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JUNE/JULY 2009 / $8.95

Aspha Dada, General Manager





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features 21 27

Small Market, Big Opportunities Saskatchewan is showing itself to be a powerhouse amid a shaky national economy.

27 Clean & Cleaner Hoteliers are beating those washday blues with state-of-the-art laundry equipment that offers greater efficiency, better ecology, and larger cost savings than ever.

37 Dressing by Design Hotels Update & Renovate.

45 Bathroom Bonanza High-end, green bath amenities a growing trend.


An Inn for All Seasons The Old House Village Hotel and Spa In Courtney, B.C. is earning itself a reputation as a point of refuge that offers it all.

55 Sharpening the Edge Training schools and organizations have a wealth of shovel-ready programs for everyone from entry level workers to managers.


Showoffs Shows plus business equals a great slate of springtime hospitality trade events.

63 Good Housekeeping 51

Hotels that want to really compete on appearance and service have recognized they must address the housekeeping challenge.

on our cover 14 A Home Away from Home In the competitive Vancouver Airport lodging trade, La Quinta in Richmond, B.C. rings the bell as a true leader in the limited service sector.

departments Business News . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 New Products . . . . . . . . . . . . .60

Across the West . . . . . . . . . . .58 Checking Out . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62

45 Western Hotelier Magazine


checking in Publisher: Frank Yeo Controller: Haroon-ur-Rashid Editor: Kelly Gray Editorial Coordinator: Nicole Sherwood Advertising Production Manager: Marsha Coombe Associate Publisher/ National Account Manager: David Bastable

Perspective This past April I had the pleasure to attend the AHLA annual convention at Lake Louise. There I saw a lot of friends and business associates and made some new acquaintances. Among these new faces is one I shall never forget. Paul Rusesabagina was the general manager of the Hotel de Mille Collines in Kigali, Rwanda. He was asked by the AHLA to come from his current home in Belgium to speak at the convention on the anniversary of the beginning of what has become known as the Rwandan Genocide. Soft-spoken and articulate, the Swiss-trained hotelier walked the large breakfast crowd through his experiences working feverishly to save his guests as well as his family. Facing summary execution by cretinous Hutu mobs and rampaging militia, Rusesabagina kept the property open as long as possible in circumstances almost beyond belief. The hotel, one of the city’s finest, had quickly ran out of water, electricity, and food, but it never ran out of hope. His strategy was a simple one — “I used the power of the word. This is our best weapon. It is the only thing we have that can soften the heart.” For weeks on end, this general manager used the power of simple words to keep the dialogue going and keep his guests safe. Today, he has moved to Belgium and is involved in businesses other than accommodation. However, his strong message remains amid current day reminders such as Darfur and other places where we prefer to turn our backs and look the other way. The address, while disturbing, offered me a perspective on the current troubles in Canada’s hotel business. In many parts of the country, hoteliers are bemoaning the state of the economy and the lack of business. And, while I don’t want to down-play hardship that some are undoubtedly suffering, I suggest we walk a mile in Paul’s shoes. In simple terms things like cancelled bookings, bank debt, and supplier troubles are nothing compared to the life and death struggles of people whose skin colour, religious belief or ethnic group makes them targets for hate.

Advertising Consultants: Melanie Bayluk, Robin Bradley, Norm Castenada, Sheilah Davila, Elaine Dufault, Albert Kaglik, Edna Saito, Robert Thompson, Dale Voluntad, Margy Wilshire Circulation Manager: Lucille Sitar Creative Manager: Sarra Burton Cover Photography:

Publisher: Western Hotelier Magazine is published five times a year by Mercury Publications Limited. Head Office: 1740 Wellington Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3H 0E8 Telephone (204) 954-2085 Fax (204) 954-2057 e-mail: website: Associate Publications: Atlantic Hotelier, Western Grocer, Commerce & Industry, Bar & Beverage Business, Bars et Boissons, C-Store Canada, Votre dépanneur and Western Restaurant News. Editorial: The contents of this publication may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent of publisher. Photo credits not given unless requested in writing along with photo submission.

Kelly Gray, Editor

CPM Sales Agreement #40062509. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to Circulation Dept. 1740 Wellington Ave., Winnipeg, MB R3H 0E8 email: Annual subscription rate $47.00.

Tel: (204) 954-2085 fax (204) 954-2057 e-mail:


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business NEWS Hospitality Industry to Cast a Line and Raise Funds for the British Columbia Hospitality Foundation British Columbia Hospitality Foundation Chair Harry McWatters has reported that the foundation will host its inaugural fishing tournament at Langara Fishing Lodge on the Labour Day weekend. The Hospitality Foundation Fishing Challenge will bring together the leaders in the restaurant, hotel, wine and food service and retail industries from across the province for four amazing days of fishing, wine, dining and entertainment at Langara Fishing Lodge. This event offers participants the opportunity to network, catch the ‘ b i g o n e’ a n d h e l p raise funds for their host charity. The tournament will kick off with a reception in Vancouver on Friday, September 4. Saturday morning participants will depart from Vancouver’s South Terminal to Masset then take the final journey by helicopter to Langara Island. The fun then begins with McWatters overseeing four action-packed days. There are only 25 spaces available with the cost of the tournament set at $5,000. This fee includes transportation, accommodation, guided fishing, tournament prizes, meals, featured winemakers dinner and special wines with dinner. Those interested in registering should contact Harry McWatters at or 250-490-7946.

Days Inns Opens in Athabasca Days Inns - Canada has announced the opening of its newest location in Alberta. The new construction hotel located in Athabasca, Alberta offers 69 guest rooms, complimentary high-speed internet access, free hot Daybreak Cafe breakfast, fitness facilities, business centre and meeting rooms that can accommodate up to 50 people. Located at 2805 - 48th Avenue, the hotel offers guests first-class comfort at affordable rates. Each room is fully equipped with 42 inch LCD TV, fridge and microwave, work desk, coffee maker, hairdryer, iron and board. Suites with Jacuzzi or sofa bed are also available. The hotel provides Days Inn’s signature SolTerre shower experience featuring a Waterpik six-function showerhead and grapefruit essence SolTerre bathroom amenities. Wheelchair accessible rooms with roll-in showers are available. Guests will also enjoy free parking, free 24 hour self-serve business centre along with free local calls. Owner Ki Il Choi has a second Days Inn that is soon to open in Grande Prairie, Alberta.

Kelowna Debuts Canada’s First Flowrider Canada’s largest publicly owned and newest aquatic centre opened this April in Kelowna. H2O Adventure offers fun for up to 500 swimmers including a variety of interactive water features including waterslides, family wave pool, river run, FlowRider® and more. The aquatic centre has introduced Canada’s first-ever indoor surfing wave — the FlowRider ®. The FlowRider ® generates a thin sheet of water that flows over a stationary wave form. The resulting ‘wave-like’ shape permits riders to slide down, carve a turn, and ride up the wave surface, emulating the maneuvres of other board sports. The FlowRider ® is ideal for surfers or boogie boarders, beginners or advanced. WhiteWater West Industries Ltd., based in Richmond, BC, provided many of the aquatic centre’s exciting attractions including three thrilling SilkTek waterslides with lengths between 60 and 90m that swirl through the building’s ceiling. A Family Wave pool, with waves up to 1.5m high, provides hours of enjoyment for all swimming levels. Jump on an inner-tube to enjoy the exciting waves on the river run. The waves generated in the river create a fun and spontaneous current throughout the ride. AquaPlay™ multilevel play structures are designed to stimulate the imagination and create ‘handson’ adventure for everyone. The aquatic controls give participants a myriad of possibilities to explore and play. The children’s waterplay area is packed with toys, spray nozzles, jets and pull valves.

Coast Chilliwack Hotel Welcomes New General Manager Coast Hotels & Resorts has reported the appointment of Joey Beltrano as general manager of the new Coast Chilliwack Hotel in Chilliwack, B.C. Beltrano brings more than 15 years experience in all facets of hotel and food service management. For the past two years, he served as district manager for Aramark Canada Ltd., a leading supplier of food and beverage, cleaning and support services to healthcare, education and business clients. Joey first joined Coast Hotels & Resorts in 2004 as food and beverage manager for the Coast Canadian Inn in Kamloops, B.C., a position he held for three years. Previously, he was director of food and beverage for the Atrium Inn in Vancouver. The Coast Chilliwack Hotel was recently purchased by Coast Hotels & Resorts’ parent company, Okabe North America Inc., a subsidiary of Okabe Co. Ltd. The 110Joey Beltrano room hotel is presently undergoing a $5 million renovation which includes a complete redesign and upgrade of its guestrooms, a new roof and new siding. Other work includes new plumbing, the expansion of the business centre, upgrades to the fitness centre, refurbishment of the pool area and, as well a substantial makeover of the lobby, restaurant, lounge, and meeting and banquet facilities.


