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LodgingNews September 2016 | Vol. 13 | No. 7
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Hotel landscape changes at YYZ
TOOLS OF ENGAGEMENT For THE soCIAL mEdIA sAvvy
From left: Avneet Toor (Operations), Gourvjit Toor (Developments), Fariyal Hasham (Crowne Plaza GM), Sukhdev Toor (president/CEO), Warren Bowles (regional manager) and Tony Fernandes (award-winning chef, Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport).
ANNUAL TOP 65 CHAINS REPORT
TORONTO — Manga Hotels acquired its newest hotel, the 489-room Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport located at 33 Carlson Court in Toronto. It was formerly owned by Royal Equator, which worked with Colliers to quietly sell off its three Canadian properties. In addition to the Crowne Plaza, these include Four Points by Sheraton Toronto Airport and Hilton Garden Inn Toronto/Mississauga. “We are excited for this new addition to our portfolio. It’s a great property in a prime location,” said Sukhdev Toor, CEO of Manga Hotels. Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport is five minutes’ drive from Pearson Airport (YYZ), with easy access to highways 27, 401, 407 and 427, plus shops, businesses, restaurants and local attractions. The hotel features a 24-hour business centre, fitness centre, pool, sauna and hot tub, includes 23 suites and has 12 meeting rooms for a total of 12,000 square feet. It has flexible catering options and an award-winning chef, Tony Fernandes. Onsite restaurants include The Brasserie and Rendezvous Bar and Lounge.
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Crowne Plaza was a great fit for Manga Hotels, which owns three other Toronto airport properties: the Hampton Inn they built from the ground up, the 170-key Fairfield Inn by Marriott and the Travelodge, which is being transformed, floor by floor, and is scheduled to switch to the DoubleTree brand next May. Toor said Manga has enlisted architect Lin Saplys to make changes to the exterior, landscape and signage of the Crowne Plaza hotel, which has the facilities to compete with a Sheraton, Marriott or Hilton. Saplys has a number of ideas to improve the hotel’s curb appeal, including a parapet on top. “Inside, it’s been almost 10 years since the last renovation and the property needs new wallpaper, tiling and washrooms.” Toor sees the changes to the Crowne Plaza as an indicator of what’s happening to many airport hotels. “The airport hotels were all tired before, and they’re now being brought up to today’s customer expectations. “There’s been a compression downtown, and people are moving out to the airport. The
airport is doing well this year, and that should continue — we’re up 10 per cent in RevPAR,” Toor told CLN. Manga Hotels is a Mississauga-based private company that currently operates 14 hotels under the Marriott, Hilton, Starwood and IHG brands and has multiple projects in the works in Canada and in the U.S.
RETRO SUITES “THE FINAL CUT”
Four Points bought by Easton’s The Four Points by Sheraton Toronto Airport has been bought by Easton’s Group of Hotels. The hotel has 204 guestrooms, as well as 12,000-plus square feet of conference space, lounge, pool and fitness facilities. The Easton’s Group of Hotels has a diversified business portfolio spanning hotels, event venues and residential development over the past 35 years. Easton’s president and CEO Steve Gupta says the full-service hotel provides “good synergy” with its Westin, Bristol Place and Holiday Inn hotels near Toronto Airport, and that the hotel will be upgraded. Continued on page 3
Hidden Gem Found in Toronto In recent years we’ve seen a number of high-end hotels open in and around the downtown core of Toronto. Now comes a somewhat economical option for those looking for accommodations at a fraction of the price. Ideal for road warriors who need accommodations for more than a few nights, Studio 6 Toronto fills a void by offering rooms that combine a contemporary edge with comfort and value. Guests like the up-to-date décor, sleek rooms and kitchenettes complete with cooking utensils, stove top, microwave and refrigerator. Studio 6 (the extended stay cousin of Motel 6) is geared towards the individual who will probably stay more than four days, someone who is in need of a full kitchen, but not in need of a hotel with a full-service restaurant or bar. Featuring a modern look and feel that will resonate with millennials and boomers, Studio 6, one of the best kept secrets in the economy segment won’t be a secret for much longer. There are literally hundreds of markets across Canada that would benefit from having a Studio 6.
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Accor/FRHI merger: Canadian content
Chris Cahill, Accor’s new CEO of Luxury Brands. PARIS — Following the approval of shareholders at the general shareholders meeting on July 12, AccorHotels Group officially announced the acquisition of FRHI Hotels & Resorts (FRHI) and its three luxury hotel brands: Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel. This addition of these three brands positions AccorHotels as a leading player in the global luxury hotel market, increases long-term growth potential and significantly expands the company’s footprint in North America. “Today is a great day for our group. The acquisition of these three emblematic luxury hotel brands is a historical milestone for AccorHotels. It will open up amazing growth prospects, lift our international presence to unprecedented heights, and build value over the long term,” said Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO of AccorHotels, in a release. “By leveraging the operational synergies between FRHI and AccorHotels, we are well-positioned to accelerate the growth of our luxury brands and offer guests even more exciting hotel choices and destinations to explore,” added Bazin.
Chris Cahill, CEO Luxury Brands Canadian Chris Cahill has been appointed the group’s chief executive officer, Luxury Brands. In this newly created role, Cahill, who will also become a member of AccorHotels’ executive committee, will lead the FRHI integration process and be responsible for the strategy
Kevin Frid, COO, North America and Central America region. and global operations of AccorHotels Luxury Brands. This new structure will include Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel Legend, So Sofitel, Sofitel, MGallery by Sofitel, Pullman and Swissôtel. Cahill will be based in Paris. Prior to his appointment, Cahill worked as executive vice-president Global Operations for Las Vegas Sands Corp, a publicly traded gaming company with operations in the U.S., China and Singapore. Before that, he served for 19 years (1993-2012) in various capacities at Fairmont Raffles Hotels International and its predecessor companies, including president and chief operating officer responsible for the operating performance of all brands globally. Earlier in his career, Cahill developed a strong track record in all facets of hotel business (operations, sales and marketing) in cities across Canada during an 18-year period. “During my previous time at FRHI, I was responsible for the operating performance of all brands globally; my time with Las Vegas Sands Corporation expanded on this global expertise. Both roles have provided me with a deep understanding of the luxury hotel business, including areas such as operations, branding, development, sales and marketing,” Cahill told CLN. “The first few months will be focused on the integration process – ensuring we have the right structure and teams in place, and that the transition is smooth for all involved. I can say that my past experience in mergers and brand
integration will be put into effect as we want to fully understand each organization’s strengths and how to best leverage these to support all the luxury brands in our portfolio.” Cahill said his first priority will be to fully develop AccorHotels’ new Luxury Brands structure. “We need to have the right leaders and teams in place to ensure we outperform and continue to drive brand growth in key markets globally. “In the short term, brand immersion for corporate and regional colleagues will also be crucial. Time will be spent to ensure we are getting teams up-to-speed on all of our luxury and upscale brands and their unique selling propositions. We have some of the best luxury brands in the business, so authentic storytelling is going to be a really important focus for our Luxury group moving forward.”
Kevin Frid, COO North America Kevin Frid has been named chief operating officer for North and Central America, it was announced July 21. In his new role, Frid will have operational responsibility for 88 hotels across the North and Central America region. As the lead operations executive in the region, Frid will also be tasked with overseeing large-scale renovation projects. Frid supervised the recent $75 million, lobby-to-roof restoration of the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City and the multimillion dollar guestroom renovation at Seattle’s 450-room Fairmont Olympic Hotel. He will also oversee developments in North and Central America, including the new Fairmont Costa Canuva, a 250-room luxury hotel with additional private residences along the Riviera Nayarit in Mexico (opening 2018); Fairmont Austin, a $350 million property opening 2017; and Sofitel Mexico Reforma, a 290-room hotel that will feature 61 suites (opening 2018). With an extensive hospitality background spanning more than 30 years, Frid most recently served as president, Americas for FRHI Hotels & Resorts. Prior to joining FRHI’s predecessor in 2000, Frid spent 18 years with Canadian-based Delta Hotels in various general manager and operations roles, including the position of senior vicepresident, operations.
Easton’s and Bayview’s YYZ properties Continued from page 1
New Element for Four Points site Gupta also plans to maximize the five-acre parcel of land the hotel is sitting on right opposite Terminal 3 by building a 144-room, extended stay hotel, Element by Starwood. The zoning is in place and Easton’s is just waiting for site plan approval from the City of Mississauga. “We built the first two-branded hotel in Markham, and were the first pioneers in Canada. Now, we are doing a second one with Starwood,” said Gupta. The plan is to start construction on the Element hotel this fall, with a 2017 occupancy date projected.
Hilton Garden Inn “strategic” Bayview Hospitality has bought the Hilton
Garden Inn Toronto Mississauga. “This addi- Hilton and the recently-acquired Days Inn Ottion was strategic in nature because of the clus- tawa Airport, which it proposes to make into a ter effect in operations with our neighboring Homewood Suites by Hilton. Hilton-affiliated properties,” the company said on its website. The acquisition brings Bayview’s total number of Hilton hotel properties to seven, including four Homewood Suites by Hilton, one Hampton Inn by Hilton, one DoubleTree by Artist’s rendering of Element Toronto Airport.
Tourism groups tap Pokémon Go NEW YORK — With the Pokémon Go mobile game sweeping the nation, some agile tourism brands are tapping into the manic interest around the smartphone app to drive near record levels of engagement with their audiences. Welcome to the Pokéconomy. According to SurveyMonkey, Pokémon Go is now the most popular mobile gaming platform ever in U.S. history, since launching on July 6. Two of the first travel organizations to respond with Pokémon-themed promotions, Visit Anaheim and Travel Portland, published posts showing where visitors and locals can find Pokémons and PokéStops at local attractions. Basically, the goal of the game is to catch digital gremlins (Pokémon) in the Google Maps-based app at specific places around a city (PokéStops) and compete with other gamers.
Kickstarter for Purpose Hotel NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With a mandate to “change the world in your sleep,” the Purpose Hotel launched its Kickstarter campaign July 19 as founder Jeremy Cowart invited people everywhere to join him in the fight for change. From room keys and soaps to furniture and Internet fees, every aspect of the global hotel chain will align with a greater mission through partnerships with organizations such as Charity: Water, Compassion International, International Justice Mission and Thistle Farms. The first location is scheduled for Cowart’s hometown of Nashville, Tenn.
Catering to people with autism NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, U.K. — Following a planned $2.65USD million redevelopment, the Elephant on the Tyne inn will reopen in October as The Vault, a hotel expressly for young people with autism. The Vault will be in the Gateshead area of Newcastle Upon Tyne, a city in Northeast England. All of its 28 guestrooms will be designed with autistic guests in mind. The restaurant on the ground floor will be a place for people with autism to eat without judgment. Staff will include people with autism who are being trained for a career in hospitality.
CORRECTION The listing for Canada’s Best Value Inn in our Franchise Report contained some mistakes. Here is the correct information.
Canada’s Best Value Inn 3300 North University Drive, Suite 500 Coral Springs, FL 33065 Phone: 888-316-2378 Fax: 440-247-2294 Contact: Bill Hanley Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Units (AT): 4 Units (ON): 12 Units (WS): 17 Units (CAN): 33 Total Rooms (CAN): 1,579 Franchise Fee: $16,500 (initial plus app) + $150 per room over 50 rooms Royalty: $21.50/room/month up to 50 rooms; $17.50/room/month next 25 rooms; $16.50/ room/month over 75 rooms — $860 monthly minimum. Marketing: $15/room/month — $600 monthly minimum. Fees in U.S. dollars. Comments: The most affordable alternative to a traditional hotel franchise.
