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LodgingNews October 2016 | Vol. 13 | No. 8

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Coast new owners: pink carpet welcome

Fumiko and Toshio Motoya of APA Group (third and second from right) receive a pink carpet welcome and applause from Coast Hotels staff. By Colleen Isherwood, Editor

Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 40010152

VANCOUVER — The new owners of the Coast Hotels chain received an enthusiastic welcome Sept. 6, as employees stood under the Coast Coal Harbour porte cochère in downtown Vancouver to welcome Toshio and Fumiko Motoya with a pink carpet ceremony — since pink is one of the colours on the Coast logo. At the joint press conference and reception that followed, Canadian-based Coast Hotels officially announced its acquisition by APA Hotel Group, the largest hotel network in Japan. With the acquisition of Coast’s 38 properties throughout North America at a cost of $210 million, APA now has 413 hotels and 66,926 rooms. The deal marks the second step in APA’s expansion into North America. The company

took the first step last year, with the purchase of the APA Hotel Woodbridge, in New Jersey. “We now have properties from coast to coast,” noted Toshio Motoya, founder and president of APA Group. At the press conference Motoya stated “Coast Hotels is a recognized and respected brand. APA Group intends to position Coast Hotels as a sub-brand of APA Hotels & Resorts, boosting the ability to attract guests through the synergy of the expanded brand offerings.” He further advised “APA expects to make Vancouver, which is strategically located to leverage Asia Pacific, its base of operations and head office for North American development. “The Coast Canadian hotel brand is widely recognized in Canada and the Western U.S.,” said Motoya, adding that they will unify the points and reservation systems.

“Today is a very memorable day, and the start of the new history of Coast Hotels,” said Victor Komoda, president of Coast Hotels. “We are very pleased at this moment and honoured to be part of the group. When I became president, my commitment was to grow the business, because without growth, we cannot survive.” Speaking through an interpreter, Toshio Motoya gave the media group some insights into the company’s operations. APA (which rhymes with Napa and stands for Always Pleasant Amenity) has been in business since 1971. In 45 years, they have never had a deficit and have never laid off an employee due to downsizing, he said. “The company is the No. 1 hotel chain in Japan, both in name and in substance. Guests and staff members are on an equal basis. The staff welcomes guests with pride, and it is our hope that our guests also feel proud choosing APA Hotel.” The Japanese word for this spirit of hospitality is “omotenashi.” Key to APA’s current and future success is its own Urban Style hotel concept, which provides high quality, highly functional and environmentally friendly hotels for its customers. “We have abolished unnecessary services, and kept services that reflect the personalities of our guests,” said Motoya. Beds and televisions have been enlarged — in fact, the APA standard is 50-inch televisions in all guestrooms. All switches are located near the pillow. “We sell satisfaction rather than space,” Motoya added, noting the while public areas are luxurious, the rooms are not large. Other features include coloured towels, so that each occupant of the guestroom knows which towels are theirs, washlets (Japanese-style bidets) and egg-shaped bathtubs.

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ALLERGIES: FROM RESERVATION TO CHECK-OUT

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FURNITURE: FLEXIBILITY AND FUNCTIONALITY

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Brands defined at Wyndham conference

Aloft’s voice-activated rooms

By Colleen Isherwood, Editor LAS VEGAS — In the past 18 months, Wyndham Hotel Group has democratized travel by revamping its rewards program. This year, definition of its 16 brands, quality control and growth — including Canadian growth — were on the agenda at their annual conference held Sept. 11-15 at Mandalay Bay, in Las Vegas. They also added seven new construction prototypes to their list of achievements. The goal of the Wyndham Rewards program, with its distinctive Wyzard, which was recently named No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report Best Travel Awards, was to make points redemption simple and accessible to all kinds of travellers, from economy to luxury. Wyndham’s brands cover the full spectrum from budget to luxe, with a concentration in the economy and midscale sectors. Wyndham Rewards also created an umbrella structure to let guests know that Howard Johnson, Days Inn, Super 8 and Wyndham Grand are all part of the Wyndham hotel family — and eligible for rewards points. This year, Wyndham refreshed its marketing campaigns and websites to make the hotels look more appealing and simplify the booking process. The company also announced new guestfacing initiatives that reinforce the unique positioning of each brand. This transformation will keep the company’s brands relevant for the everyday traveller and enhance their hotel experiences wherever they go and however they choose to stay.

Vampires Beware! Vampires beware. Big things happen when you “Bask in the Sun.” That’s the tagline behind Days Inn’s new multi-million-dollar marketing campaign, which, in addition to showcasing a new brand voice, also highlights the hotel powerhouse’s newly discovered funny bone. Created by Toronto-based Giants & Gentlemen, the company responsible for past Days Inn Canada campaigns, it debuted in the U.S. and Canada on Sept. 13 across TV, digital, social and mobile. Days Inn also announced a three-phase program to refresh its hotels with this new brand positioning, with the first step, exterior uplighting, to be fully implemented by 2018.

Say hello to Red At Ramada, the brand definition includes a new marketing campaign called Say hello to Red, because red represents life, energy and passion. Launching in mid-September across the U.S. and Canada, it leverages the brand’s signature colour while highlighting Ramada’s expanding global reach and the warm, welcoming hospitality of its hotels. The campaign will span TV, digital and outdoor, among other media.

Greg Fleming, GM Ramada St. John’s (centre) with Caryl Porter, Wyndham’s brand SVP for Ramada (right), among recipients of the Best of the Best awards. featuring local photographs, have already seen an ADR bump and have the added benefit of stimulating interest in nearby attractions. The Innov8te rooms have already arrived in Canadian Super 8s. Other brand definers include a pilot “text request” program for Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham — the first-ever at an economy brand — and a new “Grab and Go” breakfast bento box at Travelodge and Ramada.

bers were lined up at the convention to see if they qualified. “There is a Titanium level for you, our owners,” said Geoff Ballotti, Wyndham company president and CEO, introducing the initiative. “You receive 15,000 points, automatic suite upgrades, the ability to give gold to friends and family, and a dedicated concierge. Owners have to operate their hotels at an A or B level, and there are 3,300 in this room.”

Strengthening quality and quantity

Growing quickly

Wyndham Hotel Group is strengthening the overall quality of its growing footprint, but is unwavering in its approach to removing hotels that no longer meet quality standards — a number which has increased threefold in just a few years. As unfit properties leave its system, Wyndham Hotel Group aims to attract higher-rated hotels through conversions, closing the quality gap and elevating the calibre of hotels within its portfolio. The company also stresses new construction, driven by its seven LEED-certifiable economy and midscale prototype designs. Microtel, Wyndham Garden, Wingate and Hawthorn are among the brands with prototypes. This plays a crucial role in hotel quality, as new builds now account for 66 per cent of the company’s current development pipeline.

“We open two hotels every day of the year — growing faster than any hotel company on the planet — so an integral part of delivering greater guest experiences is educating and enabling our owners to more easily and expediently manage their hotels’ reputations online through our proprietary WynReview,” said Ballotti. “Canada is unbelievable,” he told CLN in a media roundtable. “We have five brands with 10,000 rooms, and great partners like Marc [Staniloff of Superior Lodging] and Irwin [Prince of Realstar Hospitality]. Canada is critically important for us. “It’s a tale of a really strong economy in certain areas, and challenges in oil and gas markets. There were setbacks such as the [Fort McMurray] fire. “We feel your pain — those in all markets struggling with occupancy half of what it was a few years back.” Ballotti also noted that, “In the last 48 hours [at the conference], developers have seen great opportunities to begin buying or building. Bob Loewen’s development team is looking at 16 brands — five of which have critical mass in Canada.” Wyndham Hotel Group’s Global Conference is one of the world’s largest gatherings of hoteliers, bringing together nearly 6,000 franchisees representing the company’s nearly 8,000 hotels in 73 countries.

Evolution of Wyndham Rewards Wyndham Rewards has been one of the company’s biggest success stories over the past 18 months, with the company’s loyalty program moving up the ranks to its No. 1 rating by U.S. News and World Report. The program has added seven million new members since then, bringing the total to 46 million. More than one million reward nights have been redeemed. The company has now added Members Levels, Blue, Gold, Diamond and Platinum, plus a Titanium level for owners and managers whose properties meet certain quality standards. Mem-

Coast’s new owners Continued from page 1

Super 8 to Innov8te Super 8, North America’s largest economy hotel brand, now has guestrooms with soothing colour palettes, sleek finishes, updated bedding, modern amenities and new, hyper-local artwork. The Innov8te design will be featured in all 1,800 Super 8 hotels by the end of 2016. Marc Staniloff, president and CEO of Superior Lodging Corp., Canadian master franchisor for Super 8, says hotels that have implemented the Innov8te rooms with their large headboards

Briefs

APA is also taking steps to be environmentally friendly, with their CO2 emissions per room pegged at one third those of a typical urban hotel. Fumiko Motoya, president of APA Hotel, who addressed the press conference in English, said she was so glad to come to Vancouver, and also to New Jersey for the opening of APA Hotel’s first overseas property, gaining momentum towards its global strategy. She

said she has visited Canada twice and was impressed with how the company values its ambassadors. She stressed that APA Hotel is a family-owned business, and that she treats her employees the same as her children — sometimes strict and sometimes gentle. She expects that APA and Coast will both benefit through sharing ways of managing hotels. The company’s growth will not stop with the acquisition of Coast — with more than 60,000 guestrooms now, the company aims to reach 100,000 rooms by 2020.

STAMFORD, CT — Aloft Hotels has unveiled the first-ever voice-activated guestroom, giving travellers new ways to interact using “Hey Siri,” it was announced in late August. Each Aloft voice-activated hotel room is equipped with an iPad running a custom Aloft app used for controlling the in-room guest experience, with HomeKit-enabled accessories, including room temperature, lighting options and more. These new rooms now available at Aloft Boston Seaport and at Aloft Santa Clara. When guests arrive, they launch a custom Aloft app on their in-room iPad to control various aspects of their voice-activated room. A personalized welcome screen will advise guests on how to set up their room and use their own voice with “Hey Siri.” Each iPad also offers a simple tutorial to guide guests through the setup process and answer any questions they may have.

Tourism in Canada goes green KELOWNA, BC — The world’s largest sustainability certification program for the tourism industry will now be helping Canadian tourism businesses reduce their environmental impacts, it was announced Sept. 15. Through a regular lineup of complimentary webinars, white papers, how-to guides and checklists, Green Tourism will help the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) grow and develop Canada’s tourism sector in a way that helps to meet the growing traveller demand for responsible business, while working to reduce the industry’s environmental and carbon footprint. In addition to providing assessments and certification, Green Tourism offers educational resources for tourism businesses, helping them to understand the top and bottom line benefits of integrating sustainability practices into their operations, marketing and other areas.

