and will share a common lobby, indoor pool, fitness facility, bar lounge, restaurant and meeting rooms. Located across from Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 3 and Monorail station, Four Points Toronto Airport is close to major highways and the International Centre, Hershey Centre, Toronto Congress Centre, Woodbine Racetrack and Woodbine Shopping Centre.

Fallsview Embassy Suites for sale by Cushman & Wakefield TORONTO — The Embassy Suites by Hilton Niagara Falls Fallsview, in Niagara Falls, Ont., is for sale, it was announced by Cushman & Wakefield Ltd. in mid-April. Located in the heart of the city, the hotel features magnificent views of Niagara Falls, which attracts over 12 million visitors each year. Since approximately 90 per cent of its suites feature views of the falls, the hotel captures a significant rate premium relative to its competitors. A renovation, currently underway and set to be complete by Q3 2016, will increase the total suite count to 565. In addition, the property is close to the Fallsview Casino, Canada’s largest


The St. Regis Abu Dhabi has unveiled the Abu Dhabi Suite, the World’s Highest Suspended Suite, for an exclusive brunch journey that explores the bedrooms, cinema, spa and two-floor majlis. The suite spans between the UAE capital’s Nation Towers on the 48th and 49th floors. gaming resort facility, and the Scotiabank Convention Centre. The offering represents an opportunity to acquire one of the market’s flagship hotels performing number one in its competitive set with strong in-place cash flows.

Colliers presents GTA portfolio hotel opportunity TORONTO — Colliers International Hotels announced in March that it has been retained by InnVest REIT to act as its agent and exclusive advisor regarding the sale of the 105-key Staybridge Suites Oakville-Burlington, and the 144-room Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Oakville @ Bronte and Oakville Conference Centre, centrally located in Oakville, Ont. The properties are well located in the Greater Toronto Area, just off the Queen Elizabeth Way highway at Bronte Road, and benefit

Delta Sherbrooke. from easy access to the Highway 400 series and strong nearby demand generators. The hotels can be acquired individually or together as a portfolio in order to maximize market exposure and asset synergies.

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1 4 | Canadian Lodging News

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OPENINGS, SALES AND RENOS Holiday Inn Express opens in Halifax-Bedford HALIFAX — InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced on March 22 the opening of the newly renovated 113-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites Halifax-Bedford in Halifax, N.S. Located near major attractions including the BMO Centre and World Trade & Convention Centre, the hotel was renovated using the brand’s new design solution and features an indoor heated pool with an 80 ft. waterslide, whirlpool, 24-hour fitness centre, 24-hour business centre and 2,000 square feet of meeting space accommodating 250 people. Guestrooms feature contemporary styling, comfortable queen, king-sized or two queen beds, a sitting area with a lounge chair and an in-room coffee machine. For guests’ comfort, the spacious newly renovated rooms are equipped with fridges and microwaves. The hotel’s 22 suites also have a separate living room with a pullout sofa. “In each room, we wanted to provide our guests with a fresh and inviting atmosphere by featuring natural colours and a contemporary style that blend together perfectly,” said Anil Taneja, president, Palm Holdings, which owns the property (Palm Hospitality handles management duties). The hotel also features the complimentary Express Start breakfast bar.

Holiday Inn Express opens in Oshawa, Ont. TORONTO — InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced on March 29 the opening of the new-build 125-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites Oshawa Downtown hotel in Oshawa, Ont., which joins the Holiday Inn Express Whitby Oshawa and Holiday Inn Express & Suites Clarington-Bowmanville properties open nearby. Owned by Chayell Hotels Ltd. and managed by Chayell Hospitality Group Inc., the hotel is adjacent to the Oshawa Convention Centre, Durham Region’s newest building. Amenities include 8,000 square feet of meeting space accommodating up to 400 people and featuring state-of-the-art projectors, lighting and sound equipment.

Holiday Inn Express Oshawa exterior view.