Western Hotelier Magazine

Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina Brings in New GM The Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina has a new top gun. This past April Coast Hotels & Resorts announced the promotion of Scott Quinney to head up its Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina in Victoria, B.C. Quinney brings more than 12 years of experience with Coast Hotels & Resorts to his new position having worked at five Coast Hotels’ properties throughout his career. Prior to this appointment, Scott served as corporate revenue manager for Coast Hotels & Resorts. Previously, he was operations manager for the Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina overseeing operations of rooms and the food and beverage division as well as a $2 million renovation of the property. Throughout his career with Coast Quinney has served as director of operations of the Coast Edmonton House, as act- Scott Quinney ing general manager for the Coast Tsawwassen Inn, manager of the Coast Hotels & Resorts’ Call Centre, and acting General Manager for the Coast Prince Rupert Hotel. Quinney holds a B.A. in history from Carlton University in Ottawa and a certificate in hospitality studies from Guelph University in Guelph, Ontario; he completed Guelph University’s Hospitality Managers Development Course in 2006.

Where Extended Stay Equals Long Term Success.

Kelly McCauley Takes on Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel Coast Hotels & Resorts has announced the appointment of Kelly McCauley as general manager of the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel, where he will oversee all operations for the 299room property. McCauley, a certified hotel administrator, a graduate of the Hospitality and Tourism Management Program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and a sommelier, is returning to Edmonton where he previously worked in the early and late Kelly McCauley 1990s. His career in the hospitality industry has taken him from the West coast to the East coast and many points in between. In 28 years, he has held management positions at hotels in Victoria, Vancouver, Lake Louise, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Kitchener, Toronto, Ottawa, Huntsville and St. John’s, Newfoundland. Most recently, he served as general manager of the 132-room Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina in Victoria, B.C., a position he has held since February 2005. As an active member of the community, McCauley has volunteered his time with organizations such as Special Olympics Newfoundland Labrador, Burnaby Board of Trade and the Edmonton SPCA, among others. He is currently president of the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation as well as president of the Victoria Conservation Association. He is a Ballet Victoria board member and treasurer of the Victoria Hospitality Award Program.

Bermil Industries Hires Industry Veteran John Sabino Bermil Industries, which distributes and markets Wascomat and Electrolux brand laundry equipment in North America, has hired John Sabino as executive vice-president. In this newly created position, Mr. Sabino is responsible for contributing to continued growth of the Wascomat brand and launching the Electrolux brand of professional coin and OPL laundry equipment. The wide-ranging scope of Sabino’s contributions will include aspects of distribution, finance, logisJohn Sabino tics, and product development. Mr. Sabino joins the Bermil team with more than 10 years of retail and operations experience in the coin laundry industry. Prior to joining the company, Sabino was the president of Laundry Capital, LLC where he was involved in the development, acquisition, and operation of more than 120 coin laundry superstores in New York, Philadelphia, New England, Atlanta, and California.

Western Hotelier Magazine

REALSTAR REALST TA R HOS HOSPITALITY SPITTALITY studio6@realstarhospitality spitality .com

416. 4 16. 9 6 6 . 8 3 8 7 9 4:35:50 PM

business NEWS

Dynatrol Human Interface Touch Screen Control (HMi) Studio 6 Unveils New Way to Stay Accor North America, parent company of Studio 6 Extended Stay, has announced plans for the first new Studio 6 prototype in eight years. Studio 6 is revamping the budget extended-stay experience by introducing a modern, simple and functional design while continuing to provide the same special amenities and affordable weekly rates to accommodate travellers staying five nights or more. Major features of the Studio 6 prototype include light and open living areas, a warm and contemporary color scheme with matching bed scarf and window drapery, a sleek black granite bathroom counter top with a vessel/raised sink, and a walk-in shower (bathtubs available). The studio design includes a 32-inch flat-screen HD TV and multi media panel with A/V connections for mp3 players, video game systems and laptop computers — this feature allows guests to listen to their favourite tunes or use the flat-screen HD TV as their computer monitor while enjoying Wi-Fi internet access in their room. The carpet will be replaced with wood-effect laminate flooring made of 80 per cent preconsumer recycled material, a critical component of the updated Studio 6 design. The room also features pedestal beds with a neutralcoloured coverlet and colourful bed scarf. In addition to the new features, Studio 6 guests can still count on standard amenities such as fully-equipped kitchens with a microwave, stove top, coffee maker, cooking utensils and refrigerator. The new prototype features separate seating areas for eating and working. The kitchen offers a bar with stool seating and an additional small flat-screen TV for guest convenience while eating or cooking, and the settee/banquette is conveniently situated in the corner of the living area, providing a “table for two.” This unique feature encourages and allows for interaction between guests, whether during meals, discussions or games and adds to the residential spirit of the new design. The new, modern bathroom features double doors, black granite and a large vanity area with personal storage space. The pedestal bed allows for storage of luggage under the bed and allows for easy cleaning access and visibility. Priestman Goode of London designed the room to optimize the use of space and to provide a comfortable, residential feel for extended stay guests.

Edro Corporation, the first company to produce the DynOzone DynaWash Ozone System introduces DynaTrol Human Interface Touch Screen Control (HMi). DynaTrol’s touch screen control allows for the most specific wash programming, simplest operator interface, and full array of productivity reporting.

DynOzone with DynaTrol: • Fully programmable • Simple operation • Password protected • Wash program productivity reports • Alarm identification, history and logs • Pop up service reminders for maintenance • Substantial savings on operating costs • Save on hot water and water usage • Laundry produced with reduced heat and shorter cycles • From 35 to 450 pounds. DynaTrol is simple enough to teach even the most basic skill sets, while offering security and sophistication for detailed programming and supervisory monitoring. For further information, or to view a machine in operation, please phone Jim or Sharon at 1-800-628-6434.

NEW GM FOR COAST COAL HARBOUR HOTEL Graeme Barrit, president of Coast Hotels & Resorts, has announced that Hans von Bloedau has been appointed general manager of the new 20-storey, 220-room Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in downtown Vancouver, scheduled to open in the fall of 2009. Von Bloedau has an extensive hospitality industry management background that spans more than 20 years. For the past two years, he has served as regional manager, Coast Hotels & Resorts’ Managed Properties, Alberta, overseeing the operation of six Coast hotels in Edmonton, Jasper and Yellowknife in addition to managing the daily operations of the Coast Edmonton House Hotel. Mr. von Bloedau joined Coast Hotels & Resorts in 1991 serving as executive assistant manager of the Coast Plaza Hotel & Suites in Vancouver, with successive appointments as General Manager of the Coast Inn of the North in Prince George, B.C., general manager, Coast Resort Development in Cranbrook, B.C., and general Hans Von Bloedau manager of the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel. Prior to joining Coast, Hans held positions as director of food and beverage and front office manager for the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver and the Westin Hotel in Edmonton. Over the years von Bloedau has contributed to the hospitality industry as recent vice-chair of the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association, as a board member of the Tourism Destination Region and Tourism Partnership Council, chair of Edmonton Tourism’s Meetings, Business Travel and Events Marketing Committee, and as a member of the Strategic Tourism Marketing Council for Travel Alberta.


Western Hotelier Magazine

Holiday Inn Express & Suites North Bay Signs on for Relaunch The new Holiday Inn sign introduced in 2007 is making its way around the world. And now, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites has announced this green and blue beacon of hospitality will light the way for visitors to North Bay, Ontario, Canada The new sign is the seal of approval that this hotel exemplifies the standards of the $1 billion Holiday Inn brand family relaunch program established to create a more contemporary brand image, increase quality and drive consistency. “We have set an aggressive pace to relaunch our complete estate of nearly 3,200 hotels, in excess of 419,000 guest rooms and 12,000 signs by the end of 2010,” said John Merkin, senior vice-president — brand management, Holiday Inn Brands, the Americas. “And with the addition of Holiday Inn Express & Suites North Bay we are off and running on our journey to make every Holiday Inn hotel as great as our best one.”

Bobby Naicker, President/COO, Denny’s Restaurants

CONSERVING ENERGY PUT MORE THAN SAVINGS ON THE MENU. BEING POWER SMART MAKES BUSINESS SENSE Lighting is a very important part of a customer’s dining experience. So conservation was not the only consideration when Denny’s Restaurants in the Lower Mainland decided to upgrade their lighting. To their surprise the new visually appealing, longer lasting and energy-efficient lights had additional benefits. Apart from saving thousands of dollars on their electricity bill, they found that the BC Hydro Power Smart Product Incentive Program could make the project even more financially attractive. And, as icing on the cake, the restaurants’ staff say that the new lights are much cooler than the old ones, which will also lower air conditioning costs. Looking for tips on how to lower your business’ energy tab? Simply visit or call 1 866 522 4713.