Le Germain bedding in Simons MONTREAL — Le Germain Hotels’ bedding collection, originally offered exclusively through the website of Simons department store, is now available in eight Simons retail locations, it was announced Sept. 8. “We had a fantastic response to the quality bedding from our customers who requested we carry the collection in our retail locations,” said Peter Simons, CEO of La Maison Simons, in a release. The Le Germain collection includes sheets, duvets and pillows.

New York tops for Pokétels NEW YORK — Recent Hotels.com research reveals New York City has nine of the top ten U.S. “Pokétels” – those hotels with access to the most Pokéstops and Pokégyms within and near the hotel property. No. 1 rated U.S. Pokétel, The Towers at Lotte New York Palace, features 11 Pokéstops/ gyms located within 500 feet and an additional 231 within 1.25 miles. Surveying more than 500 millennial travellers based in the U.S., Hotels.com learned that more than half of millennials (79 per cent) plan to play Pokémon Go on their next vacation, while as many as 48 per cent would consider visiting a new destination because of the popular new game.

October 2016 | 3


C A N A D I A N

EDITORIAL

Hola! A view from the equator

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lthough I have attended many investment conferences in Canada and the United States, it’s the first time I have been to the South American Hotel Investment Conference (SAHIC), held Sept. 26-27 in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Here’s my take on the hotel world viewed from the equator. Canada seems very far away, though we did receive some mentions at the conference. Everyone is excited about the potential for tourism in Cuba, with a Cuban delegation providing the grand finale to the conference, toasted with Mojitos by the delegates. Of course, the bar graph showing inbound tourism before the U.S. announcement showed one huge bar for Canada and several much smaller bars for European countries. About a million and a half Canadians visit Cuba each year, but other countries are just now discovering it. The bars on the graph will

be quite different in coming years. The Cuban government plans to expand its hotel inventory by 4,500 rooms per year from the current tally of 378 properties with 65,770 rooms, and to increase the number of golf courses from two to 13 in the next few years, with a buildout of 27 in the longer term. In 2017, there will be two SAHICs, including one in Havana, Cuba, May 15-16 and another in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Sept. 13-14. Countries such as Ecuador are also courting Canadian and American retirees with new condo-hotel resorts. At press time, I was about to set out on a tour of some of those Ecuadorian properties, and will report back in the November issue of the magazine. In Canada, news about Latin America has focused on the Zika virus, the Ecuador earthquake in April and developments in Brazil, including the impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff, the World Cup and the Olympics. Other news stories included new

presidents in Argentina and Peru, and the La Paz accord in Colombia, signed during the SAHIC conference. Arturo Garcia Rosa, founder and president of SAHIC, and Patricia Boo of STR noted North American press has had a huge impact on South American tourism. Coverage of the Ecuador earthquake made it look as though the whole country was devastated. In the case of Zika, the actual effect on South American tourism was not nearly as profound as H1N1 was in Mexico a few years back. What came through loud and clear during two View from the Top panels featuring executives from global brands was that the majors are working hard to round out their global offerings in Latin America; the market has great potential as well as challenges; and the brands all have plans for robust growth in the region over the next several years.

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SPOTLIGHT

Reducing food allergen cross-contact By Andrea Lobel Shainblum Accommodating guests with allergies from reservation to check-out has become a pressing issue in hotels and restaurants across Canada and beyond. A few general allergy risk-reduction approaches include installing air filters, using low-allergen bedding, and establishing clear pet policies. But when it comes to food allergies, reactions can be rapid and life-threatening. According to AllerGen NCE, Inc., approximately 1 in 13 Canadians, or 2.5 million, report having one or more food allergies. These statistics highlight the need for allergy risk-reduction strategies and emergency plans. One challenge for foodservice is the risk of allergen cross-contact – the transfer of proteins from one food to another, or to surfaces guests with food allergies may touch. The following are a few techniques among many for helping reduce risk from reservation to check-out. Reservations: Guests will ideally mention any allergies to the reservations desk or agent to note in their file. In case they forget, best practice is for the agent to ask all guests if they have any special dietary or other needs. Some guests will make a request for a refrigerator to store foods they have sourced elsewhere. A hotel may choose to waive the fee as a goodwill gesture. Check-in is an ideal time to set your ho-

4 | Canadian Lodging News

tel apart by telling guests that you’ve noted their allergies, confirming any arrangements made at reservation, and asking if there is anything else your staff can assist with (e.g. an introduction to the chef.) Special room cleaning: Before allergic guests check-in, a thorough cleaning should be performed that includes a special focus on items frequently handled by guests who may have snacked on allergens in the room. Several examples include remote controls, clock radio buttons, tables, desks and pens, room service menus, and drawer handles. Foodservice and room service: There are many potential points of crosscontact in the front and back of house, and in room service orders. Here are a few riskreduction tips that may be useful in your establishment: • Designate one point person, usually the chef or food and beverage manager, to handle allergy orders and oversee riskreduction. • Prepare special allergy orders in a clean, sanitized area away from the guest’s allergens. Use well-washed cutting boards, utensils and pots. • Some restaurants set aside separate items for allergy orders in a different colour or style to make them easier to spot and track. • Allergy orders must be cooked on their own, away from other foods, to avoid splatter from other meals. • Preparers and servers should wear freshly laundered aprons while handling and serving special allergy orders.

• Wash hands well with soap and water before touching the allergy order or tools used to prepare it. Hand sanitizer will not remove allergens. • If a mistake is made, the allergen should never simply be removed; traces of the allergenic protein will still be present, and can trigger a reaction. The order must be remade. • The point-person carries the plate to the table separate from other orders. After the guest begins eating, this person should visit the table or call up to the room to ask if the meal meets the guest’s needs. Communication and follow-up: During the guest’s stay, a staff member should ideally call the guest and ask if their allergy needs are being accommodated, and if they require any further assistance.

JASON CHESKES Above The Line Solutions 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. 8 · OCTOBER 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

Check-out: The final opportunity to shine at allergy awareness is at check-out. This is the time to inquire about the guest’s stay, and to ask if your hotel’s accommodation of their needs met their expectations. With an allergy and gluten-free market growing 4 per cent annually in Canada, working to accommodate guests with food allergies and sensitivities is not merely a way to reduce the risk of liability. It’s also smart business. Andrea Lobel Shainblum, Ph.D. is president of Allercom Allergy Consulting, Inc. Allercom trains restaurants, hotels and other organizations Canada-wide in allergy risk reduction, and is the exclusive provider of the AllergyAudit System. Visit www.allercom.com or contact info@allercom.com

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The future of hospitality is bright because the future of hospitality is Wyndham Hotel Group.

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This is not an offer. Certain provincial laws regulate the offer and sale of franchises. An offer will only be made in compliance with those laws and regulations, which may require we provide you with a Disclosure Document, a copy of which can be obtained by contacting Wyndham Hotel Group Canada, ULC at 22 Sylvan Way, Parsippany, NJ 07054. All hotels are independently owned and operated with the exception of certain hotels managed or owned by an affiliate of the company. © 2016 Wyndham Hotel Group Canada, ULC. All rights reserved.


BY THE NUMBERS TRANSACTION CASE STUDY: Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre

Alberta resorts such as Delta Lodge at Kananaskis (shown above) are performing well.

Canadian industry outlook positive for 2017: CBRE TORONTO — The outlook for the Canadian accommodation industry for next year is positive, driven by, among other factors, a forecast increase in travel and rise in national GDP, according to a panel of CBRE Hotels experts speaking at the 2017 Canadian Accommodation Industry Outlook breakfast, held Sept. 13 in downtown Toronto. Although recently stalled below 2 per cent nationally, Canada’s GDP is predicted to rise to about 2 per cent in 2017. On top of that, overall travel growth is expected to hit 3 per cent next year, double the figure for 2016, according to the panel. Business travel is expected to rise about 2.5 per cent, with leisure travel “looking solid” for the near term. Moreover, accommodation demand growth of 2.4 per cent to 2.6 per cent is being forecasted. The low value of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar is expected to continue driving U.S. travel to Canada, while simultaneously discouraging Canadians from leaving the country for their leisure travel needs. Strong demand is expected to drive occupancy Canada-wide. Similarly, market conditions, and Canada’s safe-harbour status (thanks to political stability) are driving investment, demand for which has never been stronger, especially from offshore investors, according to the panel. Hotels generate returns of 3 per cent to 4 per cent, and that, coupled with the ability to grow income in the next couple of years, has spurred first-time buyers to enter the Canadian accommodations market. On the supply side, nationally, Canada has been operating at “functional capacity,” with occupancy at about 65 per cent. Too, access to capital has improved, with “lots of options” to finance hotel projects of less than $20 million. Across the board, there has been downward pressure on cap rates. Regionally, in Atlantic Canada, GDP growth of about 1.5 per cent is expected for 2017, along with limited supply growth. Halifax, expected to see RevPAR growth of 3 per cent next year, is benefiting from the shipbuilding contract that’s spurring local economic activity, as well as the convention centre expected to open in 2017. Regional investment, in Atlantic Canada, totalled $7.6 million as of August 2016 year-to-date. In 2017, Central Canada, comprising Ontario and Quebec, is expected to see occupancy rates of 67 per cent, ADR of 2 per cent and RevPAR growth of 4.5 per cent. Regional investment totalled almost $649 million as of August 2016 year-to-date. Overall, “a lot” of offshore capital is looking to invest in the region’s accommodation market. “It’s a good time to be a seller,” concluded the panel. In Western Canada, the story continues to be Alberta’s continuing soft accommodation sector, driven by the struggling oil sector and its spinoff economic effects. RevPAR, occupancy rates and ADR are all expected to perform weakly in 2017. One bright spot, however, has been the province’s resorts. Regional investment has totalled almost $30 million as of August 2016 year-to-date, with “not a lot” of transactions likely coming. In contrast, B.C. has seen strong growth, largely driven by the Vancouver market. The province is forecasted to experience GDP growth of 2.5 per cent, with Vancouver’s RevPAR expected to hit $147 in 2017.