The hotel also includes an indoor pool, hot tub, 24-hour fitness centre and 24-hour business centre. Guestrooms feature contemporary styling, comfortable queen, king-sized or two double beds, a sitting area with a lounge chair and an in-room coffee machine. Offering a full range of items, the complimentary Express Start breakfast bar serves Oikos yogurt, whole wheat English muffins, Kellogg’s breakfast cereals, Quaker oatmeal flavors in cups and a toppings bar for yogurt, cereal and pancakes. Additionally, the breakfast bar offers hot and cold options including a rotation of egg and meat selections, biscuits, fruit, the brand’s proprietary cinnamon roll and Smart Roast coffee. “The Oshawa market is a great fit for the Holiday Inn Express brand due to the hotel’s convenient downtown location and proximity to Highway 401 and General Motors Centre,” said general manager Dustin Saunders in a release.

New ownership for HI Express Toronto-North York TORONTO — Vrancor Group announced March 31 the sale of its Holiday Inn Express Toronto-North York to a Toronto-based private investor. The sale price was not disclosed. Holiday Inn Express Toronto-North York, located at 30 Norfinch Drive, features 160 guestrooms, with two meeting rooms to accommodate up to 40 people each. Having completed extensive renovations in 2015, the hotel offers amenities such as free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour business centre, newly built indoor swimming pool and fitness centre. Extensive renovations also introduced a completely new lobby, Great Room and upgraded meeting space. Holiday Inn Express Toronto-North York participates in IHG Rewards Club.

Choice opens Quality Inn & Suites in Kingston Kingston, ON − Choice Hotels Canada has announced the official opening of the Quality Inn & Suites in Kingston, Ont. Located near Kingston’s historic downtown core, the new property will leave travellers feeling rested and refreshed at a great value.

Quality Inn & Suites, Kingston, Ont. The Quality Inn & Suites, Kingston, offers a great stay for family road trips and is a convenient destination for business travellers. With over 70 guestrooms, guests can count on free amenities including high-speed Internet, fresh coffee, fitness centre and daily newspaper. Travellers get all that, plus service from professional, responsive and friendly staff. Located near 20 museums and historic sites, the property is surrounded by a number of historical experiences including Fort Henry National Historic Site, Bellevue House National Historic Site, Maritime Museum of the Great Lakes and Pump House Steam Museum. Guests with a passion for the outdoors can also take advantage of the regions many outdoor activities including hiking, canoeing and golfing.

Construction starts on old Alberta Boot site CALGARY, — Construction has begun on the old Alberta Boot site in downtown Calgary. SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts is working on its new Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown and SilverBirch Conference Centre® at the corner of 10th Avenue and 5th Street SW. Construction is expected to be completed in 2019. The hotel and conference centre will cater to business and family leisure travellers looking for an extended stay. The project also has a second component – a residential rental tower that will comprise of over 300 units and 33 storeys, as

well as ground-floor retail space. The beautiful addition to the Calgary skyline is also a positive sign of new economic life during a difficult time in our city. SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts sees potential in this new build despite the current economic downturn, and look forward to what is to come.

Great Wolf Lodge celebrates 10 years with a Wolf Tail NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Great Wolf Lodge has turned 10 and has chosen to celebrate with the addition of a new waterslide — Wolf Tail. Wolf Tail riders will travel 248 feet in just eight seconds. Standing in the transparent SkyBOX launch pod, high above the water park, thrill riders will feel the adrenaline rush as the floor suddenly drops out and they free fall to the narrow flume below. Keith Simmonds, vice-president and general manager, has been with the lodge from the early staging phase and commented, “An entire generation of kids has now grown up with Great Wolf Lodge as a family tradition. We are proud to fulfill our mission to create family traditions one family at a time.” The entire month of April was dedicated to the “10 Years Young” birthday celebration. Fresh activities were lined up at the lodge including “Paws On” craft projects, “Hustle and Howl” dance party, “Jammie Jamboree” and “Yoga Tails.”

Holiday Inn Express Halifax breakfast bar.