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Real journalism Much has changed since I went to journalism school, but some things have not. Editors still tailor their content to what interests their readers. News articles still should answer the 5Ws and an H — how, why, when, where, who and what. News stories are still written in inverted pyramid style — i.e., with the key points at the top and lesser points further down in the story. And a good lead and catchy headline still grab the reader’s attention. At Ishcom Publications, we have always tried to keep a bit of distance between the content of the magazine and the advertising component. We believe that the editor’s primary concern should be delivering news that matters to our audience — keeping them informed about the events, people, openings, sales, renovations, technology and issues that are changing the lodging sector. There is no such thing as an average reader of Canadian Lodging News — readers range from CEOs of large, branded organizations to proprietors of small, family-owned hotels. When I choose the stories to publish in the
magazine, I visualize the owner or manager of a mid-sized hotel. Is the story something that could make a difference to that person and their property? Is there a regional balance throughout the publication? Is there a variety of stories dealing with brands and independents? Are the issues I am hearing about at conferences and in conversations with hoteliers covered in a Canadian context? It’s a balancing act, but it ensures that the magazine’s content is relevant and widely read. In recent years, many magazines have veered away from the news — with tight print budgets and pared-down staffing, some publications have decided to link editorial directly to advertising, i.e., if you book an advertising page in the magazine, then we will give you some great coverage. While that model might appeal to advertisers and help the publication’s bottom line, I don’t think it ultimately serves the interests of readers or advertisers. The companies that advertise are not the only ones that are newsworthy — sometimes the best stories are about companies who couldn’t afford to advertise. Often key advertisers do end up being the subjects of stories due to their roles in the in-
dustry. If they introduce a new brand, come up with a new technological innovation, hire some new staff, find a great way to market their organization, or have comments pertinent to one of our feature topics — that’s news and that’s when they should get the coverage! Sponsored content has a role to play, but it is clearly labelled as such and is not the major focus of the magazine. Does that make sense? As a business-tobusiness publication, Canadian Lodging News is an industry booster — we don’t steer away from contentious issues, but our goal is to provide content that is of assistance to the hotel owner or manager. As an editor, it’s important that I keep my eyes on what’s happening in the industry and of interest to our readers. One thing that has changed since journalism school — with the advent of social media, the tone of writing has become more personal, and more collaborative. So let’s work together to keep our magazine fresh and relevant. Please keep me posted about people, openings, new products or other stories! — Colleen Isherwood, Editor
Internet streaming is the future of television. Even today, millennials and post-millennials consume over twice as much online content than they do from traditional broadcast or cable channels. Think YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, Pandora, Spotify, Hulu, Vimeo — and not just on large televisions, but also on mobile devices. With so many options, the viewing landscape is increasingly fragmented and difficult for hoteliers to fully grasp. Right now we’re in the transition phase as our elders decline in both numbers and overall spending power, while the younger generations – acclimatized since birth to look first to the World Wide Web for visual content – continue to proliferate. How will your hotel adapt to these new viewing habits in order to grow advocacy and future loyalty among today’s youth? There are few ways around a huge capex in new smart TVs and doubling down on Wi-Fi bandwidth. Your guests already expect the latter service to be included in the room bill much the same as HVAC and running water. The problem here is that the more that’s streamed, the harder it is on your system. Sure, you can put caps on individual usage or opt for a tiered program, but ultimately the guest is always right, and the guest wants it free and fast no matter the cost on your end. The latest television models are all fitted
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Broadcast versus Internet ads Adapting to a streaming society also means adjusting your advertising channel strategy. You should consider YouTube, Facebook and other social or video-sharing channels, but really, for a true emotional impact, you must consider advertising on video-centric services. Comparatively, traditional broadcast casts a wide swath across many disparate demographics and commands a hefty upfront fee. Internet advertising is becoming increasingly specialized, allowing you to reach many individual market fragments and then aggregate them together for a meaningful reach. Despite this picture, make no mistake: broadcast works…but it is also pricey. Internet advertising can be undertaken on a massive scale by the flags, but it can also be executed by independents and small chains. The key for the latter is to really hone down your key target audience. For instance, let’s say you are the director of sales and marketing at a Rocky Mountain resort and the data show that the majority of your past revenue comes from young families living within driving range – i.e., Calgary, Edmonton, and, to a lesser extent, Red Deer, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat. Many of these digital channels would
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let you pinpoint the exact territories where your guests live, target only mothers and fathers aged 30 to 50, and with a few other qualifying interests. Now you have to take into account the pathway of purchase for this prime demographic and make minor adjustments for each of these streaming channels based upon differentiated viewing habits. When executed smartly and with enough frequency, aggregating all these fragmented channels together gives you a reach that can equal what’s achieved by broadcast with what is arguably a better penetration. Internet advertising is largely incremental or pay-as-you-go, like Google Adwords. This is a definite advantage for independents who lack the upfront cash flow to fund a full-scale TV campaign. We are consuming more television than ever before and this feeding frenzy is showing no signs of slowing down. Just as it’s your job to offer your guests exceptional amenities and exquisite food, you must also satisfy their ravenous appetites for video content. And as for advertising, you can opt for traditional broadcast or you can market digitally; either way, you must have a catchy idea to hook your customers. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that great advertisements are timeless, the best ones are always tuned in to what excites and motivates current audiences. Larry Mogelonsky is the founder of LMA Communications Inc. (www.lma.ca). His work includes three books Are You an Ostrich or a Llama?, Llamas Rule and Hotel Llama. Email: email@example.com.
VITO CURALLI Hilton Worldwide PHILIPPE GADBOIS Atlific Hotels & Resorts MARK HOPE Coast Hotels 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. 7 · SEPTEMBER 2016 Canadian Lodging News (www.canadianlodgingnews.com) is published 10 times a year by Ishcom Publications Ltd., 2065 Dundas Street East, Suite 201, Mississauga, Ont. L4X 2W1 T: (905) 206-0150 · F: (905) 206-9972 · Toll Free: 1(800)201-8596 Other publications include the Canadian Chains and Buyers’ Directory as well as: P A C I F I C / P R A I R I E
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Digital signage can increase property revenues tification badge to trigger messages to appear on digital signs when selling the property for special events. A digital concierge can be a display, with or without touch or gestural interaction, that provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about nearby shopping, eateries, shows and attractions, as well as amenities on the property. Since hospitality is so closely linked to transportation needs, information about ground transportation, flight status and weather outlook are welcomed by patrons.
Video walls and tiled display will continue to increase the appeal of public spaces and customer engagement. In retail and corporate locations they support branding, merchandising and communicate the goals and mission of the organization. The size and prominent placement of video walls and tiled displays offer a one-stop, immersive information centre for patrons with multiple information views at a single location. A hospital operator might use a video wall or lobby display to present events, local attractions, flight delays, breaking news and
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sports scores, safety or alert information along with branding and merchandising messages on the same multi-display video wall. Video walls hold appeal and value for the patron and the establishment. The inherent ability of digital signage to present images that are most suited to day and time, the location and major calendar events, mean that messages and information can be most relevant to hospitality patrons. Lyle Bunn (Ph.D. Hon.) has advised hundreds of end user organizations in digital signage planning, sourcing and optimization. Lyle@LyleBunn.com
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By Lyle Bunn Digital signage can increase property revenues, reduce costs and improve the vitality and ambiance of public spaces in hospitality. The medium is used extensively in places where people shop, browse, travel, gather, work and study, and many forward-thinking hospitality operators are aligning with the experience that consumer are coming to expect. Individual displays, tiled panels and video walls are increasingly an element of the “techorating” of the interior design and making the environment “phygital.” Nothing delivers brand identity, promotional messages and information as effectively as digital signage. And the medium is useful in presenting images that sooth and relax, or add distinction to an environment through the beauty of artistic images. Digital signage is a highly secure, closed-loop media presentation system. Content is managed from a central control station that is usually a desktop or laptop computer. Content is sent using internal Ethernet, Wi-Fi or is physically uploaded to media players that manage the playout on commercial-grade flat panels located in high-traffic areas. It is not uncommon to offer download of information from the digital signage to a mobile phone based on customer opt-in, or use the digital signage to gather information about the number and dwell time of people near the display. It is common to have third party advertising or sponsored content from travel-related or nearby businesses, which serves to offset the cost of the digital signage investment. A wide range of dynamic signage systems is available, typically from audiovisual, technology or security system integrators, as well as static sign providers. The LG Supersign, for example, is a complete turnkey digital sign that includes flat-panel, mount, built-in TV tuner and speakers, embedded media player and content management software. In whatever ways the medium is used, on site amenities and services can be promoted. The spa, salon, gift shop, café, bars, restaurants, in-room dining, business services and other revenue generation opportunities can be promoted at high-traffic locations or the optimal time of day. The calendar of events can be easily created and published on digital signage, providing a ready reference that informs patrons and reduces staff enquiries. Meeting space signage is changed easily and at low cost from a desktop or permissioned-access handheld device. Some operators use a Radio Frequency Iden-
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BY THE NUMBERS Record transaction volume anticipated for 2016
Guest satisfaction plateaus as perks become standard
TORONTO — According to Colliers International Hotels’ INNvestment Canada mid-year transaction report, sales momentum in Canada remained strong through the first half of 2016 with transaction volume of more than $717 million. This represents a 31 per cent increase over the first quarter of 2015 (when strategic acquisitions are excluded). With the pending $2.1 billion privatization of InnVest REIT and other “significant transactions” expected to close by the end of this year, Colliers’ report suggests 2016 “is pacing to rank as one of the highest transaction volumes on record.”
COSTA MESA, Calif. — As hotel guests increasingly come to expect amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, complimentary breakfasts and premium bed linens, that used to be special perks, the industry may be reaching a customer satisfaction plateau, according to the J.D. Power 2016 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, released July 13. The study, now in its 20th year, measures overall guest satisfaction across eight hotel segments: luxury; upper upscale; upscale; upper midscale; midscale; economy/budget; upper extended-stay; and extended-stay. Seven key measures are examined in each segment to determine overall satisfaction: reservation; check-in/check-out; guestroom; food and beverage; hotel services; hotel facilities; and cost and fees. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale. Although overall satisfaction has improved for a fourth consecutive year, increasing by two points from 2015 to average 806, this represents a much smaller increase than in recent years. In past years, strong improvements in cost and fees played a key role in improving satisfaction overall. While satisfaction with cost and fees improved by 25 points between 2014 and 2015, this year it has improved by only one point. “Customers have responded well to the enhanced offerings provided by some hotel brands to create value, but as those perks become standard, customers are quick to ask, ‘What have you done for me lately?’” said Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power, in a release. “When guests no longer see added value in the quality of amenities they receive, the only option to truly differentiate a brand is to develop a strong service culture that makes guests feel special and appreciated.” Interestingly, while satisfaction in most segments has remained flat, the luxury segment has improved by 12 points overall. Much of this improvement is attributed to a 20-point improvement in cost and fees. “Despite luxury hotels typically being the most expensive, this segment has been able to show guests that they’re providing additional value, which is clearly resonating,” said Garlick. The study also finds that while satisfaction is higher among members of hotel rewards programs than among non-members, younger guests are less likely to be members than older guests. Only 39 per cent of Gen Y guests belong to a rewards program, compared with 56 per cent of Gen X and 66 per cent of Boomer guests. In every generational group, customer satisfaction is significantly higher among guests who are rewards program members.
Lodging Econometrics: Hilton has largest pipeline PORTSMOUTH, NH — With 1,536 projects and 246,358 rooms, Hilton Worldwide has the largest brand presence by both project and room count in the global hotel construction pipeline, Lodging Econometrics (LE) reported on July 6. Since last year, Hilton has added 255 projects to its pipeline, up 20 per cent. Following closely is Marriott International, with 1,431 projects/231,517 rooms and InterContinental Hotel Group, with 1,281 projects/203,430 rooms. Lodging Econometrics (LE) is a lodging industry consulting partner for global real estate intelligence.
Transaction highlights: There were 61 reported trades during the first half of the year with hotel pricing averaging $99,300 per key, representing a 29 per cent increase year-over-year (excluding strategic trades). Limited-service properties represented 28 per cent of volume more than doubling year-over-year to $199 million, but full service assets remained the most dominant by volume, 43 per cent or $306 million. This included large deals in Toronto, Ottawa, Niagara Falls, Ont., Vancouver and Victoria, B.C. The focused-service segment grew nearly 40 per cent over last year, to $213 million. This segment saw the largest growth in average price per key to $103,700, an increase of 20 per cent. Geographically, transaction activity in Eastern Canada accounted for almost 70 per cent of volume. This was primarily in Ontario, where 62 per cent of transaction volume took place. Average price per key reached $101,100 in the East, a 10 per cent premium over Western Canada.
As for Colliers’ buyer analysis, private investors were most active in the Canadian hotel space, accounting for 34 per cent of volume ($199 million). Hotel investment companies were also rather active, accounting for 29 per cent of transaction volume as were public companies with 26 per cent.
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STR: Canada has positive hotel performance in Q2
Hotel construction pipeline growth in Canada steady
HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. — The Canadian hotel industry reported positive results in the three key performance metrics for the second quarter of 2016, according to STR data, it was announced on July 27. Compared with Q2 2015, the Canadian hotel industry’s occupancy was nearly flat (+0.4 per cent to 67.1 per cent). Average daily rate was up 2.5 per cent to $146.90. Revenue per available room increased 2.9 per cent to $98.62. Among the provinces, PEI recorded the largest year-over-year increases across the three key performance metrics. Occupancy in the province rose 10.0 per cent to 58.7 per cent; ADR was up 6.6 per cent to $137.61; and RevPAR grew 17.3 per cent to $80.82. The only other double-digit increase came in Nova Scotia, where RevPAR was up 14.7 per cent to $91.63. Alberta experienced the steepest declines in occupancy (-7.8 per cent to 57.3 per cent) and RevPAR (-11.1 per cent to $82.79). Saskatchewan reported the largest drop in ADR (-4.7 per cent to $127.50) and the only other double-digit decline in RevPAR (-10.2 per cent to $72.92).
PORTSMOUTH, NH — In Canada, the total hotel construction pipeline ended Q2 with 208 projects/25,177 rooms, up 10 per cent by projects and 9 per cent by rooms, according to the latest Canada Construction Pipeline Trend Report from Lodging Econometrics (LE), released Aug. 31. This is the fourth consecutive quarter where the pipeline shows year-over-year growth. There are 71 projects/9,888 rooms currently under construction. Projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months are at 79 projects/ 8,904 rooms, and projects in early planning are at 58 projects/6,385 Comfort Inn North Battleford, Sask., rooms. broke ground August 26.
Retro Suites Chatham: The Final Cut CHATHAM, Ont. — A log cabin room complete with deer antler chandelier, a vision of Paris with multiple Eiffel Towers and a sports room with a special-order rug resembling a football field are among the new rooms at Retro Suites hotel in downtown Chatham. Unveiled at an opening ceremony attended by about 500 people on July 28, the 12 new rooms at Chatham’s downtown boutique hotel bring the total for the hotel to 52. In what’s called “the Retro Suites Final Cut,” the nine historic buildings that make up the hotel now include: 45 suites; seven long-term suites; the Derby banquet centre, which recently underwent a million-dollar renovation; the Taking Care of Business conference room that accommodates 28 people seated or 60 standing; the Smart Space meeting room for up to 12 people; the Chilled Cork Restaurant and Lounge with 52 seats and a private dining room for up to 45 people. Pete Tsirimbis, general manager, says the suites range in price from $139 to $399 per night. There is no shortage of artwork and pieces of memorabilia, which come from the personal collection of Rob Myers, owner of the downtown Chatham hotel. Myers, a Chatham native, owns RM Group of Companies, including prestige auction arm RM Auctions, which generates $500-million in annual sales. It’s no surprise, then, that Retro Suites is loaded with collectibles. The pieces include original Ken and Barbie mannequins on display behind glass. Paintings by Rolling Stones band member Ronnie Wood adorn the back entrance wall, including one of Mick Jagger singing on stage. Myers’ wife Cathy has her artwork featured in several of the new suites, many of which she helped design, as well as in the hallways. Jessica Tsirimbis, Pete’s wife, designed the Paris suite. The treasures on display in the suites and hallways come from many sources, and are sometimes repurposed. For example, an old banquet centre bar was used as a sink in one of the suites. When local artist Lindsay Beaubien was selling off her artwork, Myers bought nine pieces for Retro Suites. A lawyer who had been practising in Chatham since the 1960s had a contents sale, and they paid $800 for his stuff. They also use Ontario trades and craftspeople. Countertops Unlimited in Chatham supplies some of the counters. Morba, Toronto-based purveyors of modern and vintage furniture and accessories, is the source of some of the black and white artwork. Housekeeping is no easy task — for example, the chandeliers in the Presidential Suite or in the hallway take two days to clean by hand and The Rock n’ Roll room has shiny silver tile. “It’s part of the price,” says Tsirimbis. “And it’s part of the character of the place.” The top 25 per cent of Chatham visitors stay here, he notes, adding that Retro Suites is popular among the locals for staycations and, of course, weddings. In terms of ADR, Retro Suites is second in the city, after the Holiday Inn Express and Suites located on the site of the former Wheel’s Inn. For executives, “from Monday to Thursday, it’s us or the Holiday Inn, and blue collar guests choose the Travelodge or Comfort Inn. We have people who have meetings in London or Windsor and are willing to drive the extra hour to stay here.” Tsirimbis came to Retro Suites in 2011 after working in family restaurants since he was a child, attending Wilfrid Laurier University, working in Greece, and at the Fairmont and Pan Pacific in Whistler, B.C. New to the hotel is Tina Childs, hotel manager, who grew up north of Dresden, Ont., went to Fanshawe College, then worked at Marriott, Hilton and Best Western. Retro Suites is a cross between an art hotel and a museum. “Art hotels were all the rage 10 years ago, and the new trend is for these hotels to be more like a museum,” Tsirimbis said.