6 | Canadian Lodging News

Date: August 2016 Location: Toronto, Ont. Property type: Full Service Hotel Vendor: Skyline International Development Purchaser: Silver Hotel Group Broker: Colliers International Hotels The offering of the Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre presented a rare opportunity for a new owner to acquire prime real estate in one of North America’s hottest markets and Canada’s largest city. The property was purpose built as a mixed-use project in 2004, comprising 164 large condo-style hotel and residential suites, near Yonge and Dundas, which has grown to become the city’s most prominent intersection, often referred to as Toronto’s Times Square. The property is at the epicentre of culture, entertainment and shopping, surrounded by rapid transit lines, public parking, as well as significant leisure and institutional demand generators. Colliers International Hotels underwent a comprehensive marketing campaign and received significant interest from a variety of domestic and foreign capital sources. Investors were drawn to the hotel’s premium position in a high barrierto-entry, thriving pocket of downtown Toronto, and a multitude of value-enhancing opportunities. The offering received multiple bids and was ultimately purchased by Silver Hotel Group, further expanding their portfolio of independent hotels in the downtown Toronto hotel market. Source: Colliers International Hotels | www.collierscanada.com/hotels

TravelClick releases Canadian GDS Statistics

John Hach, senior industry analyst, TravelClick.

NEW YORK — The outlook for global distribution systems (GDS) in Canada is more encouraging than in other parts of the world, said John Hach, senior industry analyst with TravelClick. TravelClick is a New York-based provider of B2B distribution and marketing services for hotels. Its suite of solutions supports clients with travel marketing and reservations management tools, as well as comprehensive business

intelligence. “TravelClick has a worldwide on-the-ground presence that enables us to maintain a deep understanding of local markets in the context of the global hospitality industry,” said Hach. “We have our Demand 360 product, which provides big data business intelligence for hotels. The hotels provide data from their property management systems, and [we track] prior and future reservations up to 365 days.” TravelClick gathers the majority of the information from 35,000 participating hotels, including Marriott, Wyndham, Hyatt, IHG, Starwood and Hilton properties. “It’s real information from their PMS systems,” Hach stressed. The most recent report deals with the second quarter of 2016. “Toronto rebounded really well; in the second quarter, occupancy was up 3 per cent,” he said.

“There are three drivers holding down many markets of the world, that have less of an impact in Canada. These include Brexit, the China-U.S. slowdown and the outcome of the U.S. election.” Other factors include the strength of the U.S. dollar, which makes it easier for Americans to travel to Canada. The Zika virus is a concern in Florida and particularly Miami, but there’s not as much concern in Canada. The final factor is local terrorism, which is affecting GDS travel in places like Brussels, Belgium, Paris or Nice, France, Dallas, Tex. and Orlando, Fla. ‘When you look at the three macro issues, Canada is in a pretty good place,” Hach said. Both Toronto and Vancouver had good showings in the second quarter. Toronto occupancy was up 3.8 per cent, ADR, 5.8 per cent and RevPAR, 9.9 per cent. Vancouver had an occupancy increase of 2.4 per cent, ADR, up 5.8 per cent and RevPAR, 12.5 per cent. The picture in Montreal wasn’t quite so stellar, with -1.0 per cent occupancy, 3.0 per cent ADR and 1.9 per cent RevPAR. Another piece of information is that GDS is declining slightly in Canada. In the second quarter, Canada accounted for $153 million in GDS sales, down from $156 million a year ago. “The average travel agent sells 22 times more hotels than the average customer stays at,” said Hach. “There is less competition for travel agents than consumers. When you take that multiple plus less competition,” you can hit the ball out of the park. “It’s the hidden pearl in the hotelier’s market strategy.” Hach added that they look at reservation trends, i.e., customers who haven’t even checked-in. The 12-month outlook starting in Q3 2016 and ending in Q3 2017 for Toronto shows occupancy up approximately 16.9 per cent. “Toronto shows the largest occupancy outlook and the greatest increase among 25 markets,” said Hach. Those markets include top cities in the U.S.


Great Blue Resorts cottages at a fraction of the price

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. — It’s a familiar story, according to Chris Chew of Great Blue Resorts. A family is looking for a carefree, maintenance-free cottage life and experience buys a beautiful place on an Ontario lake for half a million dollars, and discovers it’s a lot more work than they anticipated, and that maintenance costs average around $12,000 per year. For the past eight years, the owners of Great Blue Resorts have been providing a lower-cost, lower-stress alternative. Their business model is to provide a community atmosphere with water sports, heated pools, a kids’ club, guest passes and secure gates. “It’s

a good thing for families to get away into cottage country in a safe, community setting,” said Chew. The cost is much lower than traditional cottage ownership because although the purchasers own the cottages outright, they don’t buy the land. A purchaser can pay as little as $49,900 for a pre-owned cottage or 150,000 for a brand new one. The cottages are 425 to 750 square feet with wraparound decks and sunken living rooms. All appliances and bedding are included, and roofs are shingled. Resort fees range from $3,500 to $9,000 per year, with an average of $6,000, said Chew. There is also a rentals program that al-

lows cottage owners to pay for part of their resort fees. “Purchasers can enjoy time away with the family and not worry. There are no land taxes or hidden costs — it’s all inclusive. “Our business model is huge in the U.K.,” Chew told CLN. “Our owners and sales director are from there. Over the years, our model will grow as prices of traditional cottages continue to rise.” Great Blue Resorts owns eight properties in Central and Southern Ontario, including Bellmere Winds Resort, on Rice Lake in the Kawarthas; Cherry Beach Resort, in Prince Edward County; Lantern Bay Resort, in Gravenhurst; McCreary’s Beach Resort, in Perth near Ottawa; Shamrock Bay Resort, in Severn Bridge; Vine Ridge Resort, in Niagara-on-the-Lake and Woodland Estate Resort, in Campbellford. The most recent acquisition is Bonny Lake, a 900-cottage site on a spring-fed lake and forested property. It will allow only electric boats and ones with oars only. “We focus on quiet, family friendly resorts, with people over 25. We don’t encourage the party lifestyle,” noted Chew. Some of the properties are former resort properties that started off as trailer parks. These days, there are a lot more eyeballs on cottage living, said Chew. Typically the existing trailer owners were paying lower fees of about $2,500 and the park was run down and shoddy. Great Blue Resorts raised the fees to better reflect the cottage concept, and existing owners had the

option of upgrading or moving out. “It’s a fairly drastic change, as we are looking at higher middle class and upper class families. We give them time to make a decision and a fair trade-in value for their trailer,” said Chew. “As a company, over the next couple of years, we want to add several more properties and expand the portfolio. The properties get built-out over a couple of years — for example, Vine Ridge looked totally different three years ago. We are spending millions to get up to standard and continue to build-out new amenities until we have the owner base to support it.” Great Blue Resorts’ ideal locations are on a body of water, close to local attractions and within 90 minutes to two hours from the Greater Toronto Area. “We’re looking to purchase land for not less than 450 sites, so that we can have better amenities and a stronger community. We want to be away from noise factors and have easy access for families.” Prince Edward County is an example of a good location, since it has 30-plus wineries, lots of food, the Millennium Trail, antique shops and local artists. “We’re partnering with local businesses, offering savings on some of the top attractions.” The organization use to be called Ventura resorts. When Chew arrived three years ago, they changed the name to Great Blue Resorts, inspired in part by Great Wolf Lodge.

Shangri-La launches food-themed loyalty program HONG KONG — Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts in late August launched The Table by Golden Circle, a food and beverage loyalty program that offers benefits to members who dine at Shangri-La properties. “Our consumer research reaffirmed that the emotion attached to a dining experience is far more appealing than the functional benefit of discounts and points. Loyalty programs must adapt to this trend and become increasingly more experiential,” said Steven Taylor, chief marketing officer at Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, in a release. The Table is integrated with ShangriLa’s Golden Circle loyalty program and recognizes members through redemptions and access to signature food experiences, exclusive events and special offers. “Chefs at our food and beverage outlets around the world will have the freedom to offer experiential dining offerings that complement the hotel, restaurant or destination. The scale and atmosphere of the experiences is also dependent on different factors,” Wee Kee Ng, vice-president for partner and loyalty marketing, told CLN. For example, Bord Eau at Shangri-La Hotel, Qaryat Al Beri, Abu Dhabi hosts a seven-course degustation menu daily for culinary enthusiasts to indulge in a French gastronomic journey. In Hong Kong, Restaurant Petrus at Island Shangri-La invited young chefs into the kitchen for a hands-on cooking class every Wednesday and Saturday until summer’s end.

In Canada, where there are more than 57,000 Golden Circle members, Market by Jean-Georges, in Shangri-La, Vancouver, hosted, from late summer until Oct. 2, The Muses Dinner to celebrate Picasso: The Artist and his Muses exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Guests were invited to take a journey through the lives and personalities of six women who were all major figures in Picasso’s personal life and strongly influenced the development of his art. At the time of writing, that was the only special culinary event (tied into The Table program) planned for either of Shangri-La’s Canadian hotels, according to a company spokesperson, who said that “additional special events, dinners, menus, etc. could be added in the future.” Members earn Golden Circle Award Points by dining and drinking at the more than 500 restaurants and bars found in Shangri-La, Hotel Jen, Kerry and Traders properties globally when they are non-staying guests. Instant Dining Rewards allow members to earn and redeem Golden Circle Award Points on the spot, with no pre-planning or vouchers required. Jade and Diamond level members receive bonus earnings and more value on redemptions for dining transactions. In addition, members receive Golden Circle Award Points on all qualifying transactions, including discounts. The Table’s mobile-friendly digital plat-

form showcases the culinary experiences available at Shangri-La properties. Guests searching for restaurants and bars will find options categorized under five moods (elegant, intimate, upbeat, chill and adventurous) or by curated experiences, local offers and member benefits. The site gives members access to special offers and features immersive stories and videos that spotlight the people behind the food and drink that ends up on guests’ tables. The platform also highlights signature dish recipes and seasonal menus as well as The Table’s Instagram account, @TheTable.

Top photo: Afternoon Tea. Bottom: photo: Dim Sum.

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Choice Hotel, Quality Inn Rouyn-Noranda

FURNITURE BY DESIGN When it comes to public-space and guestroom furniture, functionality and flexibility rule. Don Douloff

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otel furniture, in public spaces and guestrooms, has come a long way, as operators look to incorporate pieces that conform to trends in the wider world and meet guests’ constantly evolving needs. Gone are the days of dull, haphazardly placed pieces. First and foremost, one style does not fit all. “Today’s guest is very sophisticated. Whether the exposure is physical or virtual, it seems like he/she has seen it all. Thus we are seeing an increase in eclectic design that combines elements that are unusually combined to create a unique environment and bring the unexpected. It is intentionally curated to convey a story, a relevance, a location or a destination,” said Randa Tukan, senior vice-president, director of hospitality, in the Toronto office of HOK, a global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm. Flexibility is key. “In the era of personalization and customization, all hotel spaces need to multi-function in some fashion, in order to meet guests’ needs,” said Tukan. “Lobbies, meeting rooms, restaurants, bars and guestrooms are for eating, drinking, meeting, working, etc. Having adaptable and/or movable furniture will go a long way to combine these uses.” In lobbies, for example, “furniture is often multi-use, with outlets for connectivity,” while in meeting rooms, “functionality and flexibility are key, with a trend to more residential-looking furniture pieces,” said Judy Henderson, principal and owner of Vancouver-based Inside Design Studio Inc., which has spearheaded more than 50 hotel renovations. In hotel restaurants and bars, “functionality is the primary focus,” as fabrics are “trending to a more residential look and feel,” said Henderson. In contrast, for guestrooms, “functionality and flexibility are key, as room furniture needs to be multipurpose.” Style-wise, lobby furniture

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is seeing modern looks continuing to trend, though “transitional is still quite common,” and meeting rooms are showing “modern pieces with a more residential feel.” Modern styles remain strong in guestrooms (where furniture favours “more clean lines”) and in restaurant and bar pieces, “though a big trend is still the Brooklyn, New York, industrial look,” noted Henderson.