May 2016 | 1 5

PEOPLE accepted the resignations of Arni Thorsteinson, as chief executive officer, Larry Beeston, as chief financial officer and secretary, and Gino Romagnoli as executive vicepresident. They have appointed K. Rai Sahi as CEO, Paul Miatello as CFO, Eugene Hretzay as secretary, and Beverley G. Flynn, Patrick Seward and Sanjay Ratejay as vice-presidents. Janis Cannon, EVP, Upscale Brands, Choice Hotels Int’l.

Julie Brisebois, general manager, Alt Hotel Ottawa.

Marie Pier Germain, general manager, Alt Hotel Montreal.

Brenda Pais, Ted Rogers School of Hospitality student.

Arni Thorsteinson has resigned as Temple Hotels CEO.

K. Rai Sahi, new CEO Temple Hotels Inc.

Geoff Hatler has been appointed interim general manager at The Westin Edmonton effective April 6, 2016. Incumbent general manager, Joumana Ghandour, will be away from the hotel for the next year on maternity leave. Hatler joined Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 1996 at The Westin Los Angeles Airport and has held various operational roles at both Westin and Sheraton hotels in the Los Angeles area. His most recent position was at The Westin Seattle, where he holds the director of Six Sigma, Black Belt position. Sunray Group of Hotels has an-

nounced two new executive directors of operations, Mike Bobbitt and Christine Melnyk. Bobbitt comes to Sunray from Choice Hotels International, where he held the position of director, sales, distribution, e-commerce and business intelligence. As COO/senior VP of Asset Management with Royal Host Hotels in Halifax, Bobbit was responsible for full operations, sales and asset management functions for a portfolio of 24 hotels. Prior to Royal Host, he worked for 16 years with Westmont Hospitality. Melnyk’s hospitality industry experience encompasses roles as general manager, regional and senior regional positions and operations consulting with hotels, inns, resorts and luxury retirement residences. As executive director of operations with Sunray Group, she supports a multi-branded portfolio of hotels in Southwestern Ontario and Quebec. She currently serves on the St. Clair College Hotel Management Program Advisory Committee and is a member of 100 Women Who Care Windsor.

NEW FACES AT CANAD INNS WINNIPEG — Canad Inns is pleased to announce a number of senior man-

agement appointments. Canad TODAY Inns is Manitoba’s largestTOMORROW hotel employer with BIGGER, BETTER, AND 3,500 employees at their destination centres in Winnipeg, Brandon and Portage La Prairie, Man., and Grand Forks, Minn. They have been recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies since 1997.

We Are Proud to Announce

Geoff Hatler, interim general manager, Westin Edmonton. Manfred Boehm, president of Boehm Management, has announced the appointment of Frederick Fenton as general manager of the Burntwood Hotel in Thompson Man. Fenton has over 10 years hospitality experience throughout Canada. Boehm Management owns and operates the Burntwood Hotel and the Thompson Inn, also in Thompson, and the Marlborough Hotel in Winnipeg. Choice Hotels International, Inc. has appointed Janis Cannon to SVP, upscale brands at Choice Hotels. With more than 25 years of experience, Cannon will lead the growth strategy for Cambria Hotels & Suites and the Ascend Hotel Collection. Cannon comes to Choice from IHG, where she served as VP and global brand leader for the company’s upscale portfolio. Christiane Germain, copresident of Group Germain Hotels

1 6 | Canadian Lodging News

Mike Bobbitt, executive director, operations, Sunray, announced on March 19 the appointment of Julie Brisebois as general manager of Alt Hotel Ottawa, which will open in spring, and Marie Pier Germain as GM of Alt Hotel Montreal, which opened in 2014. Motivated by her passion for customer service, it was a career change that led Brisebois to the hospitality industry in 2004. She first made her debut at Le Germain Hotel Montreal before taking the helm of operations and then the general management of Alt Hotel Dix30 in Brossard, Que., and more recently Alt Hotel Montreal. Marie Pier Germain will succeed Brisebois as general manager of Alt Hotel Montreal. A graduate of Queen’s University with an innate sense for the client’s experience, she joined the family business in 2006. Since then, she has managed teams of architects, designers and engineers in charge of the construction and renovation of the group’s hotels, and until recently directed operations at