Pete Tsirimbis and Tina Childs.
Paris themed room.
Game Time themed room.
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Tools of EngagEmEnT By Don Douloff
Social media drives awareness of brands and properties, engages guests in-stay and drives loyalty and revenue. graphics designed by Freepik.com
ocial media is here to stay, and the savvy operator will embrace it and use the tools to their best advantage. The numbers tell the tale. For example, the Hotel Association of Canada’s (HAC) 2016 Travel Intentions Survey asked leisure travellers where they generally went to gather information about accommodations. Social media site use is up three per cent over last year, seven per cent over the last two years and are most used by 18-24 year olds (28 per cent of respondents). The HAC survey asked business travellers where they generally went to get information on accommodations. More than half of business travellers (55 per cent) read comments/ testimonials left by other travellers to a property, up three per cent from 2015. What’s more, the importance of social media on-property selection is up six per cent over 2015. User reviews are also crucial, with 81 per cent of travellers finding reviews important, according to figures provided by Expedia. Furthermore, 49 per cent of travellers won’t book a hotel without a review and 53 per cent of travellers don’t commit to a booking until they read reviews. Social media platforms give hotels additional ways to reach out to their guests, and showcase new features and specials, or keep hotels relevant to them, said Stephen Roome, president of Orillia, Ont.-based First Page SEO. Social media also gives properties a chance to push their brand out to a new audience through past guests when they post or share something
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to their social media accounts for their friends to see. Guest reviews are one of the most trusted online sources of information for potential guests doing their research. If a property doesn’t have positive reviews online, hoteliers are “missing out on building additional online trust for potential guests,” said Roome.
RELATABLE CONTENT At a presentation earlier this year at the Resorts of Ontario conference, Roome stressed the importance of leveraging social media by creating relatable, shareable content allowing people to connect with resorts’ messages. It’s important, he said, to create content that is businessfocused 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. “Social media has become critical across many elements of our business, from driving awareness of our brands and hotels, to engaging our guests in-stay, to driving loyalty and revenue,” said Christine Espinoza, associate director, social media strategy, at Starwood Hotels & Resorts. She added that “social media has become one of the primary sources of research for travel, so this has really become an essential marketing tool for our hotels.” Starwood encourages its
hotels to maintain a presence on all major channels (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as Weibo and WeChat in China), but “how a hotel uses those channels really can vary based on hotel type and business objective,” said Espinoza. “For instance, a luxury resort in a picturesque location might have a heavier presence on Instagram, while a hotel that is trying to drive more local F&B business might focus more heavily on highly targeted Facebook ads. We have field marketing teams in the various divisions and regions around the world that work with our hotels to identify the right channel mix and strategies based on their business objectives and regionally-specific social media trends and behaviours.”
TRANSPORT THE VIEWER Generally speaking, a hotel’s social channels should transport the viewer and really
convey the experience/benefits of staying there, said Espinoza. “The more transportative the content, the more likely it is to influence a viewer to book a stay.” Espinoza reported that “the most direct impact we are able to see is the impact (of social media) to revenue that we can track via the social content integrated into our sites. When a visitor views user-generated content at our hotels (both in the form of Instagram photos and reviews), we see a significant lift in conversion, which really speaks to the power that social can have in influencing travel decisions.” Stats provided by Starwood indicate that there were 7.8 million engagements in 2016 through social media channels and more than 65,000 messages published by Starwood properties and brands to social media so far this year. At Starwood, ratings and reviews are a key form of basic content that guests and potential guests actively seek, according to Sandra Henriques Pimentel, global social media manager, platforms and tools. “For potential guests, this type of information is accessed before they decide to book a stay at one of our properties. Post-purchase, ratings and reviews provide guest feedback for servicing loyal members and attracting future guests.” In 2011, Starwood began integrating reviews onto their properties, and since 2013, has featured a review management program with an index score that is shared monthly. The company highlights positive reviews on its property pages with review snippets.
“Review volume and average rating are significant factors in conversion for our properties,” said Pimentel. “They play a powerful part in converting shoppers to guests. We see a substantial conversion lift for users that look at our ratings and reviews onsite and our guest galleries, which feature content from Instagram.” At Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, at both the hotel and global brand level, the brand believes it’s important to not only have a presence on owned channels, but to be actively listening to what others are saying about the brand and engaging with them, said Alissa Montbriand, vice-president, global integrated marketing communications. “Active listening helps us to know what our guests love and what we need to be doing better to continue to create value. Engagement gives us a personality and allows us to deliver on our brand promises not just while a guest is in-hotel.”
FACEBOOK AND TWITTER Most of Carlson Rezidor’s hotels are on Facebook, with some also using Twitter. Properties post content that is a mix of corporate/ brand-driven, and location- and hotel-specific.
SOCIAL VIDEO CASE STUDY The new kid on the social-media block is social video. Gord Bell, owner of Beauview Cottage Resort, in Huntsville, Ont., was an early adopter of Periscope, a live-streaming interactive social video app owned by Twitter. Indeed, Bell began using the free app shortly after its April, 2015, release for iPhones and Android phones. “The interactive nature of video is a gamechanger, because viewers are the participants,” said Bell. “People choose resorts based on trust, and interactive video is a great way to build trust.” He emphasizes that social video doesn’t replace commercially produced video but, instead, “offers another dimension. It’s unscripted, real, authentic, and shows everyday life behind the scenes. It introduces your brand to the world.” Periscope provides live broadcasting via cellphone and viewers can communicate with the host during the broadcast. Bell has logged more than 500 Periscope broadcasts, and on average, 150 people watch, with viewership reaching as high as 300. “Periscope saves all my past broadcasts unless I tell it otherwise.” Viewers find broadcasts via a map showing where in the
“Increasing a business and building a brand is more than just content. Genuine engagement with guests is also a huge piece of social media presence for our hotels,” said Montbriand. “Call-to-action enhancements on Facebook allow someone to book directly through the platform in a seamless experience. The hotel representatives can engage in two-way dialogue with guests and provide information that pertains to more than the in-hotel experience, as travel is often about more than accommodations.” Reviews are of “huge importance” in terms of business, Montbriand added. “We emphasize review management even more than being present on Facebook or Twitter at the hotel level because 80 per cent of people trust online reviews just as much as they trust personal feedback.” Review sites also allow for review responses from senior management staff at each of Carlson Rezidor’s hotel properties. At Marriott, “today’s entrepreneurial business traveller craves unexpected experiences worth sharing. We know they are on social media, and we know we need to be as well. Our target would most likely discover or learn about Renaissance Hotels through social media, so we
world Periscope live streams originate. Typically, Bell live-broadcasts on Periscope every couple of days. Each session lasts about five minutes, but can go longer if viewers chat more. His broadcasts focus on the weather and tourist activities or attractions in his resort’s area. He’s careful not to make broadcasts a hard sell of his resort. “It turns people off if you’re giving them a commercial. It’s relationship building. After seeing broadcasts, viewers develop a connection.” To use these live-streaming apps, all that’s needed is a smartphone and an Internet connection accommodating eight megabytes of data per minute. Once the broadcaster is comfortable with the process, he or she can show their face, said Bell. But he cautioned users to “choose your broadcaster wisely, since the host becomes the de facto face of your brand.” Bell has been using Facebook Live since May and said it has challenges because of the 10-to15-second lag between sending and receiving text-message comments from viewers, whereas Periscope is instantaneous. “The great thing about Facebook is that you can carry on the conversation after the live broadcast has ended. Not so with Periscope. Facebook has also adjusted its algorithm to give a lot more exposure to video and live video without having to pay for it.” Facebook Live also allows users to pay to
need to ensure the brand and our hotels have great content that is pulling through the brand positioning,” said Amy Sherman, senior director of digital marketing, lifestyle brands, Marriott International. The brand has more than 160 hotels active in the social media space and this helps hotels gain awareness in their markets through targeted buys, influencer activations and promoting events. Social media, said Sherman, allows for “very targeted messaging, so we are able to let the right people know about the cool stuff happening at our hotels, as well as provide live coverage of the events for people who can’t get there themselves.”
DOUBLING TRAFFIC Additionally, social media enables Marriott to deliver on its service commitment in a new way. Sherman cites an example in London, where the brand’s social media team noticed a pair of influencers talking about how badly they needed a massage “and invited them to join us for a spa day. Their visit and the social posts that followed were responsible for doubling traffic to the spa website.”
boost views and traffic. As an experiment, over this year’s July long weekend, Bell paid $10 to boost a Huntsville-area weather report, which reached 3,500 people in the Greater Toronto Area, 1,200 of whom watched the broadcast over the ensuing 24 hours after the video had been archived. Currently, the two services deliver different audiences, with Periscope available to “anybody in the world,” introducing Bell’s property to people who never knew it existed. In contrast, Facebook Live is only available to people with a connection to Bell’s resort — for example, those who have liked his Facebook page. Periscope offers more interaction, since viewers ask questions during the live chat. Consequently, Bell can tailor broadcasts to those who are watching. He broadcasts the same subjects on Periscope and Facebook Live, to cross-promote on both platforms. Viewers, he said, are not accustomed to using Facebook Live to engage in a dialogue. “They think it’s a video.” Bell’s Facebook Live broadcasts are posted on his Facebook page, so viewers tend to see it after it’s been live-broadcast. As for tangible results from these broadcasts, “one of my Periscope followers came to visit on his motorcycle and another of my followers
In mid-June, Renaissance held its annual Global Day of Discovery, where guests and the local community are invited to attend exclusive hotel events and venture into the neighbourhood to experience hot spots for food, bars and entertainment. This year — with 170 events taking place in 24 hours — the brand activated on other channels as well, including livestreaming on Periscope (see sidebar) from events all around the world. On that day alone, guests on-property shared more than 21,000 photos on their personal Instagram accounts, according to Sherman. “We also activated Snapchat geo-filters and Facebook Live. We utilized Marriott International’s M Live [marketing command centre] capabilities to activate 24-hour coverage.” Knowing that guests look to hotel reviews before they book a room, Marriott.com, in 2015, implemented reviews from Marriott confirmed guests. “We ensure that someone on property is monitoring sites like TripAdvisor and others so we are able to address any concerns quickly. We also monitor and respond via our brand social channels, as many guests give us compliments on these channels as well,” said Sherman.
called to book an executive retreat.” This past July, a group of Beauview guests had used Facebook Live to research the resort prior to booking, said Bell.
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Western Canadian Lodging Conference VANCOUVER — Big Picture Conferences’ annual hotel investment conference for western Canada has a new name for the third time since it started in 2008. The new name is short and to-the-point, and hopefully it will stick! It’s now simply called the Western Canadian Lodging Conference. “Back in 2008 it was called the Canadian Resort Investment Conference, as the content solely focused on the expansion and development of resort product in Canada,” explained Big Picture Conferences’ Orie Berlasso. “In 2010, we changed the name to the Western Canadian Hotel & Resort Investment Conference to broaden the appeal and provide more breadth to the program; however, that name and the acronym WCH&RIC proved to be quite the mouthful. We thought a simpler title was in order, it just made sense to make it easier for everyone.” No matter what the name, the conference, held Oct. 4-5 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, is still a gathering place for the who’s who of Canadian lodging investments.
“We are bringing our ever so popular Let’s Make a Hotel Deal to the main stage instead of a breakout session. Our moderators (and part-time game show hosts), Brian Flood and Greg Kwong, will lead this interactive and entertaining session taking us through valuation approaches for a range of existing and proposed hotels and resorts in Western Canada.” Of all the Big Picture Conferences events, this show has seen the strongest growth in participation from both attendees and sponsorship support. Back in 2008, the event attracted 150 people and seven sponsors. Today the conference welcomes 300 industry executives from both resort and urban lodging sectors and 35 partnering companies who generously contribute to its success. “Many of the sponsors hold spin-off meetings and client functions around the date of the conference, which increases the networking and business value of the Western Canadian Lodging Conference,” Berlasso said.
Controversial Keynote New features this year Berlasso said there are some new features this year.
Leonard Brody is a venture capitalist, award-winning entrepreneur, bestselling author, and a two-time Emmy-nominated media vision-
ary who is consistently ranked as the No. 1 speaker on conference programs. He has been called “a controversial leader of the new world order” by BC Business magazine. Brody’s new talk, “The Great ReWrite,” explains the fundamental shift in the way we view business and how models for success are being rewritten by smaller players from the bottom up, and not by incumbent brands. He has seen that large organizations, such as Kodak and Blockbuster, are not good at responding to change. As a result, they got written out of history. The whole point of the talk is to try and give people a framework, so they can understand what’s going on around them. Brody will talk to the audience about the things they can do to be defensive and actually structure their businesses in a way that keeps them competitive.
Keynote speaker Leonard Brody.