VERSATILITY RULES As far as functionality goes, versatility rules, according to Henderson. Since lobby spaces “are often reconfigured at different times of day,” furniture in those areas is, typically, modular. Meeting room pieces are mostly functional, “as this furniture must be moveable/stackable,” while for restaurant and bar furniture, “durability is always key. There have been advances in fabrics that are virtually stain-proof.” Henderson noted that on the guestroom front, furniture is “primarily functional and dual purpose. Bigger rooms are trending, with a more minimalist feel. Closets and dressers are often being deleted and replaced with a luggage rest in combination with a drawer below and hangers above, to create more openness in the rooms.” In terms of colour, understated hues are the norm for lobby furniture (though boutique hotels will often employ bold hues, said Henderson); neutrals hold sway in meeting rooms (“though a trend is to mix up two or more chair colours to add interest”); and neutrals and natural wood are still a “big trend” in restaurants and bars. In guestrooms, neutral tones reign. “More important than colour, there has to be a concept,” said Tukan, who has more than 25 years experience in interior design. “The concept will drive the design to reach the main statement. The statement can be conveyed via

Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore, Jen’s Kitchen On-the-Go colour, material, texture, artwork etc. The key is that it (be) intentional, strategic and evocative.” On the fabric front, synthetics are the norm in lobby furniture, said Henderson. “More Crypton fabrics are being used, as technology has advanced to make them have a softer handfeel. More marble and quartz are trending in lobby spaces for their luxe appeal and durability.”

RESIDENTIAL FEEL In meeting room furniture, a more residential feel, with lighter woods, is trending (and plastic laminates to match). Reclaimed wood, however, has seen a slight increase, said Henderson. Similarly, reclaimed wood as an accent has gained popularity in restaurant and bar furniture, while fully upholstered chairs have declined in popularity. In guestroom furniture, integrated technology is key. Trends have changed “from a purely functional standpoint to an aesthetic that reflects the culture of the destination and the brand’s identity, as well as catering to the tastes of today’s

independent travellers,” said Vathsala Subramaniam, general manager, Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore. That property offers a fun take on traditional furniture seen at a reception counter made out of old-fashioned luggage and a bike used as table legs in the Kitchen On-the-Go cafe. At Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market, which opened Aug. 22, a lot of thought went into selecting the onsite furniture pieces. “Furniture is being designed with use in mind, to be stylish but ultimately functional,” said general manager Matt Graham. “A hyperdesigned stylish piece that serves no human need is ultimately a failure, as is a purely utilitarian piece that serves no purpose in the design elements of the hotel. Our uses of time and space has become so intermingled, the idea of specific places for specific activity are in the past; people use technology, eat a meal, wait for friends, all in the same space, and furnishings need to reflect that change.” The Andaz’s lobby furniture is modern and minimal, with oversized, custom-designed low sectional seating, creating a comfortable lounge


environment, said Ashley Rumsey, partner at Mason Studio, which directed the hotel’s design. Armchairs and side tables provide accents. Furniture in the studio spaces and lounges is simple and understated, creating a neutral backdrop for a variety of events and functions. In keeping with the rest of the hotel, furniture features modern detailing and a neutral palette.

CHOICE HOTELS CANADA At Choice Hotels Canada, customer preferences are helping shape furniture selection. “Our guests are seeking flexibility in their hotel rooms, allowing them to be productive from their desk, bed or lounge chair,” said Brendan Gibney, director of franchise services at Choice Hotels Canada. “With our new Quality (Inn) renovations, we’re creating more spacious guestrooms by eliminating larger furniture pieces and replacing them with scaled-down versions. Larger desks and credenzas are being replaced with more streamlined versions, which see the desk and credenza merged into one single unit. Flat-panels TVs are being mounted on a media panel above the dresser, to create a visual element in the room, all while hiding the cables from guests.” Furthermore, “we are seeing a shift away from darker-coloured furniture towards natural hues and neutral tones, to give a fresh and airy feel to guestrooms,” noted Gibney. “Simple, clean lines are taking the place of accent elements on furniture, which was once in style, allowing furniture investment to have a longer life.” Also responsive to travellers’ changing needs is the Delta Hotels brand. In meeting rooms, for example, “the way our guests meet has evolved, and the furnishings have as well. We want to provide a creative environment for people to meet, connect and achieve their meeting objectives efficiently,” according to Don Cleary, president, Marriott Hotels of Canada. “In pre-func-

tion areas, we provide a mix of flexible seating groups, including sofas and lounge seating, with cocktail tables, communal tables and high-tops in a variety of locations, including semi-private areas for taking care of business during meeting breaks.” In restaurants and bars, “we want to provide an atmosphere for socialization. We do this by space-planning that provides gathering spaces, collaborative spaces and semi-private spaces for work and play,” said Cleary. “The furniture style and function need to be appropriate to draw guests and bring the space to life.” Cleary noted that in-room, “guests are working from their mobile devices and are not tethered to a desk anymore. Incorporating power and USB capabilities throughout all areas of work and play are crucial. We are seeing more integrated furniture. For instance, we know that guests typically do not unpack, so we provide a luggage bench incorporated into the casegoods and a dedicated beverage ledge to stow coffee supplies to keep the large countertop and desk area available for guests to settle in (whichever way) they see fit.”

CREATIVE MATERIALS Materials, too, are being used in creative ways at Delta properties. “We are seeing a lot more natural materials juxtaposed with manmade materials — wood, brick, steel, glass to compose the space and give texture and layering to the design.” For example, OAK + CRU Social Kitchen & Wine Bar, in the Delta Grand Okanagan, highlights ample amounts of oak, referencing the winemaking process to reflect the hotel’s location in the heart of Kelowna, B.C.’s wine country. Taking a highly specialized approach to the guestroom experience is extended-stay banner Home2 Suites by Hilton, all of whose suites feature a Working Wall. “The unit helps to maxi-

Home 2 Suites 1 King Bed Studio Suite mize useable space versus having traditional freestanding furniture throughout the suite. This is especially important to our extendedstay guests who ‘move in’ for longer periods of time,” said head of product management Roy Johnson. The Working Wall includes a mobile desk that can be ‘parked’ under the counter when not in use or moved around the suite for flexibility (the desk is paired with an ergonomic chair). The Working Wall incorporates the kitchen and a flexible working/media space. The fully accessorized kitchen includes place settings for six with a refrigerator/freezer, dishwasher, microwave oven and coffeemaker. The Oasis is an expanded community space providing common areas for social gathering, and communal and individual work and meeting zones. The working/media zone includes a fullsize sleeper sofa, flat-screen HDTV, ottoman, ambient and task lighting, alarm clock, storage options and furniture pieces that can be moved around to create customized living spaces. IHG’s Crowne Plaza brand strives to “make business travel work for today’s modern business traveller. The brand’s overall design revolves around our guests’ need to be their most productive, while also having the ability to relax and recharge,” said Heather Balsley, senior vice-

president, Americas, brands and marketing, at IHG. Crowne Plaza has developed the WorkLife room, featuring an angled bed that creates more useable space with a multipurpose nook, a desk for focused work, integrated power throughout and abundant lighting. The nook provides an extended sofa area with a worktable that enables “guests to stretch out to do relaxed work on their laptops, eat a meal or have a glass of wine and watch TV.” Another new design concept, Flexible Meetings, facilitates the ‘meetings between the meetings,’ with technology-enabled public spaces designed for solo work and small group meetings with on-demand services such as an iPad to order and pay for a coffee or a healthy bite to eat while guests work. There are multiple spaces for different-sized meeting groups and needs, from solo working to groups of 10 to 12 people. The spaces include pods, huddle spots and nooks for a group of up to six to connect, review a presentation or eat or drink, as well as the Apartment, a space for on-demand private meetings. With many of the furniture pieces in the Flexible Meeting concept, guests can find spaces they need to collaborate with colleagues, host a client or focus to get work done.

Clockwise from top: Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore, Elevated Desk. Andaz ByWard Market, Guestroom. Hotel Jen Tanglin Singapore, Bedside Connectivity. Background: ALT, Group Germain.

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Canada important part of Red Lion’s Vantage purchase

From left: Bernie Moyle of Vantage Hospitality, Greg Mount of Red Lion, and Roger Bloss of Vantage Hospitality.

SPOKANE, Wash. and CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. — When Red Lion Hotels Corporation entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Vantage Hospitality last month, Canada was an important part of their thought process. Under the agreement, RLHC will acquire Vantage’s global brands and brand operations for an initial aggregate price of $23 million in cash and 690,000 shares of Red Lion common stock. The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2016. In an interview with Hotel News Now following the Sept. 13 announcement, RLHC president and CEO Greg Mount said he is particularly pleased with Vantage’s presence in Canada, and that adding more than 30 properties in Canada is a big step for Red Lion. Red Lion currently has one Canadian property, the Red Lion Inn &

Suites, in Victoria, B.C. Vantage’s current leadership and staff in Coral Springs, Fla., will become the hub for all RLHC select service brand operations. Prior to the acquisition, Red Lion had 113 hotels with 14,200 rooms. With the Vantage portfolio, this will increase to more than 1,100 hotels with 73,200 rooms. Founded in 1959, Red Lion’s brands include Hotel RL, Red Lion Hotels, Red Lion Inn & Suites, GuestHouse and Settle Inn brands. They acquired the latter two brands in April 2015. Founded in 1999, Vantage brands include Americas Best Value Inn, Canadas Best Value Inn, Lexington by Vantage, America’s Best Inns and Suites, Country Hearth Inns, Jameson Inns, Signature Inn and 3 Palms Hotels & Resorts brands. Vantage has 33 Canadas Best Value Inns with a total of 1,579 rooms: 12 in Ontario, four in Atlantic Canada and 17 in Western Canada. There are two Lexingtons, one in Windsor, Ont., and one in Sudbury, Ont.