Western Hotelier Magazine


business NEWS New Vice-President for Travelodge Royal Host and Travelodge Canada has announced the appointment of Mr. Steven Robinson, CHA, to the position of vice-president of Travelodge Canada. With over 25 years in the hospitality industry, Mr. RobinSteven Robinson son brings a wealth of hotel and franchise experience to his new position. He was previously with Choice Hotels Canada for eight years as senior franchise services director, overseeing 265 franchised hotel properties. Most recently Mr. Robinson was director of revenue management for Royal Host Real Estate Investment Trust. He has served on many boards and associations including the Ontario Restaurant Hotel Motel Association, the Manitoba Hotel Association, the Kawartha Tourism and Convention Bureau and the Nova Scotia Restaurant Association.


Choice Hotels Named Best Performer in UNH Franchising Index in Q4 2008 Choice Hotel International topped the Rosenberg Center Franchise 50 Index at the University of New Hampshire in the fourth quarter of 2008, one of seven index components to weather the recession during the period. Overall, the Rosenberg Center Franchise 50 Index finished a dismal year with a 9.5 per cent drop in the fourth quarter 2008, though considerably better than the 22.5 per cent drop in the S&P 500 during the same period. The Rosenberg Center Franchise 50 Index tracks a representative set of 50 U.S. publicly traded companies engaged in business format franchising. The index is down 20.8 per cent over the year, compared to a decline of 38.5 per cent for the S&P 500. Since its inception in 2000, the index is up 43.8 per cent, compared to a drop of 35.2 per cent for the S&P 500 over the same period. “Economic conditions worsened sharply this quarter with mounting job losses, tight credit, crumbling consumer and business confidence, declining consumer spending and business investment, falling home prices, and slumping exports. Also there was no prospect of a resolution in the short term for the real estate and financial crises that are at the root of the current slump in the economy,” said Hachemi Aliouche, associate director of the William Rosenberg International Center of Franchising at UNH’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics. Despite the dreadful economic and financial environment this quarter, seven of the RCF 50 Index components gained, including Choice Hotel International (CCH), which was the index’s best performer with a 10.9 per cent increase in market value. Choice Hotel International is one of the world’s largest franchisors of mid-priced lodging properties and the owner of hotel brands Cambria Suites, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Mainstay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel, Econo Lodge, and Rodeway Inn.

Western Hotelier Magazine

THE WESTIN EDMONTON UNVEILS A REFRESHED MENU SuperFoods inspired menu to be served at Pradera Café & Lounge Executive Chef Michael Brown of Pradera Cafe & Lounge at the Westin Edmonton Hotel has announced a new SuperFoods inspired menu. Having originally incorporated SuperFoods into the menu last year, the refreshed menu includes more items that are healthenhancing and rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Emerging science shows that certain foods play off of each other, and the new menu brings together delicious favourites with a selection of foods designed to keep you energized and at your best. A key attribute to the SuperFoodsRx philosophy, and likewise to the new Westin menu, is “food synergy.” “Our new menu goes hand in hand with The Westin Edmonton’s continuing efforts to enliven the mind, body and spirit,” said Executive Chef Michael Brown. “Our refreshed menu offers a wide selection of delicious options, while underscoring our commitment to helping our guests live their best lives and create healthful habits that will stay with them after their stay with us.”

Michael Batke Named Executive Chef at the Westin Bayshore Sean-Luc Barone, general manager of The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver has appointed Michael Batke as executive chef at the hotel. Previously Chef Batke served as executive chef at the Westin Calgary since 2007, working with Barone while he was general manager at the hotel. T h ro u g h o u t his career, Chef Batke has held various culinary positions in Alberta, North Carolina and California including serving as sous chef at the St. Regis, San Francisco, the numb e r o n e ra t e d Mobil Five Star Michael Batke hotel in the city. In his executive chef position Bane will have ample opportunity to exercise his culinary and leadership skills while driving the impeccable food service for the banquet facilities, Currents at Bayshore restaurant “With the eyes of and Seawall the world focused Bar & Grill. “ We a re on Vancouver for delighted to w e l c o m e the next year, we’re C h ef Ba t ke thrilled to bring his to The Westin culinary imagination B a y s h o r e ,” s a i d J e a n - to delight our guests Luc Barone. and visitors. “With the eyes of the world focused on Vancouver for the next year, we’re thrilled to bring his c u l i n a r y i m a g i n a t i o n to d e l i g h t o u r guests and visitors. His passion and enthusiasm is a tremendous addition to the culinary landscape in Vancouver, in this important year.”

Western Hotelier Magazine



Western Hotelier Magazine

Hotel Profile

fter four years in the hotel business Vancouver-based lawyer and businessman Aspha Dada is glad he looked outside the box and picked a franchise under-represented in the Canadian market. He reports that his decision to go with La Quinta, a well-known U.S. marquee famous for its signature bell tower and red roof has proven to be a choice that has made him a leader in the highly competitive Vancouver Airport trade where there are 26 other properties vying for guest business. “We enjoyed an 87 per cent occupancy in April and data like Smith Travel Research Star Report places us well above our competition during the first quarter of 2009,� says Dada, commenting further that his bookings are pointing


Western Hotelier Magazine

By Kelly Gray

to an even stronger second quarter. Behind his apparent success is a prime location that is 25 minutes from downtown Vancouver, 25 minutes from the ferry terminal and a short shuttle ride to YVR. The property itself is a 74-room limited service hotel that is listed by Canada Select at 3.5 stars thanks to amenities like an indoor pool and top shelf fitness facility with professional grade equipment, business centre, high-speed internet and breakfast program. Further, the rooms themselves are a cut above what guests might expect from a limited service offering. Indeed, Dada suggests that when he built the property he was able to over-spec the sizes to give customers space uncharacteristic of the tier. In fact, rooms in the first phase of develop-


La Quinta opened in October of 2004.

ment come close to 400 square feet. “We looked at the competition and asked ourselves what could we add that would make us stand out in the market. I looked at the lobby and decided it should reflect the attributes of an upper tier hotel so we went with a two story design even though this meant fewer rooms in the final product. We added a pool and put a 450 square foot meeting room next to the 850 square foot breakfast room. We used marble for the bathrooms and brought in the very best hard goods we could source,” he says. That was in 2004 during phase I of development. He reports that this first

and have yet to stop moving forward. The stage took a couple years. In fact, Dada addition was really part of the learning purchased the land back in 2002 and then process where we found that we should went looking for a brand to occupy the have just gone with a larger footprint right site. “I looked at all the flags, but wanted to at the outset.” stand out in an area that is very well repreIn this new section there are minor sented by the established players. When I differences. For examlooked at La Quinta I was ple, rooms are more in impressed by their perkeeping with the stanformance in the U.S. and dard La Quinta design saw them as a good fit in of 335 square feet. Baththe Canadian market, rooms utilize Corian especially in the lower acrylics rather than the mainland where we have natural marble used in a lot of U.S. traffic.” phase I because of lower Dada and his team material cost. Furnishbuilt a 30,000 square foot ings are still high spec 50 room property that and are actually handopened in October of made pieces from a 2004. “Almost as soon as I smaller Canadian supopened I discovered that I plier. Even the flooring needed a bigger hotel and Aspha Dada, General Manager was selected to make a more rooms. As it grew we difference. “It looks like wood, but is found that we were having to turn away actually tile,” he says. coach trade because we were just too small One of the most obvious changes to the to handle these and our regular business. new section at the property is in the roof We were finding as well that La Quinta’s customers were loyal to the brand and when they came to Canada they were looking to book at their favourite flag. To meet this need we have now expanded the facility,” he says pointing to occupancy stats that show the property enjoyed 87 per cent in 2007 and 90 per cent in 2008. Recently Dada added 24 new rooms to the mix that will give him the size to take advantage of his business opportunities. “A property does not begin to mature until five years. We are just reaching this point The green roof is covered in plants and trees.


Western Hotelier Magazine

(Above) The rooms are a cut above what guests might expect. (Left) Guests can enjoy a delicious breakfast every morning.

brand. Today there are more than 700 and projections point to them hitting the 1000 mark in the not too distant future. They currently have 255 properties in the pipeline with a 10 month development cycle. This has made them the fastest growing chain in the U.S.” Behind this growth is a need to fill in the holes in mid to upper tier limited service. According to La Quinta Executive Vice-President Franchising & Chief Development Officer, Rajiv Trivedi they Continued on page 20

line. In the new section, Dada decided to spend an extra $50,000 and went with a ‘green’ roof that is covered with low maintenance plants and trees for cover. “People have told us they can see the roof from the air as they arrive at the airport. I think this may help them make the decision to book with us,” he says, remarking that the roof area is available for guests to use as a place for relaxation.