Southern B.C., Alberta resorts have stellar performance
Cindy Schoenauer. VANCOUVER —The strongest year-to-date (YTD) performance results in western Canada are primarily within southern B.C., (including Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island and Whistler) and the Alberta Resorts region. Metro Vancouver, Whistler and the Alberta Resorts region are experiencing a second consecutive year of double digit revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth. The strongest performance results are generally in the markets that have strong demand from leisure travellers. The markets are benefitting from increased visitation encouraged by favourable exchange rates for both U.S. and international visitors, and increased air capacities at Vancouver International Airport. The City of Vancouver is posting the strongest GDP growth of the 13 census cities tracked
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by the Conference Board of Canada. Vancouver International Airport has also increased air capacity from key source markets including China, Japan and South Korea. Continued growth in both occupancy and ADR is forecast for Vancouver in 2016, as shown in CBRE’s 2016 Major Markets Outlook. We expect this high level of growth will continue in the foreseeable future since Vancouver is a high barrier to entry market, where developers face high land and construction costs. The lack of new supply will contribute to a continued strong outlook for this market. At the opposite end of the spectrum, certain resource markets in B.C. are mimicking the performance declines experienced in Alberta and Saskatchewan. For example, the RevPAR in the Prince George accommodation market is down 12.8 per cent based on YTD June 2016 results. Weak natural resource prices, notably for natural gas and several minerals, are resulting in mine closures or suspension of operations, and lower drilling activity, which has delayed any investment decisions by proponents of large scale LNG projects. Other northern B.C. markets are experiencing comparable or greater decreases in RevPAR. New room supply is being developed/opening in anticipation of large-scale LNG projects, which has exacerbated the weak results in some of these markets. For 2016, Alberta is in the midst of what most forecasts indicate will be their second consecutive year in recession, and the performance of the accommodation sector is indicative of
the difficult economic environment. YTD June 2016 results show RevPAR declines at 20.8 per cent for the province, excluding the Alberta Resorts region. The Alberta Resorts region is generating June YTD RevPAR growth of 13.5 per cent over the same period in 2015. The Calgary market is coping with both the downturn in economic activity coupled with strong growth in new room supply, which is projected at nearly 7 per cent in 2016. The Edmonton market will also see supply growth in 2016, at more than 4 per cent, placing downward pressure on RevPAR. Double-digit RevPAR declines are occurring in several other markets throughout Alberta thus far (YTD June) within the province. Saskatchewan is seeing a similar trend of RevPAR declines, though not as profound as Alberta. Overall, RevPAR in the province has declined by 11.3 per cent according to YTD June 2016 results. The Saskatoon market is seeing strong declines in RevPAR, down 16.8 per cent at YTD June 2016. Overall supply growth of 9.0 per cent in 2015 and a further 8.0 per cent in 2016, along with sluggish economic performance, are the primary factors impacting Saskatoon’s hotel performance. The Regina market is projected to have a 10.0 per cent increase in room supply in 2016. The June YTD results, however, show demand growth thus far in 2016, which has lessened the negative impact on RevPAR performance. The accommodation market for Manitoba results has shown no growth up to June 2016. A closer look, however, shows declines in the Bran-
don and Other Manitoba markets has been offset by positive RevPAR growth in Winnipeg. According to the Conference Board of Canada, the Winnipeg economy will see gains in GDP growth for 2016, due to strength in the manufacturing industry, specifically as it relates to aerospace and bus manufacturing. On a regional basis, the robust growth levels that we are seeing in B.C. have been more than offset by declines we are seeing in Alberta and Saskatchewan, for an overall regional decline of 3.5 per cent in RevPAR, based on YTD June 2016 results. The chart below provides a snapshot of the CBRE’s 2016 Major Market Outlook for Western Canada. Cindy Schoenauer, AACI, is Director for the CBRE Hotels Valuation & Advisory Services Team. The Western Canadian markets are covered through the Vancouver CBRE office.
Saskatchewan WCB refunds $281 million REGINA — Acquiescing to the demands of hundreds of employers and industry groups, the Saskatchewan WCB (Workers Compensation Board) announced on June 29 that is refunding the $281 million it owes to the province’s employers. WCB stated that the full amount will be refunded in two 2016 installments, half coming in July and the remainder in December. The WCB received over 600 written submissions calling for the return of the money. Submissions were received from industry groups such as the Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association, Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Restaurants Canada, Saskatchewan Construction Association, NSBA, SK Manufacturers, and Canadian Tax Payers Federation. “We must continually remind the WCB that they are funded by the employers of our province and they have a fiduciary duty to be
good stewards of our money. They work with our money, not theirs,” said Jim Bence, SHHA president and CEO, in the July issue of the association’s magazine. “Somehow the financial relationship between ‘us’ and ‘them’ has been reversed, with ‘them’ believing, in my opinion, that they are autonomous of all others and can act with impunity irrespective of the demands of the very people that fund the organization,” continued Bence. “The SHHA Board of Directors and staff appreciates Minister of Labour Relations and Workplace Safety, Hon. Don Morgan, for his influence on the refunding of the $281 million surplus. “The SHHA looks forward to further discussions exploring ways in which stakeholders can work collaboratively with government on the transformation of a flawed WCB system and proactively avoid any future overfunding.”
Historic Hotels of America nominees include Chateau Frontenac, King Eddy WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, in Québec City, and The Omni King Edward Hotel, in Toronto, were named finalists in the Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide 2016 Historic Hotels Awards of Excellence, it was announced Aug. 30. “Our awards committee selected both hotels based on their outstanding hospitality standards and (because) they do an amazing job not only at maintaining their unique history, but also telling the history of their hotel in such an exceptional way,” a Historic Hotels of America spokesperson told CLN. These awards recognize and celebrate the finest historic hotels and hoteliers across the nation and around the world.
Gala dinner held in Honolulu The 2016 Historic Hotels Annual Awards of Excellence and Gala Dinner will take place at The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort in Honolulu, Hawaii on Nov. 3. The final award winners will be announced to recipients before an audience of
owners, senior management, industry leaders, and representatives from the finest historic hotels across the U.S. and for the first time, worldwide. Award recipients are selected from nominees received from historic hotels, historic preservation supporters, prior award recipients, and leadership from Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. As official programs of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide provide the recognition to travellers, civic leaders, and the global cultural, heritage, and historic travel market that member hotels are among the finest historic hotels across America and around the world. The Historic Hotels Annual Awards of Excellence program recognizes the pinnacle of this distinct group of nominees in a range of categories. From over 200 nominations, the awards committee evaluated, and after careful consideration selected over 100 2016 award nominee finalists.
MORE RESOURCES. LESS CONSTRAINTS.
HAC Hall of Fame call for entries OTTAWA — The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) is accepting entries for the 2016 Hall of Fame Awards of Excellence, it was announced Aug. 30. Deadline for submissions is Nov. 11. Awards will be presented at the HAC Annual Conference Feb. 15-16, 2017, at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre. Awards will be presented in the following categories: The Humanitarian Award: Given for individuals/programs that demonstrate to residents that the individual property is responsive to the local community. The Human Resources Award: Given for programs/individuals that develop a climate conducive to new and/or repeat business, create goodwill among guests, provide special services, reverse negative public relations situations or effectively solve guest complaints. The Green Key Environment Award:
Recognizes lodging properties that have developed a culture towards integrating environmental management practices that improve everyday operations and the bottom line, while maintaining quality service and meeting guest expectations. The Green Key Meetings Award: Recognizes facilities of all sizes for their commitment to improving the environmental performance of their meetings and/or events operations and the well-being of their staff and guests. Nominations are also open for the Stephen Phillips Passion for Hospitality Bursary. The bursary will be awarded to the hospitality student who best represents the qualities that Stephen Phillips brought to the industry. Access the Hall of Fame Awards nomination forms and view a list of past winners here http://hotelassociation.ca/site/news/Awards. asp
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Next steps for The Rosseau JW Marriott Resort & Spa
View of the resort from Lake Rosseau. By Colleen Isherwood, Editor ROSSEAU, Ont. — Ken Fowler, entrepreneur and original developer of The Rosseau, A JW Marriott Resort and Spa, built a jewel in Muskoka — a five-star hotel at four-star prices. Now Michael Sneyd is refining Fowler’s vision and taking the resort to the next phase. Sneyd, who was recently named COO of Rosseau Developments after more than five years as CEO of Skyline International Development Inc., said his career has come full circle since 1989, when he was hired by Dumez, a French development company, to develop a resort on the island of Nevis, in the Caribbean. The four-season resort had a golf course, restaurant and a residential component — the leading edge of a development model that would
become increasingly popular. In Toronto, just about every four-star hotel that has opened has a hotel/residential condo/retail model. Indeed, when the Delta Toronto opened two years ago, it was hailed as the first purpose-built four-star property for Toronto in two decades. Sneyd then moved to Signature Resorts, where he developed golf course communities in the U.S. sunbelt, including a Marriott in Tucson, Ariz. “I came from a tropical paradise and here I was building an airport hotel in the desert,” Sneyd told CLN during a tour of the Rosseau property. But they convinced Marriott to change the interior and exterior architecture to fit in with the Arizona desert, and to upgrade the guestrooms to include big bathrooms with separate showers and tubs, and two-sink vani-
ties, so that guests would say, ‘Wow! We’re glad we’re here.’” Marriott took the architecture from that property and used it for two more U.S. hotels, Sneyd said. They created a new brand, JW, positioned between Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, aiming to deliver a five-star experience at fourstar prices. Sneyd was on hand to advise Fowler when he brought the JW brand to Ontario — and they still stay in touch. Fowler built the JW Marriott hotel/residential/condo/retail development on Lake Rosseau, opening in 2009 — smack dab in the middle of the recession. No expense was spared, with exquisite custom details and thoughtful touches that exceeded even JW standards. For example, hotel exterior lights all faced downward so that they would not interfere with
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the night sky, to accommodate astronomy sessions. There are stone fireplaces, granite countertops, carved headboards and hand-painted dressers and night tables in every unit. “You’re building a Ritz,” Fowler was told. Fowler sold all of the condo units, but he had overspent his budget and had to go into receivership. Many of the condo purchasers reneged on their agreements.
Canadian Niagara Hotels Canadian Niagara Hotels purchased the complex after the receivership in 2009/10. Their goals were to turn it around financially, sort out operational issues relating to condo owners, fix all the legal issues and then sell the units and keep the hotel running. Today, the hotel is not only running; it is bustling, almost fully occupied during the summer months. It has achieved top 10 status in the Conde Nast ranking of Canadian resort hotels for the past three years — the only hotel east of the Rockies on the list. Of the 221 units, 89 are owned. The five-star finishes have held up well; only the sofa beds in the studio, one- and two-bedroom suites need replacing, partly because of the clientele. Originally designed as a couples getaway property, it turned out to be a family destination too, said Sneyd. Fowler is now in his 90s, but far from retired. His original vision included not just the existing hotel, restaurants and spa on the 18-acre property, but Red Leaves, a broader community over on the Cleveland House lands, down the road from the JW. After the receivership, Fowler retained Cleveland House, Lakeside resort and The Rock golf course. While Sneyd thinks Fowler’s original plans for 2,000 condo units may be too ambitious, there is a wider market for the greater Red Leaves community. “We fully expect that vision will come to pass; it will just take longer than we originally thought,” said Sneyd. Step No. 1 for Sneyd is to sell the remaining suites, called Rosseau Residences, beginning in September. They range in size from 496-square-foot studios to two-bedroom units at 1,120 square feet. Pricing starts in the low 200s, or $450 to $500 per square foot, “well below the original cost,” said Sneyd. Once the existing units are sold, they will start work on townhouse-style cottages on the lake, with prices starting at $1.75 million for 1,200 square feet.
New Castle plans to double portfolio in four years SHELTON, Conn. — New Castle Hotels and Resorts (NCHR) plans to double its roster of owned and managed hotels by 2020, it was announced recently. The growth will be split evenly among new management contracts, acquisitions and new-build hotels. “Throughout this most recent economic upturn, our development team has been cultivating a broad range of opportunities that are poised to come to fruition over the next four years,” said Gerry Chase, president and COO. “Simultaneously, we selectively refined our existing portfolio and expanded our investment capacity to take advantage of the coming opportunities. “We have a clear strategic plan of what we want: a mix of full- and select-service hotels with major brands,” he added. “We have an excellent reputation as a manager, and deliver stellar returns on investments. That, coupled with being a preferred operator with all of the major flags, puts us in a great position to execute this four-year plan.” According to Chase, the plan sets up the company to weather any business cycle by balancing the portfolio equally between owned and operated assets. “We have been operating for REITs as well as managing and co-investing with several pri-
vate equity funds in the last 10 years and those important partnerships, coupled with longstanding relationships with smaller investors, will contribute to the third-party management side of the equation,” he said. Immediate Canadian plans include negotiating a third-party management contract at a resort in Quebec and launching a dual-branded Residence Inn/Courtyard by Marriott in Dartmouth, N.S., which is set to break ground as early as this fall. Plans are also afoot for the Westin Nova Scotian, in Halifax. “Twenty years ago, we took the shuttered Nova Scotian, a beloved fixture of the Canadian Pacific Railroad era, to become the first Westin franchise property,” Chase added. “In August, we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of our Westin Nova Scotian by reupping the franchise agreement for another 20 years. Those kinds of complex projects now are part of our DNA and we will continue to look for those opportunities in the coming years.” South of the border, the company is in negotiations for a third-party management contract at a hotel on Long Island, N.Y. Acquisitions, including the previously announced purchase of the Hampton Inn Milwaukee Downtown and the opening of the Fairfield Inn and Suites New Orleans this sum-
The Westin Nova Scotian, Halifax. mer, put the company on pace to achieve its goal. Two years ago, New Castle set its sights on geographic diversification, opening the Westin Jekyll Island with investment partner Leon Weiner & Associates. Further southern expansion, including a new-build in Tennessee and a second acquisition in New Orleans, are in the works. “These upcoming projects represent a cross
section of our development and operational strengths, leveraging our management bench strength and deep brand knowledge,” Chase said. “With 35 years of experience under our belts, we are very well positioned to take advantage of the positive economic environment with a solid plan, trusted partners and a clear vision for reaching our 2020 goal of 40 hotels,” Chase said.