IHG transports guests via virtual reality on social media By Michelle Dias Hospitality and travel social media channels play a big role in consumer decision making. Guests peruse blogs, Facebook and Instagram when making decisions on destinations and hotels; looking for “likes” on picturesque room views and breathtaking scenic shots. IHG’s brands are taking voyeurism to the next level with virtual reality (VR), essentially transporting their viewer to a property for an out-of-body experience. InterContinental Montréal is debuting a new elegant ballroom, and before officially opening the doors, published a series of VR videos starring a helpful host who tours the viewer through renderings of the new

InterContinental Montréal ballroom.

Showering with Rob. space. The video sequence is lifelike and allows the viewer to gaze up, down, right and left via cursor to examine the space. My favourite video showcases the ballroom for a wedding through the eyes of a blushing bride. With party music and clapping, your imagination will make you “feel” this wedding. Need a laugh? Take a look at the Holiday Inn Express brand’s Facebook page, where you can shower with comedian and creative director Rob Riggle. I kid you not, this two minute 360 virtual reality video will leave you in stitches. From the fall of the water in the shower, to the sharing of shampoo and soap – every detail is seen and heard. I’ve played around with the 360

functionally – and it’s neat to look outside the shower or up towards the shower head as Rob speaks. This quirky video is part of a series of brand videos on Facebook featuring Rob as he entertains and educates Facebook viewers on sleep, coffee and breakfast — all pillars of the Holiday Inn Express brand. Quick tips if you are watching virtual reality videos online for the first time: • You can view on desktop or mobile. For the full experience, make sure to expand to fullscreen mode. • Turn on your volume. Earbuds will enhance your experience. • Browse with your finger or mouse. Move around, make sure you don’t get dizzy. • Don’t forget to share the unique VR videos you find online on your social channels. Video continues to grow in popularity on social media channels. Brand storytelling, and emotional storytelling, move the viewer from a passive state to action. Envisioning their dream wedding in a beautiful ballroom in Montréal, or showering at a Holiday Inn Express while on vacation, the viewer is getting a glimpse before entering the hotel.

Michelle Dias, is a marketing manager for InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) based in Toronto. Within her role she is responsible for PR, social media and content marketing. Follow her on twitter @MichelleDias.

Travel Gay Canada packages promote destinations

Colin Sines, Travel Gay Canada.

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NIAGARA — Travel Gay Canada is reaching out to its members with new initiatives including a new website, and a destination newsletter that has an impressive 27 per cent open rate and 30 to 50 opt-ins per month, said Colin Sines, executive director. In July, the packages edition of the newsletter focused on Vancouver Island, named the ninth most beautiful island in the world by Travel + Leisure Magazine. The package exhorted members to visit Parksville, Sooke and Victoria, and to head out camping, kayaking, golfing, salmon fishing, whale watching or wildlife viewing. August’s special packages edition talked about Toronto, a city like no other on Earth. “Lift up the hood of Canada’s biggest city and

you’ll find there’s more to the eye than an amazing skyline. Toronto houses 200 ethnic groups and Canada’s Largest Pride,” it said. “In the past, we had a lack of communication to our members and consumers,” said Sines. “Now, we have people from 60 to 65 countries visiting the website, including Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Germany.” For September, the special package said, “Where the Un-Ordinary is the Ordinary — Welcome to the Heart of Wine Country.” But the package was not about the best known Niagara wineries, but rather focused on Twenty Valley attractions. The package talked about Travel Gay Canada members in the Twenty Valley.

“There were 15 on board, the majority of them wineries. The experience is so much different [than in Niagara-on-the-Lake]. There are smaller, more personal wineries, not tour operators and bus tours. The staff is knowledgeable and each winery is a different experience.” Ontario leads the country when it comes to average spend by an LGBT traveller, with $4,212 per year. Quebec is next with $3,350. And the demographics are getting older, which is good for travel. “Once that aging population is more well-established and in committed relationships, they have more disposable income. They are looking for unique experiences — they’ve been to the Rockies and want to try different places,” Sines said.


Growth through compassion at Cranberry Village By Kristen Smith COLLINGWOOD, Ont. — Since Larry Law purchased the 76-room Cranberry Inn nearly a quarter century ago, he has built the business into one of the largest employers in the area. As Cranberry Village continues to grow, the resort property brings in key talent with Law taking a servant leadership approach to running his business. When Don Buckle joined Cranberry as general manager three years ago, he embraced the all-season resort’s philosophy of creating “a fun and caring environment,” by forming relationships with guests and empowering staff to make the right decision when serving them. “When Larry [Law] hired me, he asked me to lead with my heart,” said Buckle. “One of the reasons I came here was to work with Larry. When he hired me, he didn’t say ‘I want you to work with me,’ he said, ‘I want you to come on a journey with me.”

Business with purpose Law’s business leadership style is different than most companies, hospitality or otherwise. His decisions are not only guided by the bottom line, but also by compassion and purpose. “We are doing a good deed, but at the same time we are not [simply] running a charity — we can be profitable,” he said. For Law, the success of a company is measured by balance sheets as well as its positive impact on employees, guests and the community. “Having a business as a platform, we can achieve that goal,” he said. “Me, as an owner, as a CEO, I can be just one body. I’m nobody if we don’t have a good team.” With an employee base of about 450 — an increase from 300 when Buckle started three years ago — Law said it’s important for Cranberry Village’s leadership team to walk the talk. Through the management philosophy of servant leadership — coined by Robert K. Greenleaf — Law said employees have more reason to perform well than monetary incentive. The

Lakeside Seafood & Grill recently opened at Living Water Resort. From left: sous chef Emily Mallen and executive chef Marc Bery. job of the executive and management teams is to provide an environment in which staff can excel. “We want to manage by heart,” said Law. “Money is important, but so many people don’t leave the company, they leave the manager.” Buckle said Cranberry’s retention rate has improved quite a bit in the last few years, sitting at about 22 per cent turnover. Law developed his management style over time, but was also influenced by a tragic life event 15 years ago. When his wife passed away in 2001, Law saw support from the church community and embraced the teachings. “Twenty years ago, I was just like any other businessman. I wanted to make money, make my name, I wanted to feed my family,” said Law. “I was successful, had a lot of money, but I still could not save my wife’s life.”

New additions Cranberry Village recently expanded its Liv-

ing Water Resort property, completing the third of six phases for the development. While the Living Water property will be built out over the years, construction has already started on the Cranberry property, which will see the addition of three floors. At Living Water, development began eight years ago with 34 units and then another 57 units in phase two. Last August, 100 more rooms opened, bringing the total to 191. Plans call for another 270 rooms to be built over time. The completion of phase three at Living Water in the spring included the opening of Living Shore Spa and Lakeside Seafood & Grill.

Canadian seafood a focus Calgary-born chef Marc Bery moved across three provinces to open the 115-seat restaurant with a view of Georgian Bay. Bery spent time with Calgary-based Vintage Group, Delta Hotels and Azuridge Estate Hotel in Priddis, Alta., as executive sous chef before

making the moving to Collingwood, Ont. “I’m trading the mountains for the water, but it’s not a bad trade,” said Bery, who began working on the opening of the waterfront restaurant in January with sous chef Emily Mallen. Bery and Mallen created the menu, which includes a selection of set dishes, but also allows guests to choose steak or seafood (or both) and mix and match side dishes and sauces. Bery’s cooking philosophy focuses on what he calls “Rocky Mountain cuisine,” which is being translated into the Ontario setting. “It’s very much what I was doing back home, where we’re doing a lot of cured meats and we’re using a lot of game meats, a lot of indigenous and locally-grown berries and mushrooms, things that were foraged,” Bery added. Bery has experience dealing with seafood and the Alberta native is no stranger to cattle. Sourcing only Certified Angus Beef — mainly from Alberta and Ontario — for the menu, there is a selection of cuts to choose from, including a three-pound tomahawk steak. The halibut and clams are from the West Coast and salmon and mussels from Atlantic Canada, but the menu features a selection of Ontario lake fish, including trout from Manitoulin Island, yellow perch from Lake Erie and whitefish from Lake Huron. “We’re implementing Canada’s great seafood and shellfish products, but also what’s close by as well,” Bery said. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow diners inside as clear a view of the bay and Collingwood’s landmark grain terminals. There is also a 60seat patio. Inside, a wavy, wood-slat ceiling and cool tones of blue and grey evoke a modern aquatic theme. A private dining area, equipped with audio-visual capabilities, is available for meetings. A second kitchen area is separated from the main dining area by a wall of wine, which can hold about 28 cases. The additional kitchen equipment can be used to prepare group tasting menus or host culinary demonstrations and cooking lessons.

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Good for the Environment, GOOD FOR BUSINESS In a crowded and competitive hotel landscape, sustainability is critical for attracting new customers, maintaining repeat guests and booking more stays Don Douloff

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Background Graphic by Freepik.com

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n the crowded hospitality landscape, where online ratings and reviews drive so much, keeping a competitive edge is critical and challenging. Part of maintaining that edge is paying keen attention to sustainability best practices, which are key to attracting new customers, retaining repeat guests and booking more stays. Besides being good for the environment, sustainability practices are good business. From the Hotel Association of Canada’s 2016 Travel Intentions Survey, for example, green products are very important to 37 per cent of leisure t r ave l lers, and are m o s t important to B.C. travellers (39 per cent). In addition, 48 per cent of business travellers view green products as important, up 12 per cent over the past two years. Atlantic Canada business travellers (64 per cent) view this as important (the highest in the country), and 57 per cent of 25-to-34year-old business travellers see it as important. “Hoteliers need to realize that current and future travellers are expecting green initiatives

and sustainability practices on the property level when making a booking decision,” said Brendan Gibney, director of franchise operations, Choice Hotels Canada. As a result, Choice Hotels developed the Room to be Green program. Announced at the 2016 Choice Hotels Annual Convention, Room to be Green will become mandatory at all 10 Choice brands, including Comfort and Quality, by 2017, according to Gibney. At the property level, the program encompasses five primary base categories of green activities, including designated recycling areas, and a range of energy and water conservation practices, including energy efficient indoor lighting and towel re-use program, plus sustainable product usage. In addition to fulfilling the required base level, hotels may choose to go above and beyond by completing a specific number of requirements for a Level 2 or Level 3 designation. These extended options include programs such as ozone washing machines, light dimmers, double-paned or thermapane windows, and rain water collection systems for exterior irrigation systems. “The added costs of these requirements are (low) compared to the benefits hotels will see in their guest satisfaction scores,” said Gibney. “When we launched Room to be Green, within the first year, our economy brands saw a strong jump in guest satisfaction scores, particularly ‘room conditions’ and ‘likelihood to recommend.’ But it’s not just about the scores. The program is also a chance for hotel owners to act as environmental ambassadors of change and set an example to businesses in their local community.”