Fastest Growing U.S. Brand Behind the success of Dada’s property is the power of the La Quinta marquee. Owned today by the Blackstone Group, a U.S.-based alternative asset and financial services company that prides itself on holding some of the most profitable paper in the business, La Quinta itself is head-officed in Texas and has more than 700 properties. As such, it is a mainstay of the U.S. lodging industry. According to Dada the fact that La Quinta owns roughly half of the brand’s properties in a corporate portfolio suggested an in-house confidence in the flag. “There were 330 units when I joined the

Western Hotelier Magazine


Never Alone - Focused Directed Support is Cornerstone a Quinta means ‘country villa’ in Spanish and in that vein the brand strives to offer a personalized approach. For example, pets are welcome and guests are treated to things like fresh baked cookies at the front desk. Indeed it is reasons like these that have earned the Richmond, B.C.-based La Quinta Inn occupancies that have hit 98 per cent during key business periods, a number that shows the degree to which the property outperforms the occupancies enjoyed by its nearest competitor. Behind the success is a chain that is a well-oiled machine, which focuses on franchising. La Quinta got its start in 1968 in San Antonio, Texas. Today La Quinta is owned by New York-based The Blackstone Group, a


tum moving. For example, the company spends a lot on IT (information technology) and utilizes their own property management system — a system that interacts easily with third party booking engines. “This means greater control of inventory where we can stipulate room allocation to discounters on levels that are more realistic and profitable for the property.” La Quinta offers full on-site training for franchisees with corporate staff coming in for pre-opening and continued assistance during the first week of operation. “There is also La Quinta University where our operators are given complete and on-going instruction in everything from housekeeping, to front desk, revenue and yield management to guest relations. You are never on your own.”

diversified asset management company with holdings that include names such as Hilton Corporation. Until 2001 all properties in the chain were corporately owned. Now franchisees have the advantage of being able to access highly developed skill sets and programs that have been honed over more than 40 years in business. Together these operational facilities have combined to make La Quinta a major presence in American lodging. “Currently we own roughly half of the properties,” says Executive Vice President, Franchising & Chief Development Officer, Rajiv Trivedi. “This is a huge advantage for our franchisees who can open a hotel where all the systems and programs are tested on corporate properties first before they are rolled out chain wide.” He comments that the size and breadth of their head office capability helps keep the positive momen-

Even the corporate sales team is very active in generating business for the franchise operator. “We have more than 75 sales personnel placed throughout North America to strategically build relationships with major corporations, government, tour operators and regional business to book at our hotels. In our view this is a very unique support we offer our franchise partners.” The efforts at head office not only strive to get customers through the front doors of La Quinta properties, but work to keep satisfaction levels high. In fact, the banner has earned an 85 per cent customer satisfaction rate. As well, industry analysts such as CIBC have reported that La Quinta has consistently performed among the top of the class with the best ROI (return on investment) of franchised hotel brands in the U.S.

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Continued from page 17

are viewed very positively by the both the travelling public and hoteliers. “We have an 85 per cent rate of overall guest satisfaction and CIBC has reported that the banner offers the best ROI (Return on Investment) among other hotel brands,” he says. Trivedi remarks further that the big idea behind La Quinta has been to offer the services that guests demand and do it for just one price. “At La Quinta there are no extra charges for things like internet or breakfast. Our guests don’t want to be nickel and dimed. They are value-conscious as well as knowledgeable about quality. Our ability to meet these needs has made us what we are today.” Perhaps nowhere is this more true that at the Vancouver property where guests find 32-inch plasma televisions in-room, marble tub surrounds, Dreamscape mattresses and 200 thread count linens. Guests also get a free morning newspaper and complimentary high-speed internet from secure wired systems in-room and secure wireless throughout the property. “We are also preparing to launch a new breakfast program that will serve to further heighten our offering,” says Dada. He notes that they are looking closely at low cholesterol eggs and vegetarian options in addition to the well known Belgian waffles that is a standard feature at La Quintas everywhere. This move is bucking the current trend where many flags are cutting back on things like breakfast selection and


other value-added options as they seek to limit the damage caused by current recessionary forces. Another strong suit in La Quinta’s hand is its full franchise support. “I had looked at other brands and found that once the deal was signed and the property was running you were largely on your own. At La Quinta they have a dedicated IT department and have developed some of the most powerful tools in the business. For example, I have seamless merging with third party sites that allows me to quickly change a rate or even shut down the use of the third party temporarily. I also receive a PACE report every morning. This gives me a 90 day forecast that looks at the previous year and projects expectations for rate and occupancy forward. So far it has been bang on and has allowed me to correctly project staffing needs and rate expectation.” There is also a full range of training and support materials. “ For instance, our front desk staff must undergo a two week program and then write a test they must pass before they are brought on board. I believe this type of effort contributes to a ‘buy in’ from staff who see their positions as being professional and highly valued. I believe as well that our guests see the difference this type of effort creates in the property and helps create a culture of loyalty where we get a very high rate of return customers.” And, these customers are ones that know and understand the brand. Dada reports that he has few guests coming from places like Ontario or New Brunswick. Rather, his client base is from B.C. and the U.S., especially Washington, Oregon and California, states where La Quinta has been rolling out properties in rapid succession over the past couple of years. “For most hotels, operators see 70 per cent domestic business. We don’t see that,” he says, remarking the current downturn in U.S. hotel trade has worked in his favour. “As the economy shrinks in the U.S., corporate travellers still have to come to Canada to do business and when they do they are much less likely to stay at a traditional full service business hotel. We are filling the need and our occupancy tells the story,” he says finishing that it all started by trying to be something different in a market populated by offerings that were all so similar. “Now we are a leading force because we have been able to stand alone in a competitive market and deliver a consistently high calibre of product. Our numbers speak for themselves.” ● Western Hotelier Magazine

Saskatchewan Focus

o say Saskatchewan had a good year in 2008 is an understatement. To be sure, Saskatchewan has proven itself to be the little province that could. Only three per cent of the national market in terms of population, the province and its cities have led the country in economic growth. Indeed, the province enjoyed 3.1 per cent gains during ‘08 making it the top performer in Canada. This year organizations like the Canada West Foundation, The Conference Board of Canada and Stats Can all project continued strength for Saskatchewan. Already, the province has recorded its highest ever employment rate for the month of April (+1.9 %), a number that goes against the trend where much of the country has found itself in a recessionary mire. In fact a recent Manpower survey of business confidence found that 97 per cent of operators in Regina and 93 per cent of businesses in Saskatoon saw a coming need for more staff in their enterprises most of which are in strong double digit territory. Consider as well that housing starts were up 61.7 per cent, building permits up 46.6 per cent and retail sales ahead by 12.7 per cent and the level of economic power comes into perspective.


by Kelly Gray

With all this positive news it comes as no surprise that Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association (SHHA) President & CEO Tom Mullin is buoyed and optimistic about the coming period. “Saskatoon led the nation in 2008 in positive growth. Operators there as well as in other areas have seen good rooms business, but we’ve also seen strong liquor and beer volumes that is like icing on the cake.” He suggests that while 2008 was a remarkable year, 2009 may just keep up and buck the national trends. This said, Mullin admits that it’s not all a bed of roses for Saskatchewan’s hoteliers. For starters, operators in small towns that opened rooms for drilling crews may now have to close them as crews slow exploration in the face of declines in oil and gas barrel prices. At its peak production in 2008 before the wholesale price fell through the floor, Saskatchewan was exporting more oil to the U.S. than Kuwait and the countryside

was peppered with teams on the hunt for still more to ship. “For many properties in the smaller centres the need for rooms was unexpected and the business from exploration companies was just one more example of the commodity boom that caught the province by surprise a few years ago,” he says, adding that as oil prices fell these rooms have become surplus again, a situation that could quickly change as world economies improve. With these oil and gas opportunities, small town Saskatchewan is benefiting. Mullin reports that one offshoot of this boom is a resurgence in rural populations. This is good news for the communities that comprise the heart of the province. It also means good news for country hotels that were closing in rapid succession as people moved to the cities. “The smoking ban is still delivering a negative impact to operators in both rural and urban areas with businesses still seeing

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Western Hotelier Magazine


Saskatchewan Focus 20 per cent to 25 per cent shortfall in revenue. The ban really hurt the small town operator,” he says. “Now a bill, that is working its way through the Senate (S-226) proposing to remove VLTs from bars, will further hurt properties.” Another bump in the road for hotels in Saskatchewan has been the property tax assessment issue. The hotel association went to bat for properties that were being charged on their escalating property values. According to Mullin, this represented a windfall for governments that didn’t make business sense. Better, he thinks, to levy tax based on income of the property than the appraised value of a hotel that could mean big taxes on small earnings. “We are the first sector in the province to have assessments altered this way,” he says, commenting that the idea was to create a level playing field. Another sticking point with Saskatchewan hoteliers is the lack of wholesale liquor pricing for the province’s off-sale establishments. “It makes it tough to compete with the government stores when we have to pay the same price as consumers for our products and then take them back to the store and mark them up,” says Tom Mullin, President & CEO of Saskatchewan SHHA board member Wayne Hotel and Hospitality Folk who operates The Tap in Association.