Zuzapp: property branded mobile engagement apps from Westin and IHG properties to a wide variety of independents and resorts, he says. “We didn’t think there would be a market for brands, but our solution is more feature-rich than what’s offered by brands — it’s not just a booking
engine.” One of the best features is the ability to localize and individualize the app, and brand apps don’t always do that, Della Busa says. “It’s property-branded, just for them. They
can integrate the bookings engine and push global offers. But it can also initiate real-time mobile offers that can drive more traffic to their spa or their restaurants, increasing guest frequency and average spend.”
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OTTAWA — Tony Della Busa, based in Stittsville near Ottawa, works for Zuzapp, which offers hotels a cloud-based, property branded mobile guest engagement app for just $40 US a month. The company, which has been around for two years, aims to help hoteliers monetize engagement and promotion, increase direct bookings, improve guest satisfaction scores, help with guest recovery when something goes wrong, and improve TripAdvisor reviews and rankings. “By comparison, technology vendors will charge you tens of thousands of dollars to create the app, and hundreds of dollars a month to host it,” says Della Busa. While independents make up about 60 per cent of their clientele, the other 40 per cent is branded hotels. Customers range
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September 2016 | 1 3
Canadian Lodging news
Top 65 Chains 2016 REPORT Research by Peter Elliott
TOP 10 CANADIAN HOTEL MANAGERS UNITS (CAN 2016)
UNITS (CAN 2015)
ROOMS (CAN 2016
ROOMS (CAN 2015)
Westmont Hospitality Group
Pacrim Hospitality Services
SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts
Bayview Hospitality Group
Crescent Hotels & Resorts
Atlific recently picked up the Residence Inn Calgary South.
Pacrim has added the Hampton Inn Truro,N.S. and began construction on a 121-room Cambria Hotel & Suites in Fredericton, N.B. They lost the Four Points in Kelowna.
VJ has added Hampton Saskatoon, Holiday Inn Express Yorkton and a Motel 6 in Regina in the last year.
Bayview just bought the Days Inn Ottawa Airport and Hilton Garden Inn Mississauga, Ont.
TOP 20 CANADIAN DEVELOPMENT/OWNERSHIP FIRMS UNITS (CAN 2016)
UNITS (CAN 2015)
ROOMS (CAN 2016
ROOMS (CAN 2015)
Superior Lodging Corp.
Signed agreement with Wyndham in May to franchise Ramada in Eastern Canada.
Purchased Westmark Whitehorse in 2016.
Sunray Group of Hotels
Lakeview Hotel Management Inc.
Silver Hotel Group
Vrancor Hospitality Corp.
Vrancor has added seven hotels and sold four in the last year.
Easton's Group of Hotels
Eastonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s purchased Four Points Toronto Airport and plans new Element on the same site.
Looking to expand its Home Hotels by d3h brand.
Royal Hotel Group
This is the former Westmark and Executive Hotels hotel chain.
Manga Hotels Group
Manga bought the Holiday Inn Harbourview in Dartmouth and the Crowne Plaza Toronto Airport in the last year.
Sterling Group Inc.
Super8s in Midland and Brockville are gone.
Territorial Developer of Microtel Inns + Suites in Canada. Aggressive expansion in Eastern Canada.
SALES $MILLIONS (CAN 2016)
SALES $MILLIONS (CAN 2015)
Morguard took over from Shelter Canadian Properties Ltd. as asset manager for Temple Hotels. Sunray Group has an extensive expansion plan. They look to continue their growth for the remainder of 2016, during which they have already taken control of six assets, with further expansion plans for 2017.
Just added Hotel Bleu to their portfolio.
PHI Hotel Group
Holiday Inn Spruce Grove has been sold. Signed Master Franchise agreement with Wyndham in May for Wingate by Wyndham and Hawthorn Suites.
1 4 | Canadian Lodging News
Acquisitions change Canadian hotel landscape The mergers and acquisitions that began early last year with Marriott acquiring Delta, continued over the past 12 months. Marriott continued its buying frenzy late last year by making an offer to acquire Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Marriott got into a bidding war with Anbang Insurance Group, and at press time was waiting for Chinese approval to complete the deal. Marriott’s $13.6 billion US takeover of Starwood will create an international behemoth of 1.1. million rooms in 5,500 hotels flying 30 different flags, making it almost 50 per cent larger (on a total room basis) than Hilton, the world’s next larg-
est hotel chain. Of the 232,954 branded hotel rooms in Canada as of December 31, 2014 (regional, national and international chains, excluding hotels of 30 rooms and less), a total of 45,954 or almost 20 per cent will be controlled by Marriott. This total includes 16,610 Marriott rooms, 18,474 Starwood rooms and 10,070 Delta rooms. Marriott’s almost 46,000 rooms will fly 17 different flags ranging from Ritz-Carlton and Meridien to Fairfield and Four Points. On July 12, AccorHotels Group officially announced the acquisition of FRHI Hotels & Resorts (FRHI) and its three luxury
hotel brands: Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel. FRHI has 155 hotels and resorts (of which 40 are under development), and more than 56,000 rooms (of which approximately 13,000 are under development). Here in Canada, Fairmont is far bigger than AccorHotels. Accor has eight properties with 1,881 rooms, including seven Novotels and a lone Sofitel in Montreal. Fairmont has 19 hotels, including both historic icons and luxury newer-builds, with a total of 9,984 rooms. This means that Canadian properties account for 23 per cent of FRHI’s portfolio by rooms.
top 35 CanaDian HotEL BRanDs RANK 2016
Best Western Hotels & Resorts
Opened new property in Peace River, AB recently. Has launched a new Extended Stay prototype; new build PLUS level.
Comfort (Choice Hotels Canada)
Super 8 (WYN)
In June 2016, opened Super 8 in Mont Laurier QC. Two new Super 8s in Alberta in 2017 (Hardisty and Canmore). Super 8 Fort McMurray destroyed in fire.
Days Inns - Canada (REA)
Opened locations in Prince George, Victoria, Canmore and Moncton.
Looking to expand across Canada.
Holiday Inn Express (IHG)
Quality (Choice Hotels Canada)
Ramada Worldwide (WYN)
Holiday Inn Hotel & Resorts (IHG)
Econo Lodge (Choice Hotels Canada)
Hampton Inn/Hampton Inn & Suites (HIL)
Sandman Hotel Group (SAN)
Howard Johnson Canada (WYN)
Delta Hotels and Resort (MAR)
Knights Inn Canada (WYN)
Canadas Best Value Inn (VAN)
CBVI has strategic expansion plans throughout Canada.
Motel 6 (REA)
Opened locations in Airdrie, AB and Innisfail, AB in 2014.
Four Points by Sheraton (STA)
Courtyard by Marriott (MAR)
Lakeview Management Inc
Residence Inn by Marriott (MAR)
Hilton Garden Inn (HIL)
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott (MAR)
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Sheraton Hotels and Resorts (STA)
Homewood Suites by Hilton (HIL)
Marriott Hotels & Resorts (MAR)
Westin Hotels & Resorts (STA)
Ascend Collection (Choice Hotels Canada
Western Budget Motels
Lethbridge Lodge and a new build, Abbotsford Airport, have recently been added to the Sandman portfolio. Working on hotels in Hamilton, Ottawa and St. John's.
Fairmont Queen Elizabeth in Montreal closed for renovations. Expected to reopen in the summer of 2017.
Radisson Regina gone. Radisson Red Deer added.
Two new properties added in Quebec.
September 2015 | 1 5
Regional Breakdown TOP 10 WESTERN DEVELOPER/OWNERS by region Superior Lodging Corp. Units: 153 Rooms: 11,086
Canalta Hotels Units: 37 Rooms: 2,389
Temple Hotels Units: 21 Rooms: 2,885
Lakeview Hotel Management Inc. Units: 20 Rooms: 1,542
InnVest REIT Units: 18 Rooms: 3,538
Holloway Lodging Units: 16 Rooms: 1,699
d3h Units: 13 Rooms: 1,129
Royal Hotel Group Units: 13 Rooms: 1,694
Mayfair Properties Units: 10 Rooms: 994
PHI Hotel Group Units: 20 Rooms: 888
TOP 10 WESTERN HOTEL BRANDS by region Best Western Intl Canada Rank 2015: 1 Units: 116 Rooms: 10,681
Super 8 Rank 2015: 2 Units: 84 Rooms: 5,403
Ramada Worldwide (WYN) Rank 2015: 3 Units: 60 Rooms: 5,787
Days Inns - Canada (REA) Rank 2015: 4 Units: 59 Rooms: 4,648
Travelodge Canada Rank 2015: 5 Units: 54 Rooms: 4,597
Holiday Inn Express (IHG) Rank 2015: 6 Units: 44 Rooms: 4,499
Sandman Hotel Group (SAN) Rank 2015: 7 Units: 41 Rooms: 5,999
Comfort (Choice Hotels Canada) Rank 2015: 8 Units: 34 Rooms: 2,892
Coast Hotels Rank 2015: 9 Units: 28 Rooms: 3,562
Quality (Choice Hotels Canada) Rank 2015: N/A Units: 27 Rooms: 2,269
TOP 10 ONTARIO DEVELOPER/OWNERS by region Superior Lodging Corp. Units: 73 Rooms: 5,798
InnVest REIT Units: 51 Rooms: 8,047
Sunray Group of Hotels Units: 26 Rooms: 3,000
Vrancor Hospitality Corp. Units: 17 Rooms: 2,832
Silver Hotel Group Units: 15 Rooms: 2,381
Northampton Group Inc. Units: 14 Rooms: 1,153
Eastonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Group of Hotels Units: 13 Rooms: 2,725
Holloway Lodging Units: 10 Rooms: 1,593
Morguard Hotel Corporation Units: 9 Rooms: 1,473
Bayview Hospitality Group Units: 8 Rooms: 1,373
TOP 10 ONTARIO HOTEL BRANDS by region
1 6 | Canadian Lodging News
Comfort (Choice Hotels Canada) Rank 2015: 1 Units: 63 Rooms: 5,432
Best Western Intl Canada Rank 2015: 2 Units: 58 Rooms: 6,032
Holiday Inn Express (IHG) Rank 2015: 4 Units: 35 Rooms: 3,436
Days Inns - Canada (REA) Rank 2015: 3 Units: 34 Rooms: 2,823
Super 8 (WYN) Rank 2015: 5 Units: 33 Rooms: 2,158
Travelodge Canada Rank 2015: 7 Units: 32 Rooms: 3,095
Quality (Choice Hotels Canada) Rank 2015: 6 Units: 30 Rooms: 3,000
Holiday Inn Hotel & Resorts (IHG) Rank 2015: 8 Units: 23 Rooms: 4,685
Knights Inn Canada (WYN) Rank 2015: N/A Units: 23 Rooms: 792
Hampton Inn/ Hampton Inn & Suites (HIL) Rank 2015: 10 Units: 22 Rooms: 2,297
TOP 10 QUEBEC DEVELOPER/OWNERS by region InnVest REIT Units: 23 Rooms: 2,666
Superior Lodging Corp. Units: 9 Rooms: 921
Tidan Hospitality Group Units: 8 Rooms: 1,206
Urgo Hotels Units: 6 Rooms: 794
RosDev Hotel Group Units: 4 Rooms: 844
Quint Hotels Units: 4 Rooms: 552
Sunray Group of Hotels Units: 4 Rooms: 500
Groupe Canvar Units: 3 Rooms: 898
Sterling Group Inc. Units: 3 Rooms: 214
Le Groupe Iber Units: 2 Rooms: 320
TOP 10 QUEBEC HOTEL BRANDS by region Comfort (Choice Hotels Canada) Rank 2015: 1 Units: 26 Rooms: 1,993
Quality (Choice Hotels Canada) Rank 2015: 2 Units: 22 Rooms: 2,067
Best Western Intl Canada Rank 2015: 3 Units: 13 Rooms: 1,406
Econo Lodge (Choice Hotels Canada) Rank 2015: 4 Units: 12 Rooms: 637
Days Inns - Canada (REA) Rank 2015: 7 Units: 9 Rooms: 675
Gouverneur Hotels Rank 2015: 5 Units: 8 Rooms: 1,164
Super 8 (WYN) Rank 2015: 8 Units: 7 Rooms: 507
Holiday Inn Hotel & Resorts (IHG) Rank 2015: 6 Units: 6 Rooms: 1,612
Holiday Inn Express (IHG) Rank 2015: N/A Units: 6 Rooms: 709
Ascend Collection (Choice Hotels Canada) Rank 2015: N/A Units: 5 Rooms: 217
TOP 10 ATLANTIC DEVELOPER/OWNERS by region InnVest REIT Units: 18 Rooms: 1,906
Superior Lodging Corp. Units: 16 Rooms: 1,115
Holloway Lodging Units: 10 Rooms: 862
DP Murphy Inc. Hotel Group Units: 9 Rooms: 936
New Castle Hotels & Resorts Units: 6 Rooms: 1162
MANGA Hotels Group Units: 5 Rooms: 709
City Hotels Units: 3 Rooms: 348
Lakeview Hotel Management Inc. Units: 3 Rooms: 221
Cyr Holdings Inc. Units: 3 Rooms: 186
Hearthstone Hospitality Units: 3 Rooms: 150
TOP 10 ATLANTIC HOTEL BRANDS by region Comfort (Choice Hotels Canada) Rank 2015: 1 Units: 20 Rooms: 1,521
Best Western Intl Canada Rank 2015: 2 Units: 15 Rooms: 1,327
Quality (Choice Hotels Canada) Rank 2015: 5 Units: 11 Rooms: 1,019
Holiday Inn Express (IHG) Rank 2015: 6 Units: 9 Rooms: 982
Days Inns - Canada (REA) Rank 2015: 7 Units: 9 Rooms: 721
Rodd Hotels & Resorts Rank 2015: 4 Units: 8 Rooms: 844
Travelodge Canada Rank 2015: N/A Units: 8 Rooms: 626
Delta Hotels and Resort (MAR) Rank 2015: 3 Units: 7 Rooms: 1,892
Hampton Inn/ Hampton Inn & Suites (HIL) Rank 2015: 9 Units: 7 Rooms: 945
Steele Hotels Rank 2015: N/A Units: 7 Rooms: 667
September 2015 | 1 7
Building a food system at White Oaks Resort & Spa By Kristen Smith, Associate Editor NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. — Chef in residence Kyle Paton is hoping to bring the philosophies he learned at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns to the masses at White Oaks Resort & Spa. Paton came on board in April and has been working with the team to open a third onsite restaurant and develop a food system at the property. Paton made a name for himself as a vegan chef after opening Rise Above in St. Catharines at the age of 22, but his ideas surrounding ethical sourcing (and eating) changed during a stage at Blue Hill. “You can’t poke a hole in any of their philosophies. It just changed everything for me, so when I came back, I sold Rise Above,” said Paton. “I want to take that concept, how ethical and sustainable it is, but do it in a way that’s accessible to the general public.” This is guiding Paton’s development of Grow, which will add to the resort’s roster of
A grain bowl created with produce from the garden.