Christine Melnyk, executive director, operations, Sunray. Alt Hotel Montreal. Brenda Pais, an undergraduate hospitality and tourism student at Ted Rogers School of Management led her team to victory at a recent case competition held in Lausanne, Switzerland. Some 70 students from 35 top hospitality schools worldwide had 25 hours to develop a career strategy to groom recent university graduates to hold a general manager position at Four Seasons Hotels in less than nine years, a feat that would normally take more than a decade. The competition was part of the Young Hoteliers Summit, a two-day conference (March 14 to 16), sponsored by Four Seasons Hotels, where students had the opportunity to network with industry executives in the hotel industry. Temple Hotels Inc. has announced the assignment of asset management from Shelter Canadian Properties Limited to Morguard Corporation. The directors have

Lane Ledohowski Executive VP

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Joe Sacco

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Richard Jubinville

Ali Soko

Sara Mackie

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Operations Manager Tavern United

Operations Manager Aaltos

Marion McKenzie

Janet Harder

Tracy Wilkie

General Manager The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre

General Manager Canad Inns Destination Centre Garden City

Mindie Copet

Morgan Beaudry

Corporate Account Manager

Corporate Account Manager

General Manager Canad Inns Destination Centre Club Regent Casino Hotel

Dawn Pilcher General Manager The Radisson by Canad Inns

Canad Inns is a leader in the hospitality industry with over 3,500 employees in our destination centres in Winnipeg, Portage la Prairie, Brandon and Grand Forks, ND.

Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC) announced on April 22 that is has hired Harding & Co to lead the organization’s marketing and sales strategy to promote and drive business for its 86 stakeholders and Aboriginal experiences throughout the province. Fresh from his role as manager of global marketing for Destination Canada, principal Will Harding has spent over a decade working with industry partners and markets across the globe. Harding’s career has included positions with Destination Canada (formerly the Canadian Tourism Commission), the Tourism Industry Association of BC (formerly the Council of Tourism Associations of BC), media and public relations agencies, and the Office of the Premier of British Columbia. Data and analytics specialist STR has named Scott Hendryx as the company’s new chief information officer. Hendryx served for the last five years at Calsonic Kansei as senior director of computer information systems and change management for enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation. Based in Shelbyville, Tenn., Hendryx directed a 46-person CIS team that supported IT functions across 12 sites in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil. The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto announced on April 15 the appointment of Franck Arnold to the position of general manager. With over 25 years experience in both luxury brand and independent and privately owned properties throughout North America, the U.K. and Europe, Arnold brings a wealth of industry

knowledge to his new role. Arnold joins The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto from Edinburgh, where he was the general manager of five-star The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte Hotel. Prior to joining Rocco Forte Hotels, he served as managing director of The Jefferson in Washington, D.C., as well as hotel manager of the Four Seasons Chicago and The Barclay Intercontinental in New York prior to that. The Hazelton Hotel, in Toronto, announced on April 18 the appointment of Hani Roustom as general manager. Roustom comes from the Shangri-La Hotel Toronto, which he joined in 2013 as part of the executive team in his capacity of executive assistant manager food and beverage. Prior to that, Roustom worked with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, joining in 2006 at the Washington D.C. property as director of restaurants and bars. In 2008 he transferred to their property in Toronto until the launch of the flagship Four Seasons Hotel on Yorkville Avenue in 2012, where he led the opening of the award-winning Café Boulud by Michelin starred chef Daniel Boulud. The Oswego Hotel, in Victoria, B.C., welcomed Kevin Koohtow as chef on April 15. As part of his new role with the Oswego Hotel, Koohtow has unveiled a French bistro-style menu at O Bistro. Koohtow previously held the position as chef de partie for the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour, and during this time was acting chef at Lake Louise during a four-month secondment. Koohtow is Red Seal Certified and volunteers with Breakfast Clubs of Canada