Regina, a 210 seat brew pub with a separate off-sale that offers in excess of 1000 skus. In the past, off-sale had all the late night and Sunday trade. Now SLGA (Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority) locations have matched the offsale sites in terms of hours and days open. “The previous government was very tough. This government says they are lis-

Cities such as Prince Albert have seen development.

tening to business, but things like recorking and raising the minimum wage are not helping,” says Folk, suggesting that a 0.60 cent raise is really an 0.80 cent raise when the source deduction is taken into account. Folk would like to see the government step up with a wholesale price for retailers that would allow them to compete equally. His suggestion is a reduction in the LCT (Liquor Consumption Tax) from 10 per cent to five per cent, a move that could put much needed revenue in the pockets of retailers, many of whom are operating very close to the bone. On the labour front Saskatchewan still leads the country in terms of percentage of the population that is employed. In fact, roughly half the people in the province are working. This translates into a Carol Lumb, workforce of 512,800 Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council, persons, a figure that Director Education is 1.9 per cent higher and Training. than last year. “We are still in a shortage situation here in Saskatchewan,” says Carol Lumb, director education and training STEC (Saskatchewan Tourism Education Council). “Just a few years ago staffing in the hospitality sector stood at 63,000. Today, Western Hotelier Magazine

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Saskatchewan Focus

Operators in Saskatoon have seen good business.

we are several thousand persons below that number.” According to Lumb, the situation is similar to that in Alberta where people in lower paying occupations sought alternative work in higher paying entry level positions in the resource or construction sectors. To help bring the employment level back up STEC is undertaking a multi-pronged approach that includes working with

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For more information about this program call and ask to speak to Gary Smith at SIAST Kelsey Campus in Saskatoon, John Sanderson at SIAST Wascana Campus in Regina or Valerie Strom at SIAST Woodland Campus in Prince Albert. For those with previous work, training or life skills related to Sustainable Tourism, Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is available. To learn more about PLAR, go to 1-866-goSIAST (467-4278) 24


new immigrants as well as the unemployed and underemployed. “We are doing career awareness in high schools as well as At a Glance YTD March 09 doing job fairs in Toronto and LonRooms Reporting: ..............6536 don, Ontario to let Occupancy: ..............(09) 62.2 % (08) 60.4% people know there Rate: .........................(09) $103.03 are good jobs here. (08) $93.42 We may not get a RevPar: .....................(09) $64.08 recently down(08) $56.43 sized auto compaSupply: ................................ +1.0 % ny executive or Demand: ..............................+3.9% factory worker (HVS International) coming to train for front desk or housekeeping, but they are interested in management and resource positions. For some jobs it will remain a challenge to fill positions,” she says, adding that they will continue to cast as wide a net as possible to help ease the province’s labour shortage. “One of our biggest concerns is — when will the recession end? Things are tough now with a hard time filling all the postings. When the recession ends and labour markets tighten we could find ourselves in an even more challenging scenario. We are working now to prepare by partnering with industry. The real value will come with training that helps staff work smarter and do more. Industry has recognized this and sees the value in training because it assists in retention and recruitment, two essential characteristics of the successful enterprise in these times.” Will Saskatchewan continue on its roll? Tom Mullin expects it likely will. He remarks that the reserves of oil and gas as well as vast stockpiles of potash and uranium are key instruments to the continuing growth. And, as the barrel price climbs beyond $60 to previous highs, the hotel rooms in The property tax issue has been a small towns that were filled bump in the road for hotels. just a year go will again fill up. New properties are opening now to take advantage of the opportunities. “We have seen development in Weyburn, Prince Albert, and Humbolt. There is a new Days Inn and a new Holiday Inn Select in Regina and we are hearing about deals weekly,” says Mullin who concludes that while Saskatchewan might be a small market, it represents a huge opportunity to hoteliers and others. ● Western Hotelier Magazine

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By Kelly Gray

roperties that want to compete have to be willing to take the guest experience to a higher level. This is the view of Gregor Resch General Manager of The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. His suggestion is that this experience is perhaps nowhere more important than in items that actually touch the guest. These include sheets and toweling as well as thick bathrobes. And, to keep these items at their very best, properties have to pay attention to laundry and housekeeping. Towards this end, Fairmont properties in the Canadian Rockies have established a central laundry service at a standalone facility in Canmore, Alberta just outside the gates of Banff National Park. The facility, built in 1987 and continually upgraded with the latest technology, is 18,000 square feet of washing, drying and dry cleaning systems that work to help the chain maintain its high level of service commitment to its guests. The centre offers services to The Fairmont Banff Springs, The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and their more than 1300 guest rooms, banquet facilities and staff needs as well as the requirements for 25 other unrelated hotel and motel properties in the park area and in the Bow Valley.


Western Hotelier Magazine


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Properties have to pay attention to their laundry as it is part of the guest experience.

company’s (Fairmont) ‘green’ initiative to “We process 35,000 to 40,000 pounds of reduce the number of times housekeepers laundry each day during peak periods,” change linens. “When we were triple sheetsays Fairmont Regional Linen Service Gening and changing sheets daily the centre eral Manager Jim McPhail. He reports they was doing 10,000 sheets each day,” he says, clean linens as well as uniforms and offer adding further that they dry cleaning services to are seeing colleagues averguests and colleagues. A typical 94-room age 160 pounds to 180 The centre utilizes a property may wish to pounds of laundry per simplified rail system to hour/per worker. move items through the install two 40 pound “Automation is the key cycle and also features washers and two 50 to our success. For examthings like deep chest ple, we have been able to ironers, automatic feedpound single drum combat the high cost of ers, and folders — a dryers to meet the labour and challenges of must-have for laundries daily laundry need. high employment by that service the larger building a well-designed and more thread dense facility that can easily meet the needs of bed linens. “ We can average 550 to 650 our clients and maintain a very high level sheets per hour with two operators,” says of service. Consider that a single ironer can McPhail, remarking that the centre typicalcost $250,000. Sheets that are not ironed ly handles 8000 sheets per day. “Our numconvey a poor message to guests so we are bers have dropped off a bit following the 28

willing to spend the money to protect ourposition in the market. Others who use our service can also obtain this level of perfection and they can do it without having to make the huge investment in technology.” At the Fairmont Linen Service they use two tunnel washers, systems also known as continuous batch washers. These are ideal for large capacity operations as they are very efficient from a labour point of view with water reuse as part of the system. Not every hotel is capable of handling, or requires, a massive operation such as the one Fairmont operates in Canmore. Most hotels utilize a much smaller facility that takes care of in-house needs. For example, a typical 94-room property may wish to install two 40 pound washers and two 50 pound single drum dryers to meet the daily laundry need. Here, a well respected supplier in the West is Dyer Equipment from Delta, B.C., a company that offers top brands such as Dexter, a full line commercial laundry equipment manufacturer that has been a name in the industry since 1894. Dyer supplies both On Premise Laundry (OPL) and coin systems to the industry from its lower mainland location. “We do it all from the planning stages of a new build hotel to a reconfiguration as a property grows,” says Dyer’s Richard Kalloch. “We need to examine the number of pounds per day that will go to wash as well as understand the flow-through for soiled linens and staff uniforms. Once we have an idea on need, we can recommend the right system for the job,” he says. According to Kalloch, most hotels have a three tier need. “There must be clean linens on the shelf in the storage area, clean linens

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on the bed and linens in the wash ready to go into storage as those sheets are placed. Any breakdown can throw the system out of whack and result in guest service problems. We have built a reputation as a company that works with our clients to keep machines moving and keep guests happy. For instance, we will provide training and our service people can step in with simple solutions,” he says remembering a phone call about a squealing noise where a service tech listened to the sound over the phone and then advised on-site maintenance staff to merely sand the drum. Problem solved. Kalloch comments that efficiency in equipment represents a major drive by manufacturers. For example, Dexter has ramped its dryer efficiency by 17 per cent. This has been achieved by simply opening up the venting to eight inches and increasing fan size. “This increases airflow to the clothes and allows the system to use less gas because the air itself is working to remove moisture from the garments,” he says. Dryers also need to be higher capacity than the washers because clothes and linens come out of washing machines heavy with moisture. For example, an average-sized property can easily use two 55 pound single drum dryers and two 40 pound washers. AccordA washing machine ing to Kalloch a by Continental. shift may occur when manufacturers begin to produce smaller reversing dryers. These tend to offer more efficient drying cycles where items don’t ball up and thus dryers don’t have to work hard to get air into knotted sheets and towels. Gary Noriega agrees. Noriega heads up Nora Systems of Edmonton, a full line supplier that offers products and services to both hospitality and institutions. He comments that a reversing dryer can reduce drying time by 30 per cent. “But, this is only part of the money-saving equation. Over the past 20 years the softmount washer has been one of the biggest advances in laundry systems. Our Cissel 75 pound softmount washer/extractor can help reduce drying time by half because of the incredible 475 G force spin that takes almost all

Clean linens must be available at all times.

the water out of a load. This means less time drying, less weight for staff to handle and less energy use in general,” he says adding that a standard hardmount washer with a G force spin of 80 to 100 can deliver laundry to dryers that can take another 40 minutes to dry while a softmount unit with high G force rpm can take that drying time down to 15 minutes. With softmount machines, the days when you had to bolt the laundry equipment to a special reinforced floor is largely gone, suggests Charles Reid, general manager and owner of Vancouver-based Haddon Equipment and Supplies a major player in B.C.’s on-premise laundry and warewashing sectors. He describes the company

as a onestop shop for customers, with the expert staff in their chemical and equipment divisions doing more than just selling the necessary equipment. Their strength is to act as consultants to ensure the customer has exactly the laundry or warewash (dishwashing) setup they need with the right chemicals and machines for their individual specifications. For example, Reid points out that the newer softmount models have suspension built right in to them. This means that the installation costs are much lower. “It’s getting more important for laundries to select the proper equipment to suit their needs because Many hotels have a three tier need to their laundry process. Western Hotelier Magazine

Most hotels have smaller facilities to take care of in-house needs.

there have been so many advances in the past ten years,” says Reid pointing to higher extract washers which will extract towels at over 1,000 rpm as a good example of innovation. “These high extract washers reduce drying time, which in turn reduce energy, saving money and increasing production. If the last time you bought a washer was ten years ago and it needs replacing, talk to us and consider all the new features that are going to save you money in the long run,” says Reid, noting that payback on upgrading equipment can be less than five years depending on your specific application.