existing restaurants, LIV Restaurant and Play Urban Café. “For this project, it’s not vegetarian or vegan, but it is very vegetable focused, which my food always has been,” said Paton, who created a menu of soups, salads, grain bowls and tartines he expects will cost about $13. Paton expects Grow’s menu to be about 16 items, with daily specials based on the harvest from a new onsite vegetable garden. Future plans include constructing onsite polyhouses and planting fruit-bearing trees. The garden sits in place of a former roadway, which moved with the construction of the Outlet Collection At Niagara. White Oaks purchased the property from the region with the intent of expanding the existing parking lot. “We would have had a half kilometre of asphalt. That didn’t sit well,” said White Oaks development officer Michael Wakil. He turned to Niagara College for help creating a garden there instead and bringing beehives to the property. This year, graduate Meghan Beattie and horticultural student Mackenzie Haines designed, planted and maintained the organic garden. Paton said the new restaurant will also be getting new and unique varieties of apples from the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, which will allow them to produce ingredients such as single-variety, small-batch apple cider vinegar, for example. Over time, Paton sees the resort’s landscape changing to become more functional as opposed to aesthetically-driven, and plans to incorporate public education through activities like lunchand-learn sessions.
Chef Christian Martell, chef in residence Kyle Paton and Meghan Beattie, Niagara College horticultural technician graduate. “It’s not so much about just doing cooking demonstrations, or just being a restaurant, it’s more about the full cycle,” said Paton, who has been inspired by what he has seen in his travels as well as some local operations, such as Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery. Paton said he wouldn’t be able to pull off a project like this out on his own, but the infrastructure and the support of ownership and staff at the 40-year-old property make it feasible. The 46-seat restaurant and café is slated to open in early September. “We’re growing a bunch of stuff and then we’re going to be forced to use it,” he said. “We’re obviously planting things we want to
use, but it’s not going to come at ideal times. We’re going to get a plethora of something and we’re going to have to make do with what we have. That’s where I feel that I’m most creative — when there are restraints.” With much of the resort’s lodging business based in corporate conferences, Wakil said there is an opportunity to bring delegates out to the garden. “We will start integrating and bringing our guests out while on break,” he said. “It will be a fun experience for them.” Next year, living walls will be created to obstruct the view of Taylor Road. Plans also call for an outdoor kitchen.
Ian McAuley first AHIP president
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1 8 | Canadian Lodging News
VANCOUVER — Vancouver-based American Hotel Income Properties REIT LP (AHIP) has promoted Ian McAuley to the newly-created position of president, it was announced Sept. 1. Reporting to AHIP CEO Rob O’Neill, McAuley will execute the company’s strategic plan and will also oversee its hotel manager, Tower Rock Hotels & Resorts Inc. McAuley joined AHIP in 2015 as executive vice president, asset management. His leadership experience includes 15 years as president and COO of Superior Lodging Corp. and five years as president and CEO of Continuum Health Care Holdings, in Calgary. “I am very excited to have the opportunity to work with such a talented executive team and experienced board of directors,” said McAuley in a release.
THE WINNERS’ CIRCLE
Westin Bayshore habitat.
Longtime guests with Beachwood towels.
Westin Bayshore habitat certified by CWF
Amex GBT partners with Airbnb for Business
VANCOUVER — The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver has been awarded a wildlife-friendly habitat certification by the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF), it was announced July 28. The CWF’s Backyard Habitat Certification Program recognizes the concerted efforts the hotel takes to meet the habitat needs of wildlife. The hotel has been recognized after meeting specific criteria set out by CWF and established best practices are met. The actions taken by the hotel and results have helped local and migratory wildlife, including species at risk in the area. “We are thrilled to be recognized by the Canadian Wildlife Federation as a wildlife-friendly habitat,” said the hotel’s general manager Marion Harper Treskin in a release. “Our landscaping has been created with wildlife in mind to provide beauty and tranquility for the hotel grounds. The gardens allow our guests to see natural local vegetation on the property, which adds to the overall experience of visiting Vancouver.”
TORONTO — American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) and Airbnb have signed a referral partnership that will make Airbnb for Beachwood Resort’s 90th Business more accessible to GBT customers and BUCKHORN, Ont. — Beachwood Resort, allow data transfer and traveller tracking, it was located north of Peterborough, Ont., in the announced July 12. Kawartha Lakes, celebrated its 90th birthday During the first phase of the program, once by presenting long-time guests with commemoGBT refers a customer to Airbnb, individual rative towels. travellers can book accommodations directly on Each Sunday during the summer, staff hostairbnb.com using a corporate email address. In the coming weeks, GBT and Airbnb will integrate Airbnb booking information into GBT’s reporting platDevelopment | Construction | Hotel Management | Asset Management | Accounting | Finance form so that GBT’s cusContact: John Squires, VP Operations & Development | T (902) 404-4310 | E email@example.com tomers can easily track their travellers’ Airbnb NOW OPENED UNDER CONSTRUCTION UNDER CONSTRUCTION bookings. Once that integraInterContinental® Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton® Cambria hotel & suites® tion is complete, the resMuscat Hills, Sultanate of Oman Truro, NS Fredericton, NB 31 Kingswood Park, Fredericton, NB E3C 2LA ervation details for each 35 Legends Avenue, Millbrook, NS B6L 0C9 T (902) 843-4343 business trip will auto Opening 2018 Opening Fall 2017 Opened June 2016 250 rooms, 4 F&B outlets, pool, large 121 suites, lounge, meeting facilities matically be shared with 94 rooms, pool, meeting facilities banquet facilities GBT. Travel managPacrim’s Role: Co-Partner, Investor, Development, Construction Manager, Pacrim’s Role: Investor, Development, Pacrim’s Role: Co-Development, Hotel Asset ers can then access the Construction Accounting, Hotel Management Construction Manager, Construction Accounting, Management & Accounting Hotel Management, Operational Accounting data through corporate reporting and duty-ofcare platforms. Travellers will then be able to access that booking information through GBT’s corporate reporting and duty-of-care platforms. UNDER DEVELOPMENT Hotel Indigo® Travellers will also have Orange Beach, Alabama US the ability to view their 22701 Perdido Beach Boulevard, Orange Beach, Alabama, US booking details in their New Construction | Re-Branding Locations currently under development regular corporate itin Opening Q1 2017 Grand Falls-Windsor, NL 62 suites eraries and on mobile Bay Roberts, NL devices. Pacrim’s Role: Co-Partner, Investor, For further information on the Development, Co-Construction Manager, Red Roof brand for Canada, please contact: Since being founded Management & Accounting T: (902) 404-4310 in 2008, Airbnb hosts E: firstname.lastname@example.org have welcomed more than 100 million guest arrivals at Airbnb listings worldwide. Approximately 10 per cent of all travellers on Airbnb are business 30 Damascus Road | Suite 201 | Bedford | Nova Scotia | Canada | B4A 0C1 | www.pacrimhospitality.com travellers. This trend is
Four Points celebrates International Beer Day STAMFORD, CT — Starwood Hotels’ Four Points brand celebrated International Beer Day, Aug. 5, at its 200-plus locations around the world and continued the festivities for the month of August. Occurring the first Friday of every August since its inception in 2007 in Santa Cruz, Calif., International Beer Day celebrates beers from around the world. Every one of the Four Points brand’s hotels around the world features a destination pub offering the signature Best Brews program that highlights one local craft brew unique to the area. A sample of beers on tap at Four Points hotels around the world includes Tourist Trappe, a Belgian Tripel style beer from MIA Beer Co, at Four Points Miami Beach; and Club Colombia, a pale lager beer by Grupo Empresarial Bavaria, at Four Points Bogota, in Colombia. In honour of International Beer Day, all Four Points travellers received a coaster upon arrival. The coaster could be redeemed for Buy 1 – Get 1 complimentary swag, including a Best Brew, specialty coffee, signature treat or snack (each hotel only offered one perk). All hotels also gave away koozies, bottle openers and other items while supplies lasted.
largely driven by travellers seeking accommodations that allow them to experience cities and neighbourhoods they visit.
ed a party with birthday cake on the resort’s front lawn. Guests who have been coming to the resort for 10 or more consecutive years were presented with their towels. “We had a hard time deciding who should receive a gift and what to give them,” said Dave Morgan, who runs the resort along with his sister, Krista. “And then there are the guests who have been coming for eight or nine years. We told them there’s always the 95th anniversary, or the 100th.”
flexible solutions for your hospitality business needs
September 2016 | 1 9
TIANS, Pacrim and Nova Scotia update BEDFORD, N.S. — Nova Scotia’s goal is to double tourism receipts from $2 billion to $4 billion in 10 years, and they could reach the halfway point this year, says Glenn Squires, who has chaired the organization for the past three years. “The U.S. dollar is playing a role, but anecdotally, the predominance of license plates here is Canadian. We’re making a big push for Canadians staying at home. The Canadian dollar means fuel costs are down and air fares are down. A few years ago, aircraft were being sized down, but that has changed. And we have once again have the international [ferry] link from Yarmouth to Portland.” Squires says TIANS is focusing on a number of things: the Halifax Airport, the new Nova Convention Centre that will open in Halifax next year, and the reintroduced Yarmouth/ Portland ferry. “People are concerned about room inventory in Yarmouth, which has declined in recent years,” he said. Halifax is also looking to home porting —
attracting smaller, 150-200 person cruise ships similar to those that cruise the rivers of Europe, that could stop at Lunenberg, Yarmouth or Digby. Labour and the area’s aging demographic is another concern, along with gaps in culinary tourism as students head back to school before the summer tourism season is complete. “We need to have 12-month, not four-month businesses — to figure out how to stretch the season, and get access to capital.” Finally, the wine industry and agriculture in the Annapolis Valley provides “incredibly good opportunities” for culinary tourism. Nova Scotia will have municipal elections this year and a provincial election within 12 to 18 months. “We need to make sure we are out at various candidates’ meetings, and ask for a dedicated minister of tourism. Tourism is bigger than agriculture, fishing and forestry — people just don’t realize how big it is. There is almost no community that is not impacted by tourism, and it
brings the economic benefit of money from outside the province — huge amounts of tax mostly from non-residents. When done properly, tourism enhances quality of life. The numbers tell the story — tourism generates $300 million in tax revenue for an investment of $35 million, Squires says.
Pacrim projects Squires’ company, Pacrim Hospitality has a number of projects in play in both at home and abroad. Pacrim projects include the following: o the newly opened Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton in Truro, N.S. (see Openings, Sales and Renos section). o Hilton Garden Inn, Fredericton with Aquilini Investment Group which owns half of Pacrim. o Hotel Indigo, Orange Beach, Ala., 60 km west of Pensacola on the Gulf Coast. o InterContinental Hotel, Muscat Hills, Oman. o Kicking Horse Resort project.
o Holiday Inn Express, Chateauguay, Que. o Red Roof hotels in Grand Falls and Bay Roberts, N.L. “We expect to do another 10 with this partner,” Squires said. “The Red Roofs are intentionally all new builds to help build a great profile for the brand in Canada — just as we did we Super 8 years ago.”
Wyndham Rewards Wyzardry unseats Marriott WASHINGTON, D.C. — For the first time since U.S. News and World Report launched its Best Travel Rewards programs in 2013, Marriott Rewards has been unseated by Wyndham. Two other prominent rankings, the Freddie Awards and J.D. Power & Associates, continued to rank Marriott No. 1 this year. The publication identified 18 of the most prominent hotel loyalty programs and evaluated them using a methodology that weighs factors such as member benefits, the average number of paid nights required to earn a free stay and the ease of earning and using rewards. Its results were announced late last month. Wyndham Rewards, with its famous Wyzard, ranked first among the loyalty programs with a score of 4.77 out of five. Choice Privileges and Marriott Rewards tied for second place with a score of 4.64 out of five. Choice Hotels International’s redesigned guest-loyalty pro-
gram, Choice Privileges, shared second place on the list for 2016-2017, up from 11th spot on the 2015-2016 ranking, it was announced Aug. 24. This ranking follows the program’s recent redesign, which included adding new benefits that enable guests to earn rewards faster. The ranking, based on membership perks, network coverage, ease of earning and redeeming free nights, makes it easier for travellers to determine the program that suits their travel needs.
Vantage launches company-wide rewards CLEVELAND
launched Vantage Rewards, a free, instant rewards program that is accepted across all of Vantage’s brands, it was announced July 20. “Both the Value Club and Lexington Rewards (Lexington’s points-based loyalty program, which will continue to be honoured at Lexington hotels and inns) have been very effective in building loyalty and repeat stays for our hotels, but they were limited to specific Vantage brands. Now that Vantage has expanded to a full family of brands, from economy to upscale, we are excited to introduce an enhanced rewards program that will be honoured at all Vantage Hotels,” said marketing director Peter Frantz in a release.