through Mealshare. To reinvigorate the culinary experience at the property, Koohtow will be working with the Oswego Hotel’s team to develop an on-site herb garden and also plans to lead a mushroom-foraging group from the hotel. With the arrival of three new chefs, announced on April 25, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts has added fresh talent to further strengthen its award-winning executive culinary teams. Curtis Toth joins the team at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and Conference Centre Regina, Brian McBride joins Radisson Hotel Edmonton South, and Adam Brack joins chef Willie White at the DoubleTree by Hilton West Edmonton. McBride, a native of Alberta, brings with him over 21 years of culinary experience including several years at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, during which time he was part of the team that prepared food for Queen Elizabeth II during her 2005 visit. Toth returns to DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Conference Centre Regina, having started his career at the hotel over 18 years ago. He has worked in prestigious hotels and restaurants, including the Hotel Saskatchewan, Catch Restaurant in Calgary, and Temple Gardens Mineral Spa, in Moose Jaw, Sask. Brack is an experienced culinary professional, having worked as the opening kitchen manager for Chop Steakhouse in Edmonton, before taking on executive chef roles at Von’s Steak and Oyster House and then the Edmonton Petroleum Golf and Country Club.

The GTHA Spirit Awards winners

TORONTO — Five hundred members of the Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA) gathered on April 22 to honour exceptional Ambassadors in the region’s hotel industry. The fifth annual Spirit Awards Luncheon presented by the Greater Toronto Hotel Association recognized 212 nominees and 18 award winners for their outstanding contributions in our industry. The winners of the GTHA’s 5th Annual Spirit Awards are: Lifetime Achievement Award — Scott Dyson,

Chelsea Hotel Toronto; Accounting Ambassador of the Year — Portia Hammer, InterContinental Toronto Centre; Administration Ambassador of the Year — Sheila Eros, Hilton Toronto; Banquet Ambassador of the Year — Warren Webster, Hilton Mississauga Meadowvale; Bell Person Ambassador of the Year — Michael Calnan, The Fairmont Royal York; Concierge of the Year — Anna Godzina, Toronto Marriott Downtown Eaton Centre; Culinary Ambassador of the Year —

Franck Arnold, general manager, Ritz-Carlton Toronto.

Hani Roustom, general manager, Hazelton Hotel, Toronto.

Kevin Koohtow, chef, The Oswego Hotel, Victoria, B.C.

Michael Batke, executive chef, The Westin Calgary.

Arjun Channa, general manager of The Westin Calgary has announced the appointment of executive chef Michael Batke. This marks his return to the hotel, where he previously led the culinary team from 2006 – 2009. During the 2010 Winter Olympics, Batke was the executive chef at The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver, which was the host hotel for the International Olympic Committee (IOC). From 2010 to 2011, he was executive chef at the Delta Calgary South. In 2011, he helped open and run the kitchen for the Alley

Udeni Randenyia, The Strathcona Hotel; Engineering Ambassador of the Year — Tony Phan, Delta Toronto; Food and Beverage Outlets Ambassador of the Year — Yohannes Habte, Holiday Inn Toronto Downtown Centre; Guest Services Ambassador of the Year — Beatrice Agyeman, Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Airport; Housekeeping Room Attendant Ambassador of the Year — Florinda Espino, Hotel Le Germain Toronto; Housekeeping Support Services Ambassador of the Year — Sivabalan Balasundaram, Sheraton Centre Toronto; Laundry Ambassador of the Year — Xiomara Garcia, Quality Inn Airport West; Reservations Ambassador of the Year — Ann Rodriguez, Cambridge Suites Toronto; Security Ambassador of the Year — Nathaniel Mayers, The Fairmont Royal York; Steward of the Year — Rodelio Arcega, Westin Harbour Castle; Switchboard Operator of the Year — Myrtle Tillekeratne, Hyatt Regency Toronto; Valet Driver/ Door Person/ Shuttle Driver Ambassador of the Year — Chris Mathias, The Omni King Edward Hotel.