“Another big saving can be achieved with laundry chemicals. We offer products that allow operators to reduce hot water temperatures from 140 degrees to just 120 degrees,” he says. The vents and lint traps are also important considerations for more effective drying. “The venting area should be cleaned every six months to improve air flow and prevent fires. The lint tray should be cleaned daily,” he says. When it comes to washers, flow and water quality are important considerations. For instance in rural areas the water should

be screened to take out damaging particulates. In both urban and rural settings operators can also benefit from an ozone generator that conditions water by adding an extra atom to the water molecule. The result is water that offers a bleaching action that kills bacteria and viruses. According to Susan Reynolds, director business services, Coinamatic, this can greatly reduce the need for hot water as well as reduce the amount of chemicals. “It can also reduce the heat in the laundry room during hot summer months and decrease the amount of air-conditioning needed thereby creating further savings,” she says, remarking that in some cases they have seen hot water use decline by 80 per cent and gas bills fall by 25 to 30 per cent. According to Reynolds, Coinamatic remains on the cutting edge of laundry system technology. A case in point is the recently introduced Revolution, a line of coin-activated front control washers and dryers that are perfect for limited service properties where guests appreciate a closeat-hand laundry system they can use. With Revolution, there are variable level pricing options that can mean higher revenue and more satisfied guests thanks to ease of operation and custom settings. Coinamatic also operates Coinamatic Commercial Laundry, a unit that was, up

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Western Hotelier Magazine

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professional turnkey installation. “We handle all the details from products to service to training. This lets hotel operators get on with the business while we take care of the laundry details.” Being among the first to embrace new technologies in the laundry field has brought Haddon further success in recent years. Consider X3 a new solid laundry product launched in 2002. According to Haddon Equipment’s Reid, X3 is environmentally friendly, safe on all linens (white or coloured), and completely disinfects all loads (in the United States, ingredients of X3 are officially registered as a disinfectant). The water and energy savings with X3 are tremendous. In fact, Reid reports that X3 reduces water consumption by 40 per cent. Each case of X3 used saves approximately 28,000 litres of water and 50 per cent of that is hot water. “Operational costs are the biggest expense next to labour in running your laundry, so if you can save on water and energy and increase production with a product

Laundry items such as sheets and robes touch the guests and should be kept at their best.

such as X3 and combine this with high extract washers, that’s half the battle in keeping your costs under control.” This lowered water consumption and energy savings has made X3 a popular product, especially among properties that have environmental concerns and are working towards green accreditation. Commenting further Reid says that reducing energy consumption has played a large role in equipment advances from our suppliers in recent years and can result in lowered operational costs over the long term. “This is something that businesses with outdated equipment may not realize.” At Nora Systems they too have a number of programs that can result in a more efficient laundry department. Consider the offer they have on washing chemicals. According to Noriega, they charge hotels on a sold room night basis that can translate into about 16 cents per room for chemicals. “We take the legwork out of your chemical inventory. Our people make regular visits to ensure the right chemicals are at hand and that the equipment is operating as it should. A lot of properties have seen the benefit of this highly competitive program,” he says. Indeed, both Noriega and Reynolds suggest that a well-run laundry system is a win/win scenario. Firstly, cleaner linens and Efficiency is a major drive by manufacturers. softer toweling means more guest satisfaction. Secondly, modern systems are putting money back into operator pockets through greater efficiency and durability. Lastly, but certainly no less important, is the fact that more efficient systems and less chemical use is good for the environment. Is cleanliness next to godliness? Who can say. But cleaner uniforms, spotless sheets and fluffy towels certainly place a hotel on a higher plane. ● Western Hotelier Magazine

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Furnishings can bring a blend of modern luxury with intuitive service. photo courtesy of Hotel Arts


By Melanie Franner

irst impressions go a long way with today’s savvy travellers. And when


it comes to choice of hotels, that first impression can make or break a

pleasant stay. That’s why many hotels are looking a little more closely at the furnishings they provide in their public spaces and guest rooms.

Furnishing Factors “Furnishings are extremely important for hotels,” explains Abby Casey of Thiel & Thiel, a full-service architecture and interior design firm located in Dallas, Texas. “Furnishings are one of the amenities that hotels offer their guests.” One of the more recent trends that Casey has seen in furnishings, particularly more so in new builds, is a focus on “green” products. “There are different levels of LEED certification,” she explains, adding that Silver seems to be the most common with hotels. But green isn’t cheap. Casey estimates that it can cost a 25 per cent premium to go with a LEED-certified building and can include products that range from recycled carpet to incandescent lighting. In terms of style trends, Casey comments on how the popularity of flat panel TVs has changed room décor. “With the dawn of flat panel TVs, we’re not seeing armoires anymore,” she

Western Hotelier Magazine

explains. “Rooms will usually have a desk that fits under the screen. The credenza or desk is a multi-functional piece today.” Casey also notes that the flat panels have led to a more contemporary and open feel in the rooms. “You can stretch the dollar a lot more and still have the room feel high-end,” she says, adding that hotels should look at how their furnishings are holding up every five years or so, and should plan for some updates every 10 years. “In times when money is tight, hotels may opt to make an impact by spending money on their lobbies and public spaces, the things guests will see when they first come in that will make an impression.”

Everything Old is New Again When you’re building a brand on a wellrecognized Canadian figure like Louis Riel, the leader of the Métis nation and the people of the Northwest, then there has to be a certain established look to the place. And that’s exactly what’s in store for guests at the newly renovated Place Louis Riel Suite Hotel in Winnipeg. The property provides a unique boutique hotel experience that blends contemporary design and comfort in well-appointed suites and spacious guest rooms. It offers a mix of warm colours, as well as the visual drama of an aboriginal art collection.


“We’re the third largest property in Winnipeg,” explains Krista Mask, general manager, Place Louis Riel Suite Hotel. “We currently have 301 guest suites.” The property opened originally in 1970 as a state-of-the-art apartment building, and has been slowly made over into a hotel. Renovation began in June 2007, with 50 per cent of the guest floors now completed, as well as the lobby area. The total budget for the project is $15 million. “The upgrade is a way for us to make sure that we’re meeting the needs of our business travellers,” explains Mask. “There is a lot of innovation happening in the hospitality industry today. We’re fortunate to have been purchased by the Westcorp Group in 2006. They saw the opportunity of moving us up to become more appealing to the business traveller.” The appeal is generated through the spacious suites — the smallest one is 450 square feet — as well as the full kitchen that is present in every suite. “The furnishings are a very important component of the upgrade,” says Mask. “We’ve made sure that there is a large working desk in all of our new luxury suites. We’ve focused on the business executive. We want that executive to be comfortable conducting his or her day-to-day business from the suite. We have a very comfortable chair. In the studio suites, we’ve put in leather chairs and Place Louis Riel blends contemporary design and comfort in their guest rooms.

ottomans so they can put their feet up. If they are in the bedroom, they can sit on the leather sofa. We’ve tried to make it more like being at home.” The rooms all sport a wall-mounted flat panel TV as well, along with upgraded wired and wireless internet service. And to tie back to its strong heritage, each suite has between two and six pieces of reframed Aboriginal artwork. Luxury suites are outfitted with plush duvets and luxury linens, as well as window treatments. “We have tried to create a lot of value for the business traveller,” concludes Mask.