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Murphy Hospitality Group’s Atlantic expansion plans
Kevin Murphy. CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — PEI hospitality company Murphy Hospitality Group (MHG) is launching a boutique hotel and brewery restaurant in Moncton, N.B. The company plans to break ground in September on a 75-room boutique hotel in Moncton, that’s expected to open in late 2017. This project marks MHG’s first foray into New Brunswick. Moncton is a good fit for this property, since there is no boutique hotel operating in the market, Kevin Murphy, president of the Charlottetown-based company, told CLN. Moreover, the city has been experiencing economic growth, and with a new event centre and 10,000seat arena expected to open in 2018, Moncton offers plenty of business potential, he said. Located at the corner of Wesley and Queen streets, the Wesley Hotel will feature a “lifestyle feel” and “comfortable, contemporary” design, with rooms configured in unique, non-cookie-cutter fashion, said Mur-
phy. Amenities will include three meeting rooms, a second-floor fitness centre and 6,000 square feet of ground-floor retail that hasn’t been finalized. More noteworthy still, the Wesley will, on the main level, feature The Gahan House restaurant and brewery, serving an upscale casual menu and featuring a 160-seat dining room, 16-seat oyster bar, seasonal 60-seat patio and six-barrel brewing system. The Gahan beer brand, which was established in Charlottetown in 2000, began bottling some of its products in 2008, and since 2011, has been selling six of its canned and bottled brews in New Brunswick liquor stores. Consequently, the Gahan restaurant gives MHG a flag in New Brunswick where Gahan beer has already built brand recognition, said Murphy. The Moncton restaurant and brewery will be the third Gahan House location, joining sister eateries in Charlottetown and Halifax. Complementing the menu of
sandwiches, burgers, wraps, pizzas, pastas and beef and seafood entrees is a lineup of six to eight types of raw oysters from Atlantic Canada. Patrons will quench their thirst from a brewed-onsite selection of six core brands and five seasonal labels, along with a lineup of about 15 nonGahan craft offerings, including two to three on tap and a dozen in bottles. The grape, too, will be represented by 12 to 15 wines focusing on Canadian labels sourced from, for example, Nova Scotia and possibly New Brunswick. But MHG has been busy in other markets, launching, in late May, The Barrington Steakhouse & Oyster Bar, in Halifax. Located on Barrington Street, the restaurant focuses on Atlantic Beef Plant maritime beef, grass-fed and aged 45 days; wine; craft beer and maritime oysters. There’s a 60-seat oyster bar on the street level and 100seat dining room on the second floor, with private areas and outdoor patio. “Our plan has always been to grow more in the Halifax market and this new addition is the perfect complement to our hospitality portfolio,” said Murphy. Residing in the segment Murphy defines as “above The Keg, but below fine dining,” The Barrington complements MHG’s Sims Corner Steakhouse and Oyster Bar, in Charlottetown, with each restaurant averaging per-person checks of $45 to $50 (including wine). What does the future hold for MHG? For now, no new hotels are planned, though Murphy could consider Halifax for a property. Currently, MHG operates two hotels, both boutique-style and both in Charlottetown: The Great George (50 rooms) and The Hotel on Pownal (45 rooms). Similarly, there are no plans to target any more Gahan locations, but if an opportunity presents itself, Murphy would consider it. He also said there are no plans for additional Sims steakhouses.
Artist’s rendering showing Wesley Hotel.
2016-08-29 September 2016 | 2 11:51 1 AM
OPENINGS, SALES AND RENOS
Exterior of Hampton Inn, Truro, N.S.
Fairfield opens in Edmonton
helping to give guests easier access to the bathroom and wardrobe. The living area offers a couch, refrigerator, coffeemaker and microwave. For business travellers, rooms feature an ergonomic work chair, task lighting and electrical outlets where guests need them. A curved, mobile desk enables guests to create their own workspace, while also optimizing their television viewing. Additional hotel amenities include an indoor swimming pool with waterslide, an exercise room, valet laundry service, complimentary WiFi, and fax and copy services.
EDMONTON — The 102-room Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott opened in Edmonton on July 13. Located at 581 Greisbach Parade NW, the Fairfield Inn & Suites Edmonton North will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned and managed by Iliyan Hospitality Inc. of Edmonton. This is the first Fairfield Inn & Suites in the area to feature the brand’s new design and decor. Guestroom décor blends wood tones with bright colour. The new design also places the sleeping area toward the middle of the room,
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Ramada Duncan, B.C. The property offers 864 square feet of space to accommodate functions of up to 75 people. The lobby gives guests ample connectivity options, as well as a “connect and print” area that offers both standing and seated Internet stations. Each morning, there is a complimentary hot breakfast that includes oatmeal, scrambled eggs, sausage, make-your-own waffles and healthy options such as fruit, yogurt and whole grain cereals and breads.
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BEDFORD, N.S. — Hampton Inn has opened a property in Truro, Nova Scotia, it was announced recently. Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Truro offers 94 guestrooms and 1,800 square feet of meeting space accommodating up to 125 people. Other amenities include an indoor pool, fitness centre and 24-hour business centre. The hotel provides free Wi-Fi, On the House hot breakfast and Hilton Honor Rewards. “We are delighted to announce the opening of the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Truro, Nova Scotia,” said Glenn Squires, CEO, Pacrim, in a release. “Pacrim has been overseeing the development of this newly-constructed property since June, 2015 and will now commence management. We look forward to building our relationship further as a co-investor in this hotel with Millbrook First Nation, the majority owners. This is Pacrim’s fifth investment and hotel development with Millbrook First Nation.”
Quebec Courtyard features innovative lobby design QUEBEC CITY — Courtyard by Marriott Quebec City opened its doors on July 29. Located in the Lebourgneuf district, close to Old Quebec, the 160-room hotel features an
innovative lobby offering media pods, complimentary Wi-Fi and a variety of seating zones. The lobby also features the restaurant and bar, Le Commisariat. The property operates as a Marriott franchise, owned and managed by the Lixi Group of Montreal. Guestrooms feature the “LoungeAround” sofa. The new design also has a light desk on wheels, allowing guests to work from anywhere in the room. There are high ceilings, with floorto-ceiling windows, as well as wall-mounted HD smart televisions with Netflix capabilities. Other amenities at the nine-storey hotel include an indoor swimming pool, fitness centre, electric-car charging station and guest laundry. The property also offers 3,000 square feet of meeting space as well as a 1,500-square-foot banquet hall.
Travelodge Silver Bridge Duncan rebrands as Ramada DUNCAN, B.C. – Travelodge Duncan has rebranded to Ramada, effective June 29. Formerly the Travelodge Silver Bridge Inn, this hotel launched in 1953 as the Silver Bridge Inn. All 34 guestrooms have undergone renovations and upgrades, including updated decor, new mattresses and linens, flat-screen televisions with HD cable and Keurig coffeemakers. Ramada Duncan, a member of the Wynd-
revel, features New Canadian cuisine emphasizing local, organic, hormone-free and sustainable products. Rounding out the food and beverage component are an all-day coffee bar with grab-andgo bites and locally-sourced Equator coffee; and Copper Spirits & Sights, the sixteenth-floor rooftop bar and lounge offering sharing plates.
Candlewood Suites Calgary airport, plus two more in pipe
Candlewood Suites Calgary Airport North. ham Hotel Group, features 5,000 square feet of meeting space in addition to an outdoor courtyard. It is pet friendly, non-smoking, has complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi and free parking. The Old Fork Restaurant serves all-day breakfast as well as lunch and dinner. The River Rock Bar + Grill features live local bands every Friday night and open mic nights every Saturday. Unchanged are the ownership group, Cowichan Hospitality Ltd., and management team, which consists of Nick Both, general manager; Catherine Kynoch, accommodations manager; Mary Lionas, events manager; Scott Walmsley, chef; and Sheila Leclerc, sales and marketing manager.
Andaz Ottawa first in Canada CHICAGO — Hyatt Hotels Corp. announced
on Aug. 22 the official opening of Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market, marking the brand’s entry into Canada. Located in ByWard Market, the hotel features 200 guestrooms, six studio rooms totalling 4,500 square feet of function space, a groundfloor restaurant and bar, and a rooftop lounge. Each floor of the 16-storey hotel reflects the history of a Canadian province or territory. Guests are welcomed into a lounge environment outfitted with custom-designed low sectional seating. Overhead, Toronto-based furniture makers Hollis + Morris created a lighting installation made of mixed Canadian-wood species. Helmed by executive chef Stephen La Salle (formerly of The Albion Rooms), the hotel’s food and beverage program has multiple dining venues. The hotel’s signature restaurant, feast +
Fresh look for Gold Eagle Lodge, North Battleford NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. — Gold Eagle Lodge, North Battleford, Sask., has unveiled a fresh new look after completing extensive renovations to all guestrooms, suites and corridors. “We are very proud to show the new look,” explains Malcolm Anderson, general manager. “The renovations included all casegoods, wallpaper, lighting, bathroom flooring, drapes and new carpet and wallpaper in the hallways.” This October, the Gold Eagle Lodge will celebrate its tenth anniversary. The hotel has been recognized with the Battlefords Business Excellence award for Customer Service in 2012 and Business of the Year in 2013. The most recent award was the Saskatchewan Tourism Excellence Award for Service Excellence and Business of the Year for 2016. Through Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council (STEC), the lodge has provided education to front-line staff and to date, has over 22 certified employees, working hard to remain the top award winning hotel in the Battlefords.
CALGARY — InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has opened the 104-room extended-stay Candlewood Suites Calgary Airport North, it was announced Aug. 18. Located near Calgary International Airport, the hotel features studio and one- and two-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens and executive desks. The brand offers the Candlewood Cupboard, a 24-hour in-hotel store selling breakfast items, snacks, refreshments and easy-to-prepare meals; and the Lending Locker, where guests can borrow common household items during their stay. Other amenities include free Wi-Fi and free local calls. On the eco-friendly front, the property features LED lighting throughout, and offers environmentally friendly dry cleaning and an in-room recycling program. This is the second Candlewood Suites hotel in Canada and joins a property in Montreal. Two more Candlewood properties are in the pipeline, in West EdmonLobby of Gold Eagle Lodge. ton and Dawson Creek, B.C.
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September 2016 | 2 3
PEOPLE Tony Pollard — what’s next?
OTTAWA — As Tony Pollard, president and CEO of the Hotel Association of Canada, prepared to retire from that position Sept. 2, he found himself busier than ever. “There are so many things going on right now with work. We’re adding meat to the bones of the new seasonal lodging worker program. We’ve had a front page story in the Globe and Mail and met with
Homewood Suites by Hilton Toronto Mississauga has announced two promotions in its sales department. Jenna Cutting has been promoted to sales manager and will handle all corporate accounts, including rate negotiations and group bookings. Previously, Cutting held the role of coordinator. Carolyn Halliday has been promoted to sales coordinator. She will handle any meeting bookings as well as the SMERF (sports, weddings and leisure) market. Previously, Halliday held the position of front desk supervisor. Travel industry veteran Christopher J. Nassetta has been inducted into the 2016 U.S. Travel Hall of Leaders, the U.S. Travel Association announced July 28. Nassetta, who joined Hilton as president and CEO in 2007, has led the company through a major transformation. This year alone, Hilton has been recognized as a Great Place to Work in more than a dozen countries, including on Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list in the U.S. Nassetta also serves on the executive committee for the World Travel & Tourism Council, promoting the value of the travel industry worldwide. Nassetta joins 92 industry luminaries in the Hall of Leaders, which was established in 1969. B.C.’s tourism human resource association go2HR has welcomed six tourism industry professionals to its board of directors elected at a June 20 annual general meeting.
2 4 | Canadian Lodging News
just about everyone on Parliament Hill.” Plans are already in motion for next year’s HAC Conference, which will take place Feb. 15 and 16 at the Sheraton Toronto Airport — a departure from the event’s usual downtown Toronto location. “Many people live in Mississauga, Oakville and Burlington, and many of the large hotel brands have headquarters there. If your offices are at the airport, you don’t want to drive downtown for the reception and conference,” Pollard said. Re:Sound and SOCAN talks were also on his agenda at press time. “I’m looking forward to retirement,” he said. “For the first month, [my wife] Sylvie and I will do what we want to do. After that there are a lot of good things I like to do, including writing and speaking. “We’ve been pulled in so many
The new board members include Joel Chevalier, vice-president of employee experience, Whistler Blackcomb; Harley Elias, tidal angling guide and faculty, tourism and business department, at North Island College; Eoin Foley, co-owner/operator, Nancy O’s Restaurant; Jonathan Rouse, director for food, wine and tourism, and associate dean at the Okanagan School of Business, Okanagan College; Bill Senghera, business consultant/risk manager, White Spot Restaurants; and David Sheedy, manager of human resources, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel’s executive chef Paul Paboudjian announced on July 28 the appointment of Alex Shterenberg as executive sous chef for the 1,372-room hotel. Most recently, Shterenberg held the position of executive chef at Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport. In this role he was responsible for the operation of the property’s culinary and stewarding operations. His culinary career with Starwood Hotels began as an apprentice at The Westin Prince Hotel, in Toronto. He received culinary training in Switzerland and Russia before returning to Canada, and held several positions, including commis, chef de partie and senior sous chef at The Westin Harbour Castle, in Toronto. Joel Waterman is the new general manager at the Travelodge Hotel & Conference Centre, Regina. Prior to this appointment, Waterman was
different directions. The last five months were crazy with travel. I took 13 flights in 11 days and Sylvie was on nine of them.” In addition, Sylvie has an antique shop in Pembroke, Ont., and the couple has rental cottages as well. As Pollard moves forward, he is interested in staying involved in environmental issues. “There’s a lot of work still in the environmental area. When we started Green Key in 1997, we never dreamed it would become what it is today.” He has also enjoyed being a guest lecturer at colleges and universities. As the magazine went to press, HAC continued its search for Pollard’s successor, reviewing a long list of candidates and then interviewing them. With 25 years at the helm of the national association, Pollard’s will be a tough act to follow.
the GM of the Delta Regina Hotel. He started his career at the front desk of the Radisson Suite Hotel Winnipeg Airport, which rebranded as Hilton Suites. For more than 16 years, Waterman has held progressive roles, including assistant front office manager, front office manager, revenue manager, operations manager, assistant general manager and general manager. Waterman has consulted on sales and yield management for Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn and Best Western-branded properties, and in 2010, won the Hilton Grand Prix contest. Melany Hugo joins InterContinental Hotels Group as regional sales and marketing director for IHG’s Eastern Canada hotels. Hugo has over 16 years of hospitality experience in hotel sales and marketing. She first joined IHG in 2004 and was instrumental in driving business into brands such as InterContinental and Holiday Inn. She most recently joins IHG from Starwood’s Toronto Metro market, where she set up the direction and strategy in business travel with the Metro market cluster. Anto Vrdoljak joins IHG’s franchise development team as business development manager, Canada. He will be working with hotel owners to identify franchise opportunities for Canadian midscale brands (Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites). Vrdoljak joined IHG in 2013 as regional sales and marketing director, Eastern Canada, and brings over 20 years of experience in the hotel industry working in sales and operations roles.