BEE SUSTAINABLE Earlier this year, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts established outdoor ‘hotels’ at 10 U.S. properties to host wild mason bees, which are highly effective pollinators. Fairmont developed these oases in conjunction with Pollinator Partnership, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems. Habitat loss is a leading cause


Fairmont Waterfront, Bee Hotel. of decline in wild bee populations, which are responsible for the pollination of one-third of the food produced in the U.S. For more than a decade, through its Bee Sustainable initiative, Fairmont has committed to improving the overall health and conservation of bee species globally and has built 40 apiaries and pollinator bee hotels at properties around the world. Throughout the summer, Fairmont offered Bee Sustainable packages, whereby participating hotels offered 10 per cent off the daily rate and a $50 dining credit per stay. Ten dollars from each stay was donated to Pollinator Partnership to support bee research and programming. Research and development is currently underway to build bee hotels in Dubai and Singapore, with more global locations planned. IHG has developed its Green Engage tool that measures a hotel’s energy, carbon, water and waste consumption, and uses actual data to provide customized environmental performance benchmarking, taking into account hotel location, brand and outfitting. The system supports hotels in creating environmental action plans and targets, with more than 200 recommended green solutions available to properties. IHG Green Engage helps hotels be more cost-effective to operate and ultimately allows them to improve their level of guest service.

GLOBAL STANDARD A global standard at all IHG hotels worldwide, the program recognizes progress and performance through four levels of certification. Hotels that achieve Level 3 certification can achieve energy savings of up to 25 per cent, on average. Achieving Level 2 Green Engage status is the Crowne Plaza Moncton Downtown, in Moncton, N.B. That property has completed 41 green solutions and has reduced water use per-occupied-room by 12 per cent, compared to last year (and consumes almost 30 per cent less water than similar hotels), according to information provided by IHG. To ensure that air quality in guestrooms is healthy, the hotel uses low/no VOC paints and energy efficient lighting. At Marriott, the company focuses on supply chain engagement to develop products and programs to meet sustainability goals. One example is a partnership with Cintas to find products that help meet Marriott’s environmental goals, according to Don Cleary, president, Marriott Hotels of Canada. Properties across nine Marriott brands are purchasing uniforms from Cintas’s product range made partially, if not fully, of recycled polyester from post-consumer plastic bottles. Each item of clothing purchased by hotels contains an average of 25 plastic bottles. “Across the Marriott portfolio, we removed nearly 2.3 million plastic bottles from landfills globally in 2013 by choosing these uniforms. A wear test of the regeneration suiting at a Courtyard property resulted in feedback that the wearers preferred the fit, feel and care of the 100 per cent recycled suit over their previous uniform,” said Cleary.

Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney - Rooftop Beehives Photo credit Yie Sanderson.

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives Farmers Cooperative. Similarly, at Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Park Inn by Radisson, front desk uniforms from the Cintas regeneration suiting collection, made of 100 per cent recycled polyester, are produced entirely from post-consumer waste material.

GREEN PRINCE PROGRAM Out in Halifax, as part of the Prince George Hotel’s Green Prince Program, housekeeping sets in-room climate control to adjust when guests are away from the room and changes bed linens on the third day of guest’s stay. Also at the Prince George, which carries a 4-key Green Key eco-rating, full composting is in effect, as is full recycling of bedding and other big furniture items — all items are reused and redistributed to staff and then local furniture banks and charities. As part of its eco-commitment, Shangri-La resorts have glass water bottling facilities that have diverted, from landfill, thousands of plastic bottles per year and have enhanced the guest experience with a choice of still or sparkling water. In addition, Shangri-La has partnered with PressReader, a digital newspaper and magazine service that gives guests unlimited, complimentary access to more than 2,000 local, regional and international publications from 100 countries in 60 languages. This will replace approximately two million complimentary print newspapers distributed annually to guests. Following a recently completed $120 million renovation, the Sheraton Centre Toronto features three ORCA (Organic Refuse Conversion Alternative) machines, in the main kitchen, Club Lounge and staff cafeteria. Daily, the ORCA machine digests food waste and converts it into environmentally safe water that flows into the sewer system. Just one ORCA Machine can divert up to 416 tons of food waste from landfill.

Prince George - Patio.

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY The hotel’s environmental policy follows Starwood’s 30/20 by 20, which addresses six areas of opportunity, with an initial focus on energy and water, with a commitment to reducing energy consumption by 30 per cent and water consumption by 20 per cent by 2020 (from a 2008 baseline). Putting into practice Starwood’s 30/20 program is the Westin Ottawa, which carries a 5-key Green Key eco rating, the highest possible. Among the hotel’s sustainability measures are the installation of new chillers and pumps, reducing hydro consumption; installation of a ‘destination dispatch’ elevator system designed to move guests more quickly and efficiently, saving energy and reducing wear and tear on the elevators; and implementing, in the kitchen, a sensor-driven system that adjusts hoods’ ventilating according to the level of cooking activity. The hotel’s ecomeasures are bearing fruit, since the property has reduced water consumption by 28 per cent and reduced electricity consumption by 24 per cent, according to director of engineering Jeff White. MasterBuilt Hotels is implementing 100 per cent LED lighting and motion-control sensors to control in-room air conditioning and heating. As a paper-reduction pilot project at the Microtel in Kitimat, B.C., room attendants use pre-loaded tablets to check-off completed tasks. Plans call for that tablet system to be rolled out chain-wide in 2017, according to Aodhan Sheahan, vice-president of operations at MasterBuilt. On a more creative note, DoubleTree by Hilton Regina offers a $5-per-day credit, at either the lobby level Starbucks or on-site Wild Sage restaurant, to guests who waive housekeeping services. General manager Mike Wurster said the number of rooms that waive housekeeping averages “in the mid teens” (the property has 235 guestrooms).

Light Human Hotel Taking a holistic approach to sustainability is Light Hu- preferred to plastic). All staff will be trained in waste sorting. man Hotel, which is planning to open its first unit in 2017, Filtering plants will naturally purify indoor air and hotels will according to president and co-founder Julien Veyron. “We are provide shared bikes for guest use. working on developments in the U.S., Brazil and France. Some are retrofits of existing hotels, others are new buildings, with construction to start in second (quarter) 2017.” The brand’s hotels are envisioned as “sustainable places, with well-being as a key-factor not only for guests, but for the staff and for the local community in the neighbourhood,” said Veyron. To that end, design will be customized to local resources, climate and specific urban context, he said. For example, a Light Human Hotel in Chicago will not be the same as one in Miami, because the Chicago property “will be in a particular context with a humid continental climate” and the Miami hotel “will be into another context, influenced by the tropical monsoon climate. It means that in a hot climate, a Light Human Hotel will ideally be built with very thick walls, with few windows and naturally ventilated, and in a colder climate, it will be better to use a dry process framework, with big windows to (take) advantage of passive solar gains.” Guestroom bathrooms in new and retrofitted properties will be equipped with a body dryer, reducing water and electricity needs (towels will be an option). Body dryers will be sourced from 95 per cent recycled material and can be recycled. As often as possible, hotels will recover rainwater and stock it in water tanks for plant watering. For operations, everything has been chosen in order to reduce waste. Accordingly, the brand has selected Boco for food packaged in glass (key to the recycling process) and NUXE Spa for body care and amenities (less packaging and cartons are Light Human Hotel- Miami.

October 2016 | 1 3


THE WINNERS’ CIRCLE International Housekeepers Week at CBVI Calgary CALGARY — In honour of International Housekeepers Week, Sept. 11-17, Canadas Best Value Inn Calgary provided writeups and photos of its housekeeping stars throughout the week.

Housekeepers were asked where they were born, what they liked to do in their spare time, recommendations for things to do in Calgary and the best restaurants for visitors. Pictured in the top row from left to right are: Haley, Kassandra, Mark and Mary Anne. In the

bottom row, from left to right are: Natashia, Patty, Roxanne and Shea. Their recommendations re Calgary attractions? The Zoo, Westwinds Wading Pool, Flying Squirrel Trampoline Park, Stephen Ave., Riley Park, the Calgary Tower and a Flames game!

Chelsea Hotel raises $100K for SickKids Foundation TORONTO – Canada’s largest hotel, Chelsea Hotel, Toronto, is a proud supporter of SickKids Foundation, the largest charitable funder of child health research, learning and care in Canada, which provides critical support for patients at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), one of the world’s foremost pediatric health-care institutions. As part of SickKids Foundation’s Donor of the Week celebration, Chelsea Hotel presented a cheque for $100,000 on Tuesday, Sept. 20 at 10:30 a.m. in the Atrium at SickKids. “The ability to give back to the community is not only an important philosophy of the Chelsea Hotel, Toronto but it is something the hotel practices every day,” said Josef Ebner, regional vice-president, Canada and managing director, Chelsea Hotel, Toronto. In 2014, Chelsea Hotel announced a new partnership with SickKids Foundation as part of their corporate social responsibility efforts. The hotel committed to a five-year fundraising plan with a goal of $500,000 over five years to support Ages and Stages, an online information portal on the AboutKidsHealth website offering resources for parents about child development and common health issues. AboutKidsHealth is part of the Learning Institute at SickKids.

Benefit for Life Gala No. 2 at Delta Grand Kelowna KELOWNA, B.C. — The second annual Benefit for Life Day Gala was held at Delta Grand Resort in Kelowna on Sept. 9, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. September is Suicide Prevention Month. Industry leaders, survivors of suicide loss and the community are came together to show support to benefit positive mental health at the 2nd Annual Benefit for Life Day gala. In honour of Benefit for Life Day, World Suicide Prevention Day and Suicide Prevention Month, the LifeLine Canada Foundation (TLC) hosted the Benefit for Life gala. This premiere event saw guests enjoy an extraordinary evening with the in-house chef ’s custom-designed hors d’oeuvres, decadent desserts, open bar, homegrown artistic talents, special guest speakers and a band of musical all-stars. Benefit for Life Day and WSPD activities also included online campaigns for youth and communities across Canada.

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2016 HAC Hall of Fame Awards 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. The awards program recognizes those individuals, companies or properties that have demonstrated significant accomplishments, exemplary leadership and tireless commitment. Awards will be presented at the HAC Annual Conference Feb. 15-16, 2017, at the Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre.