Renovate in Style Over at the Calgary Hotel Arts, the boutique-style hotel offers its customers a sumptuous blend of modern luxury with intuitive service. The hotel offers 175 rooms and suites, each appointed with fine linens and chic contemporary décor. “The design aesthetic is very important to the ownership group,” explains Fraser Abbott, director of sales and marketing, Hotel Arts Group. “We’ve created a unique ambiance here.” The Calgary Hotel Arts sits on the city block that formally housed the Holiday Inn Calgary Downtown. It was rebranded in 2005 and the massive renovation took place in the following year. Phase Two got underway in May 2007 and in the fall of last year, Calgary Hotel Arts opened a new 9,400 square foot ballroom. A new Hotel Arts Galleria, a 220-car underground parking garage, and a three-story office/retail complex are all underway. The budget just for the hotel proper was $10 million. 38

Western Hotelier Magazine

Photo Courtesy of Place Louis Riel

“We feature upscale residential furnishings, mixed in with interesting artwork,” says Abbott, who suggests that even the Italian lamps used throughout the hotel should be considered pieces of artwork. “The lobby experience provides a pretty powerful impression. We have two giant egg chairs that give a retro look dating back to Austin Powers.” The guest rooms themselves offer a mix of dark tones and functionality in the same upscale residential feel. Each one sports a plasma screen, a desk and work chair, and a work lamp. The room amenities vary according to type of suite, but common features include triple-sheeted goose-down duvets with Frette linens, an Ital-

The décor in the suites includes a leather couch, chair and ottoman configuration.

Western Hotelier Magazine


ian Bamboo Tile bathroom with Spa Rain shower, and work desk with designer lamp. The transformation has changed not only the feel of the property, but it has also attracted a different cliental. “We used to be a tour hotel, a sports group place and an oilfield service kind of property,” says Abbott. “We now have a completely different demographic. On the weekends, some 25 per cent of the mix is local — people just looking to get away for a couple days and de-stress.”

A Piece of History The Vancouver-based Moda Hotel is housed in a heritage building built in 1908 that used to be the old Dufferin Hotel. The bou-

Hotel Arts offers rooms with functionality and dark tones. Room amenities can go from TVs to duvets.

tique hotel offers 57 rooms that blend the best of old-world style with modern, contemporary design. The guest rooms feature a sleek, tailored look with the comforts of luxurious beds, linens and furnishings, as well as the latest technology with flat panel TVs, high-speed internet access, data port outlet for laptops and voiceover Internet Protocol (IP) telephones. Niradia Enterprises purchased the hotel in 2005 and spent the next two years renovating it with millions of dollars. “It’s a very European, limited boutique hotel,” explains Kanat Kantman, hotel manager. “It’s very Spartan like. The rooms are very minimalist, very streamlined and very comfortable. The furnishings are an assortment of fun themes like red and cappuccino chocolate.” According to Kantman, the furnishings play an important role in ambience of a hotel. “I think they are crucial,” he says. “The furnishings are what your identity is if you will. They are used to present the building.” Although the renovation of Moda Hotel has led to a more futuristic and funky quality, there are parts of the property that highlight its heritage. Examples of this include: the 100-year-old exposed mosaic tile floors in the lobby and bathrooms; the 80-year-old hardwood flooring on the stairs and in the feature rooms; the original lobby ceiling with dramatic crown mouldings; and the building’s corner cornice. Even the hotel’s Uva Wine Bar and Cibo Trattoria offer some local history by including original structure elements like the approximately 200-year-old Douglas fir beams and walls, and the original exposed mosaic tile flooring.

A Changing Transformation Updating or upgrading continues to play an important role in helping to keep hotel properties fresh and appealing. Using furnishings to exude the right ambience for your clientele is one way to create a new and fresh look, without having to spend more than the budget. Whether it’s a cozy comfortable feel of old-world elegance and charm or the hip and happening look of the trendy set, furnishings are a powerful tool that can help you attain that perfect hotel look. “For the consumer, furnishings are hugely important,” concludes Thiel & Thiel’s Casey. “People want to be comfortable. Different hotels have done different things to attract different clientele. There is a certain level of quality that consumers have come to expect.” ● 40

Western Hotelier Magazine


Industry leader is quietly winning the battle against bed bugs. he widespread North American staff of Protect-A-Bed held their annual meeting in Canada for the first time in 2009, meeting in downtown Toronto for a jam-packed extended weekend conference in late May. As pioneers in the manufacturing of mattress and pillow protectors that provide protection from dust mites, incontinence and bed bugs, the large Protect-A-Bed gang had plenty to chew on during their muchanticipated time together. Seldom able to meet face-to-face, company CEO James Bell says the assembled staff and management “really enjoyed the opportunity to get together to share and exchange ideas.” By presenting speakers with different


conference planners shrewdly showcased the weekend’s theme — Simply the Best — by encouraging the speakers to share their personal philosophies on success with those in attendance. However, the show-stopping session came on the last day of the conference during an eye-opening (and sometimes eyeclosing) presentation by Toronto’s Bug’n Scrub team that highlighted the city’s current bed bug crisis. Wrongly believed to be a pest of the past, bed bugs are back with a vengeance in the twenty-first century and are causing more problems than ever before. Previously associated with filthy slums, bed bugs have spread uptown and can now be found at some of the finest addresses in communi-


backgrounds, including the founder of the Famous PEOPLE Players Diane Dupuy, investor Cecil Brauer of Brimor Capital and Furniture Today editor David Perry, 42

ties across the country. While the growing bed bug problem is not a topic that comes up too often at cocktail parties, it had better be on the agenda

when hoteliers take a hard look at the challenges facing their industry. Bed bugs are now an equal-opportunity nightmare, able to wreak as much havoc at a five-star hotel as at a downtown homeless shelter. Hotels that want to get out in front of the problem have to be proactive in their approach says Petra Minoff, Protect-ABed’s vice-president of hospitality sales in the United States. She explains that a typical hotel guest stays at a property an average of just two days. Unfortunately, because noticeable signs of bed bug bites are often not visible for between 10 and 14 days after contact, it is often difficult to make the connection between a particular hotel and a bed bug problem. Early detection is imperative for hoteliers interested in avoiding disaster. Because as Minoff warns, if the problem gets away from a hotel and the property ends up attracting unwanted media attention, “It is very hard to recover from this.” Western Hotelier Magazine

By James Farr

Caber staff listens to speakers during the two day conference.

Minoff also points out that hoteliers are opening themselves up to significant lawsuits should former guests get wind of a bed bug problem. Whether it is a preventative measure or a post-infestation reaction, for hoteliers looking to take steps to ensure they stay out of both court and business-sapping media reports, investing in Protect-A-Bed’s Aller-Zip™ mattress encasements is clearly a smart move. With this kind of protection, a hotel that uses an Aller-Zip™ encasement on a mattress that is new or has no infestation is guaranteed no bed bugs will make their way into the mattress. For a previously infested mattress that has just been steamed or vacuumed (and is now bed bug free), the encasement ensures that bed bugs currently in the room will be

unable to get back into the mattress. Finally, for currently infested mattresses, the total encasement stops the bugs in the mattress from escaping (then biting). It also stops any bed bugs in other places in the room from getting back into the mattress and breeding. With the bed bug problem snowballing in recent years, Johan Bosman, the company’s channel director for hospitality in Canada, says more and more hotels are getting on board with the product. As the

clear industry leader in terms of market share and innovation (e.g. they are the only double-stitched encasement), he says Protect-A-Bed products easily outclass what little competition they face. Add to that the fact that Protect-A-Bed products extend the life of a mattress by greatly reducing the time and costs involved in early mattress replacement and Bosman says it should come as no surprise that, “Canadian hotels are really starting to see the value of the product.” ●

According to the company’s Web site, the Aller-Zip™ encasements feature a unique: • BugLock™, a three-sided zipper system and seal, for complete protection against bed bug entry and escape. The zipper extends to the end of the BugLock™ thereby ensuring bed bugs never escape; • Miracle Membrane® with polyurethane backing. It’s breathable yet cool to sleep on; • Protection against allergens, such as dust mites, pet dander and pollen. Western Hotelier Magazine



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By James Farr

Many guests look for an indulgent experience while staying at a hotel.

here isn’t much worse than arriving in a hotel room after a long day of travel only to find a dirty bathroom with bleach-stained towels and funky smelling mini-shampoos. Washing away a disturbing memory like that can be tough, particularly in a bathroom with soap that crumbles the instant it is removed from its packaging. Savvy hoteliers will avoid these issues by


Western Hotelier Magazine

making their bathrooms a priority. Because other than bed quality, the bathroom is a close second on the internal check lists for most guests when it comes to rating their overall hotel experience. For Avril Matthews, the director of sales and marketing at Victoria’s Inn at Laurel Point, the bathrooms at their 200-room property are a great source of pride. “With the immense dedication to space in our luxury

bathrooms, we have been fortunate to receive plenty of great feedback from our guests.” In the hotel’s Erickson wing, the bathrooms have double sinks, deep soaker tubs and a separate shower that makes the bathing process feel like a walk in a warm misty rain. When it comes to the actual bath products available, the hotel provides both Molten Brown and Aveda amenities. In 45

The number of low flush toilets in hotel bathrooms across Canada has grown in recent years as hoteliers see that their bottom line can be helped, while at the same time, do the right thing for the environment.