Burger Food Truck as co-owner. He also served as chef de cuisine at Charcut Roasthouse from 2013 to 2015 and was corporate chef at Charbar, which he co-owns. Bert Hick of Rising Tide Consultants is pleased to welcome Kimberly Flint to his company’s team. Rising Tide works with clients to start new hospitality ventures, renew liquor licenses, and leverage the full revenue potential of existing liquor licenses. They are also available for speaking engagements.

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Streamlining Coast Edmonton Plaza EDMONTON — A multimillion-dollar renovation to the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel streamlined and updated the look of the property situated in the city’s downtown core. The Coast Edmonton Plaza project was a renovation to an existing property built in 1972. “The goal of the renovation was to align the property with the new Coast brand. Overall, the architecture as well as the interior design was simplified to create a modern hotel in a prime downtown location,” said Judy Henderson, principal at Inside Design Studio Inc (IDSI), which spearheaded the project. Consultation and design began in January 2014 on the 299-room property’s renovation, and construction was completed in August 2015. As a first step to the renovation, IDSI was asked for input into room planning: the room matrix was adjusted to allow for more queen and king rooms. The number of suites remained the same. “Our brief asked for a look of sophistication and luxury that was easy to maintain. Many of the rooms saw an increase in bed size and so it was important that the design did not overcrowd rooms,” noted Henderson. IDSI complemented the simplified architecture of the exterior with clean and modern interior lines. The predominant colour of the Coast brand is aubergine. The IDSI team used aubergine sparingly for impact (“very effectively on the bathroom walls,” said Henderson) and mixed it with calming, neutral creams and greys. Chrome and black were used on furniture pieces to anchor them within the room. White was added to surfaces for crisp contrast. “We used aubergine again on accent pillows to dress up sofas and beds.” In addition, IDSI used textured wall coverings to good effect and contrasted them with smooth polished surfaces. Custom table lamps with back-paned glass set against the walls delivered luxury to the design. Furthermore, the IDSI team brightened corridors by removing the patterned carpet and replacing it with carpet tiles that “have the look of broadloom but can

After working with the company’s head office to reflect this brand evolution within each renovation project they’ve undertaken. At Coast Edmonton Plaza, custom design played a big part in the renovation, as IDSI custom-designed furniture and fixtures as well as fabrics for the project: Custom lamps; night tables; a flux leather upholstered headboard trimmed in walnut; and custom textured fabric for the drapes. No question, the renovated hotel is resonating with guests, who have posted positive guest-review comments on Expedia (“rooms are nicely laid out;” “newly renovated and looks great”), while guests on TripAdvisor are calling the rooms “soothing and relaxing.”

CoMiNG EVENTs June 8: Boutique Hotel Investment Conference. Florence Gould Hall, New York City. E-mail: Website: June 20-23: HITEC. Ernest M. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans. Contact: Frank Garza. Telephone: 512-220-4034. E-mail: frank.garza@ Website: Sept. 6-8: Hotel Data Conference. The Omni Nashville Hotel, Nashville, Tenn. Telephone: 615-824-8664. E-mail:

1 8 | Canadian Lodging News

Sept. 13-14: Canadian Resort Conference. Hilton Niagara Falls, Niagara Falls, Ont. Website:

October 4-5: Western Canadian Lodging Conference. Vancouver Convention Centre. Contact: Orie Berlasso, Big Picture Conferences. Telephone: 416-924-2002, ext. 229. E-mail: Website:

Sept. 26-29: The Lodging Conference. The Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, Phoenix, AZ. Brent Tinter, conference manager. E-mail: Website:

Oct. 25: Manitoba Hotel Association 2016 Tradeshow. Victoria Inn Hotel — Winnipeg. Contact: Jerry Weir or Warren Nerby. Telephone: 204-942-0671. E-mail: Website: Website:

Four Insights from Fairmont’s Luxury Travel Study NEW YORK CITY — Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has released key findings from its Luxury Insights Report: Stewardship of Iconic and Historic Buildings, part of a new series of research-led, data-driven reports focused on current trends in luxury travel. This inaugural volume reveals the vital importance of emotional fulfillment, place identity (the psychological connection to a destination) and cultural immersion in the decision-making process of luxury travellers worldwide. Fairmont’s first Luxury Insights Report explores the role of architecture, property development, and thoughtful preservation and restoration as emotional drivers that influence purchase decision. “Luxury guests are not only looking for warm and engaging service when travelling to world-class destinations, they are also following their hearts,” said Jane Mackie, vice-president, Fairmont Brand. “The emotional connection guests feel to each of our hotels is unique – whether it’s finally crossing off a bucket list trip, exploring a new destination, or celebrating a milestone event. This industry-leading research demonstrates that the choice of a Fairmont hotel, be it historic or newly developed, often provides the sense of place and personal connection luxury travellers crave.” Fairmont’s Luxury Insights Report, which incorporates research and insights from multiple sources, including a brand-first ethnographic study conducted by Weinman Schnee Morais Inc. and data from market research firm YouGov, shows that guests choose a historic destination to make an emotional connection. In fact, many feel that historic hotels offer unique and ownable emotional benefits due to their ability to evoke “place identity”. Four additional report highlights include:


be swapped out easily for maintenance.” Porcelain tiles were used because they simulated the luxurious look of stone and are easy to maintain. Inside Design Studio Inc. is fluent in the language of modern hospitality interior design and architecture, employing the latest technologies, best practices and products to transform interior spaces ranging from commercial buildings, hotels, restaurants and spas to dream homes and urban condos. And the company is certainly no stranger to the Coast Hotels banner, having delivered eight successful renovations for the brand during the last five years. Three years ago, Coast completed a corporate rebrand. Since then, IDSI has been

Top 4 LisT

1. Place Identity: the psychological merging with the past; hotels with rich histories enable guests to feel like they are part of something meaningful, important and enduring. 2. Experience over Commodity: aligning social status with the consumption of experiences rather than material goods – luxury redefined; transforming “luxurious” travel from simply being pampered to creating unforgettable memories. 3. Cultural Immersion: a new type of cachet amongst travellers; “I stayed at the Fairmont” is a clear demonstration of immersing oneself in culture, experience and history. 4. History Lovers Repeatedly Choose Fairmont: in 2015, 38,000 “history lovers” stayed at more than one of Fairmont’s historic properties. Fairmont has made it a focus to restore many of its grand buildings worldwide, and in partnership with its committed hotel owners, the luxury brand has managed to help renovate or restore more than 80 per cent of its North American portfolio over the last few years. Notable projects range from a multi-million dollar makeover of the Claremont Club & Spa in Berkeley, Calif. to a top-tobottom restoration of Quebec City’s castle-like Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. In addition to the preservation of these influential historic properties, Fairmont is extending its commitment to being the leading operator of iconic properties worldwide with more than 40 new developments underway in key gateway cities and sought-after resort locales across Europe, North America, the Middle East and China. For more information visit

HYATT PLACE AND HYATT HOUSE Versatile, Smart & On the Rise Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels are rapidly growing with more than 300 open locations in over 10 countries. The Hyatt Place brand offers smart, modern design and 24/7 conveniences within the Upscale Service Segment; while the Hyatt House brand has reenergized the Extended Stay Segment by offering a contemporary experience paired with the casual comforts of home. Both of these innovative brands were developed using consumer insights and are suited for new construction, re-positioning and adaptive re-use. Build the future of hospitality in Canada and contact our Canadian Development Office today.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT SCOTT RICHER Vice President, Real Estate and Development Hyatt Hotels and Resorts (Canada) 416.300.8215 • •

Hyatt, Hyatt House and Hyatt Place names, designs and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation and/or its affiliates. © 2016 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.

Profile for Ishcom Publications

Canadian Lodging News May 2016  

Canadian Lodging News May 2016  

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