OPENINGS, SALES AND RENOS ladium Lady Hamilton Resort & Spa, located along the coast in Lucea, Jamaica. RCI subscribing members now have the option to visit the Cameron Club Lodge, which is situated beside the serene Loch Lomond in Alexandria, Scotland. Other new RCI-affiliated resorts include the Nickelodeon Resort Punta Cana by Karisma, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Hotel Ambient Azumino, in Azumino-shi, Nagano, Japan; and Holiday Inn Club Vacations Smoky Mountain Resort, in Gatlinburg, Tenn. The Registry Collection program, RCI’s luxury exchange program, added the Club Residencial Vinedo San Miguel, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Sheraton to debut in Saint-Hyacinthe, PQ

Artist’s rendering of Grand Villa Edmonton.

Flagship Radisson RED opening in Minneapolis in fall

RCI adds 70 resorts to affiliate exchange network

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. — Radisson RED plans to open a flagship property in Minneapolis, Minn., in autumn, it was announced on Aug. 25. To be located at 609 3rd St. South, the property will feature 164 studios outfitted with art, a picnic table, 55-inch TV and sound bar and an oversized picture window; Ouibar + Ktchn; and a 1,000-square-foot events and games studio event space. The hotel will provide free high-speed WiFi, and guests will be able to stream content from personal devices to the in-room TV. Also offered at the hotel will be the Red app enabling keyless entry, check-in/out and ordering food.

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — RCI, vacation exchange specialist and part of the Wyndham Worldwide group of brands, added more than 70 new properties to its affiliate exchange network during the first half of 2016, it was announced Aug. 30. The new affiliations include resorts in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, India, Latin America and North America. The club had two new affiliations in Canada in the first half of 2016. One was Long Point Beach Club in Ontario and the other was Alpenglow by Elevate Vacations in Whistler. Recently, RCI welcomed The Grand Pal-

STAMFORD, Conn. –– Starwood Hotels & Resorts will expand its Sheraton brand in Quebec with the signing of the Sheraton SaintHyacinthe Hotel, in Saint-Hyacinthe, Que., in the Montérégie region near Montréal, it was announced Sept. 13. Owned by Beauward Shopping Centres LTD, the hotel will be connected to the new 230,000-square-foot congress centre of SaintHyacinthe and Galeries Saint-Hyacinthe. Slated to open by the end of 2017, the property further expands Starwood’s growing presence in the province of Quebec. “Sheraton Saint-Hyacinthe represents another strong addition to the expanding Sheraton portfolio in the province of Quebec,” Bob Jacobs, vice-president of brand management,

Sheraton North America, said in a release. “Fuelled by strong partners like Galeries StHyacinthe, we are working toward our goal of adding 150 new hotels by the year 2020 across the globe, and the signing of Sheraton SaintHyacinthe is an important step in building that momentum in Quebec.” Sheraton Saint-Hyacinthe will feature 205 guestrooms, including 28 suites, spread over 16 floors. The hotel will offer a third-party restaurant, fitness centre and indoor pool, as well as the Sheraton Club Lounge, a private space on the 17th floor serving complimentary breakfast, drinks and evening hors d’oeuvres. Additionally, the hotel will feature 3,860 square feet of function space spread across six meeting rooms. Sheraton Saint-Hyacinthe Hotel will be located within Galeries Saint-Hyacinthe, a commercial and office complex comprising 150 stores with 500,000 square feet of retail space.

Windermere House sold to private investor TORONTO — Windermere House Resort has been sold to a private investor on behalf of Windermere House Corp., it was announced Sept. 19. The purchase price was not disclosed. Built in 1870, this 56-room seasonal resort is one of the longest standing landmarks in Muskoka and occupies a prime waterfront location on Lake Rosseau, a few hours north of Toronto. The offering presented an opportunity for a new owner to obtain a well-established, fourstar historic resort on a large waterfront site. Brokering the deal was Colliers International Hotels.

Grand Villa Edmonton opens in ICE District EDMONTON — Gateway Casinos & Entertainment opened 60,000-square-foot Grand Villa Edmonton, a $32 million gaming and entertainment destination in the city’s ICE mixed-use sports and entertainment district, on Sept. 7. Highlighting the property is a 30,000-square-foot gaming floor offering 600 slot machines and 24 table games. On the food and beverage side, the facility features Match Eatery & Public House, an upscale pub, and Atlas Steak + Fish, which brings a modern twist to steak and seafood. Quick-service food options include Vera’s Burger Shack, Pinkberry, Sbarros Pizzeria and Starbucks.

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Lakeview Edson East sold WINNIPEG — Lakeview Hotel Investment Corp (“LHIC”) announced on Sept. 8 the closing of the sale of the Lakeview Inn & Suites – Edson East hotel, in Edson, Alta., for $2.9 million. All net proceeds from the sale are intended to be used for debt reduction. The purchaser of the hotel has entered into a 15-year license agreement that will see the hotel continue to operate as a Lakeview Inn & Suites. Lakeview Hotel Investment Corp. will share in the ongoing licensing revenue. Brokering the deal was Colliers International Hotels.

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October 2016 | 1 5


OPENINGS, SALES AND RENOS

From L-R: Senior fire fighter Graham Paul; Brigitte Diem-Guy, vice-president, sales/marketing, SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts; IAFF 2494 president Nick Waddington and captain Ryan Pitchers.

Fort McMurray Quality property re-opens FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — On Sept. 8, Quality Hotel and Conference Centre celebrated its re-opening. The event honoured the first responders who battled Alberta’s worst wildfire and celebrated the official re-opening of the hotel after smoke damage to the interior of the building. The evening included a donation from SilverBirch Hotels & Resorts to the many brave men and women who fought the wildfires. During the evacuation, SilverBirch properties in Edmonton accommodated Quality Hotel employees and their families as well as many displaced citizens of Fort McMurray. In addition, SilverBirch hotels across the country raised more than $71,000 through the Friends in Need campaign. Between June 18 and 25, each hotel designated $5 from every room night booked, with the proceeds going to

Local 2494 Fort McMurray Fire Fighters Relief Fund. In addition, the Quality property also introduced its new leadership team, general manager Jayakrishna (JK) Tiramula and executive chef Christina Bowie. The hotel has 153 guestrooms, 12,000 square feet of meeting space, 24-hour fitness centre, 24-hour business centre and seven function rooms. Other services include free local calls, free wireless high-speed Internet and complimentary breakfast buffet.

Chateau Laurier proposed expansion draws fire OTTAWA — The major expansion announced by the Chateau Laurier hotel has drawn widespread fire in the media and social media, it was announced in late September. The proposed extension, to be placed at the back of the hotel, would consist of a modern

Rendering of Comfort Inn, North Battleford, Sask. glass building that would add 200 long-term stay suites and a new ballroom. The renovation would also create a new courtyard and replace the aging five-storey parking lot with new underground parking. Shovels are expected to be in the ground in the fall of 2017, with the new suites expected to be ready in 2020. According to media reports, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson said residents have told him they aren’t impressed with the modern, blocky design. “We want something that’s not going to stick out like a sore thumb, but that’s going to blend in and respect the iconic nature of the Chateau Laurier,” Watson told CTV News. Public consultations will take place at a later date, but there has already been a flurry of negative reaction to online depictions of the planned expansion. At press time, CLN was told the plans were no longer valid.

Comfort Inn breaks ground in North Battleford, Sask. NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. — The Comfort Inn and Suites broke ground in North Battleford, at a location behind Frontier Centre, on Aug. 26. Present at the groundbreaking ceremony were local investors and community representatives The foundation is expected to be finished before the first frost this year and individual rooms are built as units in construction plants and transported, so winter won’t present much of an obstacle, according to Billy Coles, president of CCR Hospitality and BCP Construction. Coles said the hotel is expected to open in September 2017. He said the company is lucky to have roughly 20 local investors and plenty of residents working on the project. Starting in late August, some local companies began providing materials like rock and piping.

Hilton’s Nassetta gives SAHIC keynote interview

Arturo Garcia Rosa, president and founder of SAHIC (left), presents Christopher Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton, with the Inspirational Icon Award. By Colleen Isherwood, Editor GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador — Chris Nassetta, president and CEO of Hilton, won the South

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American Hotel Investment Conference’s (SAHIC) Inspirational Icon of the Hotel and Tourism Industry Award at the Hilton Colon hotel in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Sept. 27. Arturo Garcia

Rosa, president and founder of SAHIC, presented the award following a keynote interview with Nassetta at the gathering of 400 hotel investors and developers. Hilton has grown dramatically since 2007, Nassetta said in a wide-ranging talk with Garcia Rosa. Nine years ago, Hilton was in 78 countries with 2,864 hotels and 496,000 rooms. The total pipeline was 116,000 rooms and 42,000 rooms were under construction. Today, Hilton is in 104 countries with 4,727 hotels and 776,000 rooms. The pipeline consists of 288,000 rooms with 143,000 under construction. Statistics for Latin America show that Hilton has tripled its presence in the region over the last five years, and now has more than 90 hotels with more than 16,000 rooms. The pipeline consists of 55 hotels with more than 7,700 rooms. “This is an important part of the world for us,” Nassetta said, adding that Hilton wants to serve customers anywhere in the world they want to be; that Hilton needs to be geographically diverse and chain-scale diverse. “We want to be in Latin America for Latin

Americans, and also when Latin Americans travel, we want them to be loyal to us. We are very focused on building out our distribution system for Latin America. We have tremendous momentum now in the distribution network and brand awareness. We have a network of local companies, and we can now spread our wings and grow at a much better rate than we’ve seen.” Hilton’s success is based on a company-wide focus on what true north is, Nassetta told Garcia Rosa. Starting at the top, it’s important to connect values and key priorities, and to have intense alignment around those concepts. “We have 350,000 people in 105 countries, which makes intense alignment difficult. We achieve it in a lot of different ways. “The most challenging aspect is distribution of leadership — empowerment. We make the big global decisions, but decisions about serving customers must be made locally within boundaries. It must be done at the point of greatest knowledge and definition, and that is the front lines.” “We give them the right framework, empower them and they deliver great experiences.”