Chris Nassetta, Hilton president and CEO.
Jenna Cutting and Carolyn Halliday of Homewood Suites.
Alex Shterenberg, executive sous chef, Sheraton Centre.
Anto Vrdoljak, business development Canada, IHG.
Melany Hugo, regional sales and marketing director, IHG.
Fred Lawlor wins Ryerson business school alumni lifetime achievement award TORONTO — Hotel industry veteran Fred Lawlor won a Ryerson School of Business (TRSM) inaugural alumni lifetime achievement award at a ceremony held in Toronto in late May. The TRSM Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honour bestowed to an alumnus of the Ted Rogers School of Management. The award recognizes alumni who have significantly enhanced TRSM’s reputation through excellence in professional, community and/or personal endeavors. President of Sliced Apple Hospitality Group, Lawlor, who graduated from the school’s hospitality and tourism program in 1994, has logged over 30 years of hospitality industry experience, including progressive leadership roles and active academic and community board memberships. During that time, he has held senior portfolios with Fairmont Raffles Hotels and Resorts that have included managing hotels of all sizes and also included stints as director of acquisitions and development, and corporate director of training. In his career with Fairmont, he was seconded to hotel purchasing company Avendra as vice-president and general manager, to oversee and develop operations in Canada. Under Lawlor’s management, a number of strategic supplier contracts and key hotel brands were added to Avendra Canada’s structure, including HMS Host, Accor Hotels, Four Seasons, Centennial Hotels and Silver Seas Cruise Lines. Fairmont Raffles promoted Lawlor to vice-president of worldwide procurement, and he subsequently set up a procurement/purchasing structure for Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel in Europe, Asia, Middle East and North America.
S U P P LY L I N E S
Soundproof solutions for sleepless night syndrome By Douglas Glenn Clark Innovative acoustic soundproof solutions reduce street noise, improve customer satisfaction and help restore online reputations. Online trip advisory reviews have ushered in a harsh new business environment for hotels. If a guest had a lousy night’s sleep due to exterior noise from traffic, railroads or activity at the swimming pool, do not be surprised if the manager is the last to know. Despite harsh online rebukes, well managed hotels acknowledge that they are prisoners of a paradox: They must build near major thoroughfares, highways and rail services so that they are accessible and convenient, yet location is often the source of the noise problem. As noise awareness grows, some proprietors mistakenly believe the only solution is replacing every window – an expensive upgrade with no guarantee of success.
Acoustic test windows But Howard Hospitality, a hotel developer and hospitality management company, discovered a simpler solution that was cost-effective, did not require removing the existing windows, and quickly restored its online reputation — even though the site that needed remediation is located near roaring roadways. The guests of Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard in Miramar Beach, Fla., fronts a busy street and highway. Tania Koehler, director of hotel operations for Howard Hospitality that manages the Marriott property, calculated that about 74 per cent of the negative comments the hotel received through online review sites, like TripAdvisor, mentioned noise levels. For more than a year, management researched solutions. Multiple studies revealed that 90 per cent of noise seeps through windows, not walls. And dual-pane windows may effectively deter heat and cold, but a much different type of acoustic engineering is needed to block loud, exterior sounds. Much to their relief, they also learned that the best solution for many sites is to add a second, inner soundproofing window. This method controls temperature as well as eliminates intrusive noise. And these special panels, which open and close (or not) just like the windows already present, need only be applied to areas where noise is most disruptive. In 2015 Howard Hospitality contracted with Soundproof Windows, Inc., to install 176 special inner windows along the front of the hotel. 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. “It was pretty amazing. The change was night and day,” Koehler said. In 2014, Residence Inn Sandestin at Grand Boulevard was ranked 74th among 687 Residence Inn hotels nationwide. In 2015, after the installation the ranking jumped to 14th, and the online noise complaints all but disappeared.
Historic remedy Mark Everton, area managing director for Commune Hotels and Resorts, faced a different challenge. The Waterfront Hotel at Jack London Square in Oakland, Calif., was built in the 1960s next to a railroad crossing. Passenger and freight trains regularly blow through with horns blaring and safety guard rails ringing their alarms. The majority of its online reviews at TripAdvisor and other sites were from people being inconvenienced by the noise, said Everton. In 2010, a new ownership group decided the site needed noise remediation. But replacing windows would do considerable damage to the stucco façade. It
fell to Everton to find an economical remedy. When his research turned up Soundproof Windows, Inc., Everton was intrigued but not convinced. He chose three guestrooms, stacked on multiple floors in the front of the hotel. One room was not altered. Test windows were installed in the other two rooms, one with a 5/8-inch thick inner window and the other with ¼-inch window. Then Everton hired an independent acoustic firm to analyze 63857 CLN_ORN.qxp_Layout 1 2016-08-16 the test results. When compared to the room without an
inner window, the room with the 5/8-inch glass inner window eliminated noise by 75 per cent, exceeding the other test product. The experiment won Everton over and also proved that noise was entering through the windows, not the walls. Still, the order for 75 windows was challenging because the face of the building has a variety of window sizes and shapes: rectangular that open and porthole style. Sliding doors 3:22 PM Page 1 opening into patios are also used in some rooms. Soundproof Windows can be config-
ured to match any existing style of window, or sliding door. The installation took a week. TripAdvisor now ranks the Waterfront at No. 2 out of 48 Oakland hotels, up from No. 9. This year the Waterfront Hotel’s owners approved installation of Soundproof Windows in the rest of the hotel. “The better product you have, the better reputation you have,” added Everton. For more information contact Soundproof Windows, www.soundproofwindows.com/hotels.
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BEFoRE AND AFTER
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Matisse’s artful reinvention AFTER
Why towels are so important to hotel operations.
Left: Matisse Restaurant. Above: Matisse bar before and after. By Don Douloff, Assistant Editor TORONTO — In March, Matisse restaurant, in the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville, unveiled a renovation that transformed it and the adjacent lobby bar into a glossy, contemporary space. The four-month renovation sought to “provide an open, modern, sleek upscale lobby indicative of the upscale neighbourhood and the guests we serve. We wanted to provide our guests with a Great Room concept that would (offer) our guests more opportunity for social interaction and thus (be) more traveller friendly,” said Nino Francavilla, director of interior design at Larco Hospitality. The main restaurant bar has been relocated to the lobby and the restaurant has been opened up to the lobby, creating open sightlines and the opportunity for social mingling. There are 56 seats in the restaurant, 14 seats at the bar and 12 lounge seats behind the bar. Throughout the design process, sophistication without pretension were topof-mind. The design team sought to create a space that was not only modern and high-end, but warm and inviting. Grounding the space is Ocean Black slate, partnered with natural, flat-cut walnut, Cal-
cutta marble, polished leathers and velvet, textured fabrics and warm metal accents fostering an eclectic, urban feel. The combination of sleek and polished finishes creates an ambience that is modern and transitional. Large-format neutral-shade porcelain tiles provide a serene backdrop, enabling the design elements to stand out. A combination of dark and mid-gray vinyl wall coverings, natural walnut with slating, and prints of Henri Matisse paintings further the air of refinement. Custom-made fixtures were based on a traditional design of cast-metal stems complete with Edison bulbs providing traditional accents. In its efforts to unite both spaces into one Great Room, the design team ensured the same mix of materials flows through the lobby and restaurant. Overseeing Matisse’s kitchen is executive chef Michael Picken, who joined the hotel four years ago and before that, spent 12 years as executive chef at Sheraton Centre Toronto. Post-renovation, Picken saw no need to overhaul the menu since Matisse’s guests, he said, have enthusiastically embraced the cuisine that was already in place: light, with good protein/veg balance, and inspired by top-notch ingredients.
One night, the kitchen sends out hummus made, cleverly, with smoked beets; springy garlic shrimp with lemon butter; and tangy/creamy croquettes oozing brie and goat cheese and studded with macadamia nuts. Other pleasures included fork-tender lamb cutlets accessorized with brightly flavoured smashed peas; faultless steak frites; and chickpea casserole fortified with sweet potato and perfumed with coconut milk. To finish: Nutella brownie; and warm apple pie brilliantly complemented by cheese popcorn (cheddar and apple are a match made in culinary heaven). In July, Matisse introduced three-bourbon flights that included an information card providing insight into the labels featured; an onsite smoker is available to add a little something extra to the bourbons. Picken noted that the renovated bar, with its increased visibility, is more enticing to guests. Providing more enticement still is a bar-snack menu (such as cheese toasties and olives with fennel) designed to support the beverage program. In June, Wednesday nights after work, the hotel experimented with DJ night in the lobby bar. Wine and food tastings are also on the radar, said Picken.
CoMiNG EVENTs Sept. 26-29: The Lodging Conference. The Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa, Phoenix, AZ. Brent Tinter, conference manager. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.lodgingconference.com Oct. 4-5: Western Canadian Lodging Conference. Vancouver Convention Centre. Contact: Orie Berlasso, Big Picture Conferences. Telephone: 416924-2002, ext. 229. E-mail: email@example.com. Website: www.resortinvest.ca
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Xeros recently conducted a survey which yielded some surprising results about how towels affect the overall quality of a hotel guest’s experience. The results of the survey indicate that towels are a critical factor in the increasingly competitive hotel industry. The purpose of the study was to provide information on how towels affect the guest experience and if towel quality is a consideration when consumers choose a hotel. They surveyed 1,160 respondents in February 2016, 51 per cent in the U.S. and 49 per cent in the U.K. Here are some of the key findings: 1.
Towel quality is essential to guest satisfaction. Ninety-four per cent of respondents said that towel quality is important to their overall satisfaction. Towel quality, such as softness or fluffiness, influences customer satisfaction. Only six per cent believed that the quality of towels has no impact in overall customer satisfaction.
Towel quality influences brand perception as well as customer loyalty. The study says that brands that don’t emphasize the quality of their towels as part of their brand story are missing an opportunity to increase guest satisfaction. It found that 73 per cent of survey respondents believe that the quality of a hotel’s towels will influence their decision to return to the hotel brand for future visits, while 84 per cent believe towel quality influences brand perception.
Towel cleanliness is important. When asked about towel attributes, cleanliness was selected as the most important attribute by hotel guests. This was followed by the softness of the towels. Surprisingly, high thread counts, the attribute generally associated with expensive luxury towels, came in last among five criteria.
Washing towels in-house preferred. Thirtyone per cent believe that washing towels in-house rather than sending them out to a third-party vendor, will make them cleaner.
Travellers are environmentally conscious. In the survey, 85 per cent stated they reuse towels due to concern for the environment. They want hotels to have eco-friendly laundry operations.
Online reviews are vital. Customers love to read online reviews when making travel plans. In the survey, 52 of the respondents said that they have already written a negative review due to poor towel quality, and 31 per cent said they would write a negative review if they didn’t like the towels. Seventy-seven per cent of travellers usually or always reference TripAdvisor online reviews before selecting a hotel.
For more information on Xeros’ revolutionary laundry system, contact them at (844) 207-1099 or visit online at www.xeroscleaning.com.
Formerly the Western Canadian Hotel & Resort Investment Conference
In partnership with
October 4+5, 2016
Vancouver Convention Centre
The Great Rewrite And It’s Impact On The Hospitality Industry Leonard Brody has been called “a controversial leader of the new world order” by BC Business magazine. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, venture capitalist, bestselling author, and a two-time Emmy nominated media visionary who is consistently ranked as the
Operating Performance & Transaction Highlights
Leonard B RO DY
Seasoned professionals assess and discuss “up to the minute” top line and financial performance and transaction highlights of the Western Canadian hotel and resort markets. Understand why markets vary so greatly within an hours’ drive or flight and what’s impacting demand for hotel and resort lodging and buoyant deal activity.
#1 speaker on conference programs. In his keynote, Leonard addresses the rapid pace of change, innovation, and disruption facing us all, and what to do about it.
Assessing The Real Impact Of Airbnb On The Canadian Lodging Industy
Carrie Russell Managing Director & Partner, HVS
Ken Lambert Director, HLT Advisory Inc.
Cindy Schoenauer Director, Valuation & Advisory Services, CBRE Hotels
Get an understanding of Airbnb (size, growth, next areas of focus, operating model, its relation to OTA’s and potential evolution) on a world-wide basis but with Canadian examples. Ken will discuss the current and future impact of Airbnb on the hotel sector’s supply, average rates as well as on cities hosting major events (i.e leisure and conventions).
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Contact Vicki Welstead (416) 924-2002 x233 vickiwelstead@ bigpictureconferences.ca
FEB 15+16, 2017 SHERATON TORONTO AIRPORT HOTEL & CONFERENCE CENTRE HAC CONFERENCE
CANADIAN HOTEL INVESTMENT CONFERENCE
MAY 15+16, 2017 WESTIN HARBOUR CASTLE TORONTO HOTELINVEST.CA
2016-08-19 1:06 PM
There’s never been a better time to invest in Quality. At Quality® brand hotels, our guests want real value for their hard-earned dollars. They need to know they’ll get their money’s worth so they can relax and focus on the people and experiences they came for. We know you want your money’s worth too. That’s why we designed a prototype that’s all about eﬃciency, making the most of every single inch of space to keep your construction costs low. And unique features that appeal to both leisure and business guests. The Quality brand’s new look is all about delivering on the value that both guests and hotel owners need. There’s never been a better time to invest in Quality.
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