PEOPLE

Scott Duff, vice-president Western Canada, CBRE Hotels. CBRE Limited has strengthened its CBRE Hotels business by hiring Scott Duff as vice-president, Western Canada. Duff joins from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and brings over 25 years of hospitality experience to CBRE. As part of CBRE Hotels, he will have national responsibilities with a focus on Western Canada and work alongside Marc-Aurele Mailloux-Gagnon, vice-president of Eastern Canada. Duff served as vice-president of development with Choice Hotels Canada between 1997 and 2005 before joining Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide as senior director development, where he was responsible for the growth of its 11 brands throughout Canada and Alaska. Ray Chan joins the CBRE Hotels team from Royal LePage as sales associate and brings with him five years of brokerage experience. Chan’s focus and expertise is centred on hotels and resorts valued at under $10 million and he will work closely

Ray Chan, sales associate, CBRE Hotels. with Duff and Mailloux-Gagnon. Also fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin, Chan’s appointment enhances the team’s relationships in China and across Asia. Following the promotion of Kevin Pelissier to the position of national corporate chef at Rational Canada, Xavier Lacaze has assumed the role of regional sales manager for Alberta, effective Sept. 6. Lacaze brings 20-plus years of culinary experience, starting in his hometown of Toulouse, France. From there he moved on to Michelinstarred restaurant Les Puis St Jacques and followed that up with stints in some of Europe’s finest restaurants in Switzerland, the French Riviera and the Alps. Lacaze has spent the past seven years working in some of Calgary’s top restaurants. In addition, he appeared on Top Chef Canada, season two and most recently was the concept chef and face of Briggs Kitchen and Bar.

Xavier Lacaze, Alberta sales manager, Rational Canada. Commercial real estate consulting company Altus Group welcomes Qaiser Mian as director of hospitality services in the research, valuation and advisory division, it was announced in late August. In his new role, Mian will be charged with expanding the hospitality valuation and advisory practice at Altus, focusing on delivering services to the Canadian hospitality sector. He is an accredited member of the Appraisal Institute of Canada and a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. Mian comes to Altus with more than a decade of Canadian and international hospitality real estate experience in valuation, advisory, asset management, transaction advisory and due diligence support. American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has named Doug Anderson CEO, it was announced Aug. 22. With more than 30 years of global management experience, Anderson takes the helm of GBT to

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Qaiser Mian, director hospitality services, Altus. accelerate the organization’s growth trajectory. American Express GBT also named Philippe Chérèque president, effective Sept. 13. In this newly created position, Chérèque will continue to oversee the commercial and product technology organizations, which he has successfully led the past two years, and will also assume responsibility for supplier relations, marketing and consulting. Chérèque will lead sales efforts in the Americas on an interim basis. Joining the culinary team at Grand Villa Edmonton, which opened Sept. 7, is executive chef Shelley Robinson. In her new position, Robinson oversees seven dining options, including Gateway Casino and Entertainment’s signature Match Eatery & Public House and Atlas Steak + Fish, a new fine dining restaurant. She brings with her over 20 years of experience, most recently as the executive

Doug Anderson, CEO, American Express GBT. chef for Coast Hotels, in Vancouver. A co-author of four cookbooks, Robinson has owned and operated two restaurants in Calgary and was a Canadian delegate for Slow Food Canada, in Turin, Italy. More recently, she won the Food Network’s Chopped Canada and competed on Season Four of the Food Network’s Top Chef Canada. Jean-François Fortin is the new executive chef at Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, it was announced in early September. Fortin joins the property from Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello, in Montebello, Que., where he’s been executive chef since 2013. Prior to that, his CV includes stints at Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac; L’Intimiste, a fine dining restaurant in Quebec City; Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, where he worked as restaurant chef; and the Algonquin Resort St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, N.B., (at the time, a Fairmont property) as executive sous chef.

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BEFORE AND AFTER

Fairmont Pacific Rim Owner’s Suites

Top 7 List Top 7 facts about the things people leave in hotel rooms. By Julie Chan-McConnell

Left: Owner’s Suite bedroom. Top: Bathroom. Bottom: Record Player. By Don Douloff, Assistant Editor VANCOUVER — The Owner’s Suite Collection, unveiled in August by Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim, presented a unique design challenge: how to reconfigure two standard rooms into a onebedroom, 800-square-foot suite — and then replicate that process 10 times, on multiple floors? On top of that, Owner’s Suites had to measure up to the lofty standards of the Fairmont Pacific Rim, which has been rated the World’s Best Business Hotel by Condé Nast Traveler readers and the #1 City hotel in Canada by Travel + Leisure. In addition, the downtown hotel offers spectacular, and unobstructed, mountain and harbour views. Rising to the challenge was James K. Cheng, principal of Vancouver-based James KM Cheng Architects Inc., who, under the direction of owner/developer Westbank Projects Corp. and the Peterson Group, shaped the Owner’s Suite concept. For the project, Cheng incorporated contemporary and European modern design influences to foster a tranquil space that is luxurious yet simplicity itself, and allows the hotel’s panoramic views to remain the focal point.

“We wanted to create the suite in such a way that guests wouldn’t know that it was two rooms combined into one,” said Cheng of the renovation project that took more than three months. “We wanted guests to think it was always one room.” Indeed, the goal was to create “one big room” that feels like the guest’s own home. The project team, which, besides Cheng, included Candace Lange and Zara Sangha, fashioned an entertainment/media cabinet into a dividing wall that “doesn’t look like a wall, making the room look bigger,” said Cheng. Moreover, the floor, soffits and ceiling flow continuously throughout the room, unifying the space. The goal, said Cheng, was to create a “timeless modern” design that was simultaneously warm, light and airy. The team brought in curved furniture that’s configured to look outside each suite’s picture window, while also facing the living room television. In the bedroom, a plush, king-sized four-poster bed creates a “room within a room, to make guests feel intimate, like a tent, comfortable and cozy,” noted Cheng. Bedrooms also feature a large walk-in closet, further replicating the residential experience. An understated palette of greys and

black highlights the master ensuite marble spa bathroom, which features two sinks aligned along a double counter; a soaker tub/shower combo; and a separate toilet area fronted by a sliding translucent glass door. A second bathroom, off the living room, features a shower and single sink. Adding vibrancy throughout the suite by providing colourful accents is furniture, such as an Ico Parisi-inspired sofa, and gallery-worthy art installations by prominent Canadian artists such as Susan Point and Greg Murdock. Besides highlighting art, the suites incorporate entertainment elements via the ultimate suite music experience that includes accommodation in an Owner’s Suite, a music-inspired welcome amenity, cocktails in The Lobby Lounge featuring nightly live music, VIP Live Nation concert experience and return car transfers to the show. Every suite houses its own custom vinyl collection and Rega RP1 turntable. Guests are welcomed with a curated compilation of records based on their musical preferences, or they can select their playlist upon arrival. During their stay, guests enjoy Fairmont Gold services, with private check-in, concierge and an exclusive lounge that overlooks the harbour

COMING EVENTS Nov. 24-25, 2016: TIAPEI Conference & Gala. Red Shores Charlottetown. Contact: Dianne Bishop. Tel.: 902-5665008. E-mail: dbishop@tiapei.pe.ca. Website: tiapei.pe.ca Nov. 29-30, 2016: TIAC 2016 Tourism Congress, Hilton Lac Leamy, Gatineau-Ottawa. Contact: Katie Shafley. Tel. 613-238-7557. E-mail: kshafley@tiac.travel. Website: www.tiac.travel. Dec. 5-9, 2016: Vantage Hospitality Group Annual International Educa-

1 8 | Canadian Lodging News

tional Conference & Trade Show. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas. Contact: Al Cohen. Tel. 888-316-2378. Fax: 440-247-2294. Email: acohen@vantagehospitality.com. Website: www.vantagehospitality.com Feb. 15-16, 2017: Hotel Association of Canada National Conference. Sheraton Toronto Airport Hotel & Conference Centre. Contact: Vicki Welstead. Tel. 416-924-2002, ext. 233. Email: vickiwelstead@bigpictureconferences.ca. Website: hacconference.ca

Feb. 21-23, 2017: Hospitality NL’s 2015 Conference and Trade Show, Gander, NL. Hotel Gander and Albatross Gander. Contact: Melissa Ennis. Tel.: 800-563-0700, ext. 231. Fax: 709-7228104. E-mail: Mennis@hnl.ca. Website: www.hnl.ca/conference. May 15-16, 2017: Canadian Hotel Investment Conference. Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto. Contact: Vicki Welstead. Tel. 416-924-2002, ext. 233. Email: vickiwelstead@bigpictureconferences.ca. Website: hotelinvest.ca

TORONTO — Did you ever get that sinking feeling while travelling because you left something behind in your hotel room? You’re not alone; a new Choice Hotels Canada survey reveals nearly half of Canadians admit to leaving a personal belonging in a hotel room while on the go. The Leger survey questioned Canadians on their travel habits and found that 43 per cent have forgotten personal belongings in hotel rooms when they’re away from home. 1. Albertans were the most forgetful of all, with 51 per cent saying they’ve left belongings behind, while only 32 per cent of Quebecers have done the same. 2. “It’s easy to forget items in your hotel room,” said Julie Chan-McConnell, director, marketing and loyalty at Choice Hotels Canada. “If it’s important or valuable, our hotel staff do everything they can to return the belonging to its owner, but more often people leave minor items behind, like toothbrushes. If you check into one of our hotels and are missing a toothbrush or other small personal items, the front desk will be happy to help find or source a replacement.” 3. We forget the little things. It turns out toothbrushes are the most common belonging travellers forget in hotel rooms (18 per cent), but the next most common item is phone chargers (15 per cent). A lot of people would rather have dirty teeth than an uncharged phone. If you’re one of them, always check your hotel room’s electrical outlets before you depart. 4. So what else are people forgetting? Here are the most common personal belongings people reported as lost during a recent hotel stay: — Sunglasses (14 per cent) — Books (10 per cent) — Hats (9 per cent) — Makeup (8 per cent) — Shoes (7 per cent) — Toys (7 per cent) — Prescription glasses (6 per cent) — Goggles (2 per cent) — Wallets (2 per cent) 5. Men forget more often than women. Women probably won’t be surprised to learn that men are more likely to report they’ve forgotten personal belongings in hotel rooms. While only 38 per cent of women say they’ve left items behind while travelling, 48 per cent of men say they have done so. 6. Harried parents also forget personal belongings when they check out of their rooms. People with children have a higher than average chance of leaving items behind in hotels, with 50 per cent saying they’ve done so. 7. Youngsters are just as forgetful. They say people become more forgetful as they age, but that obviously doesn’t include leaving belongings behind in hotel rooms; older respondents were a lot less likely to do so than younger ones. Only 32 per cent of travellers over 65 years old say they have left personal belongings in their hotel rooms, while a substantial 56 per cent of those under 34 have done so. While being forgetful happens from time to time, an easy thing to remember is the Choice Privileges rewards program. With more than 27 million members and counting, check out Choice Privileges rewards to see how you can reap the benefits. Contact: Vicky Rivers, tel.: 905.206.7333, email: vicky_rivers@choicehotels.ca


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

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT SCOTT RICHER Vice President, Real Estate and Development Hyatt Hotels and Resorts (Canada) 416.300.8215 • scott.richer@hyatt.com • hyattdevelopment.com

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


Because

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Canadian Lodging News October 2016  
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