Photos Courtesy of Shutterstock

particular, Molten Brown, a well known high-end product in the United Kingdom, has really resonated with the hotel’s guests. At Vancouver’s Sutton Place Hotel, Executive Assistant Manager Navid Sariolghalam is extremely satisfied with the broad line of Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities they offer their guests. While Sariolghalam says that it is the high quality of the amenities that makes the difference, he is certain Gilchrist & Soames’ long association with environmentally friendly practices and products is also part of the reason for their popularity. Christine Pyle, senior director of marketing and product development at Gilchrist & Soames, is a big believer in today’s business leaders taking a proactive approach when it comes to being better global citizens. The company is fully engaged in an ambitious strategy to become more green.

By working with Purdue University’s earth sciences department, the company has ensured that the formulations of their toiletry products are the best they can possibly be from an environmental standpoint. For instance, their recently launched Zero Percent liquid products, including shampoo, conditioner, conditioning shampoo, body wash and body lotion, contain no sulfates, DMDM hydantoin, parabens, phthalates, petrol-derived ingredients, mineral oil, urea, DEA, TEA or propylene glycol. 46

Fairmont’s Green Partnership Program has been in effect since 1990, making the luxury hotel chain a corporate leader in the rapidly growing green movement. “I think we’ve shown that companies can green their operations with the right tools in place, and the right commitment. As an industry, we’ve made great strides in terms of making the environment a key consideration in how we do business,” says Sarah Dayboll, Fairmont’s manager of environmental affairs. Dayboll has many examples of Fairmont’s green initiatives. However, when it

Amenities such as Molten Brown and Aveda resonate well with guests.

comes to energy and water conservation in their hotels’ bathrooms, she says the installation of low flow showerheads, low flush toilets and tap aerators are corporate room standards. Additionally, all properties participate in sheet and towel exchange programs to conserve water resources by reducing the frequency of laundering guest linens. The number of low flush toilets in hotel bathrooms across Canada has grown in Western Hotelier Magazine

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“I think we’ve shown that companies can green their operations with the right tools in place, and the right commitment. As an industry, we’ve made great strides in terms of making the environment a key consideration in how we do business.” recent years as hoteliers see that their bottom line can be helped, while at the same time, do the right thing for the environment. However, while environmental concerns are clearly important, many guests are also looking for an indulgent experience when they stay at a hotel. Aspha Dada, owner/general manager of La Quinta Inn Vancouver Airport, says that the bathroom is extremely important when it comes to setting a positive tone at the property. He goes even further, arguing there is a direct link between the quality of the bathroom and the likelihood a guest will return for a repeat visit. That is why during a recent 12-room expansion at his property, he opted to make the extra capital expenditure to upscale the bathrooms. The Le Germain group is gearing up to open a new hotel in Calgary at the end of 2009 and according to Marie-Pierre Germain, the new property will include all of the same elements that have made the company’s other boutique hotels so popular. That means guests can look forward to spacious bathrooms outfitted with Tashodi toiletries. Hoteliers should ensure they do not forget about common bathrooms in their lobbies, restaurants and meeting room areas. While these bathrooms must meet the same high standards of in-room bathrooms, they also present the opportunity to include amenities that are not cost effective in smaller bathrooms. Dyson Airblade hand dryers, which use high-velocity, filtered air

Savvy hoteliers make their bathrooms their priorities.

to dry hands in 12 seconds, are a rugged durable product that will catch the attention of guests while costing just pennies a day in hydro costs. Hoteliers that fail to recognize the importance of their bathrooms do so at their own peril. Offering up a sub-par bathroom is recipe for disaster when it comes to drawing repeat business. ●

What Makes Your HOTEL So Special? Has your hotel recently: • opened? • done renovations? • had a change in management? • expanded? • celebrated an anniversary? • rebranded? If yes, please contact David Bastable Tel: 1-800-337-6372 or email: 48

Let us tell the Western provinces why your hotel is so special!


Western Hotelier Magazine

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Calgary North, AB (403) 250-3790 (800) 661-8153 Calgary South, AB (403) 720-6877 (800) 661-8153 Delta, BC (604) 525-5549 (800) 561-1334 Visit us at our website:

Edmonton, AB Kelowna, BC Victoria, BC

(780) 484-2340 (250) 862-8721 (250) 391-5997

(800) 272-5610 (800) 561-1334 (800) 561-1334

Hotel Profile

By Kelly Gray

The property, located directly on the Courtney River, currently offers 79 suites and one luxurious penthouse unit followin Courtney, B.C. is earning itself a reputation as a ing construction that saw Phase I completed in 2006 and the second phase completed point of refuge that offers it all. Given the easy just recently. “In Phase I we completed 33 access and the quality of the product it’s no surprise one-bedroom suites that range in size from 550 square feet to 575 square that guest levels are growing. feet. These offer king beds in the master and queen size sofa pull outs in the living the area with a new 4,500 B.C.’s Old House Village Hotel and Spa rooms, full gourmet kitchens square foot full service facilihas something hoteliers value highly and in-suite stacking launty,” he says. — four season attraction. Located in the dry,” he says. Certainly, the year-round stunning Comox Valley on Vancouver He comments further that golfing, the Beaufort MounIsland, the property is sited on three riverthis phase also delivered a tains and their ski slopes, the side acres that permit access to recreation stunning 900 square foot vineyards, and the proximity to as well as proximity to the town of CourtLarry Seburn, penthouse unit that comes both river and ocean make the ney, a principal up-island centre. General Manager with loft king bedroom, property an exciting getaway. According to General Manager Larry Jacuzzi tub, wet bar and kitchen as well as “Where else can you ski in the morning, Seburn the facility is the vision of owners balcony with views of the pond and botanigolf in the afternoon on one of five nearby who wanted to establish a four to five star cal gardens. “In Phase II, a section we comcourses, and kayak after dinner?” asks the resort in the heart of this beautiful region. pleted last December, we added 45 units of property’s general manager, who remarks “There is so much here. We have skiing, which 30 are studios (400-600 sq. ft.), a perthat a stay at the hotel and spa can be as water sports, fishing, hiking and now the fect addition for those looking for less relaxing or as exhausting as guests demand. property has established the premier spa in


Western Hotelier Magazine


The property offers 79 suites. The Penthouse is 900 square feet and looks out over the botanical gardens. Guests can relax during spa massages.

expensive accommodation in this gorgeous setting. We also offer 13 deluxe one-bedroom suites and two two-bedroom suites.” Studio rooms offer kitchenettes, fireplaces and 32-inch flat screen televisions as well as free wireless internet. “The facilities make the property ideal for groups looking for a short term retreat or individuals seeking a full featured holiday. For example, the ‘Snowbirds’ aeronautics team has been staying here during their training sessions at CFB Comox. They have booked because they enjoy the closeness to the base, the amenities of the property and the fact that many of the rooms come with stacking laundry equipment, an important


consideration given the (three week duration) active nature of their program.” Others who have been enjoying the facility are corporate guests from South Island, travellers from the Lower mainland and Alberta as well as those from the western U.S. “Westjet has really enhanced access to the Comox Valley from points in Alberta like Calgary and Edmonton. Flying times are only one hour and twenty minutes,” he says, noting that for this reason they are booking guests from Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray who are taking the quick flight for a bit of R&R away from the Alberta oil patch. According to Seburn, they sought opportunity by looking into the community and determining needs. For example, the OH SPA is the only full service facility of its kind in town and as such has been enjoying solid bookings from both guests and others who have found the packages highly valuable as a point of relaxation. The 4500 square foot OH SPA offers a variety of treatments and facilities such as Vichy Shower and a two-person effervescent chromatherapy tub where you can enjoy a glass of wine by the fire. There are also larger couple’s rooms complete with slate showers, fireplaces and a sumptuous spa cuisine menu. Altogether OH SPA offers a hair salon, 10 treatment rooms and services from pedicures to facials to specialty massage and hydrotherapy. Another challenge The Old House Village Hotel & Spa took on was the need for meeting space. Recently completed is a 900 square foot professionally designed business and meetings centre that is fully wired for commerce and communication. This

means roof mounted projection systems, plug-ins for microphone and access to the hotel’s wireless internet system and phone network. The result is a surge in corporate business with guests coming in to use just the facility for one-day workshops and business gatherings or multi-day meetings that get everyone together at the hotel for a bit of work and play. The seminal point for the property is the Old House Restaurant that is situated between the two wings of the hotel, a configuration that contributes to the village feel of the property. The ‘house’ was originally constructed in 1938 and stood as an

The property offers a great proximity to both the river and the ocean.

example of fine residential living until the mid ’70s when it was reshaped into a dining establishment. The owners have kept the tone and flavour of the old property and blended it into the framework of a fresh new business that is an all-encompassing hospitality package. Indeed, the Western Hotelier Magazine

history may suggest ‘Old House’, but the menu at the restaurant says new age in its approach, featuring for example, the prosciutto wrapped halibut, duck tacos, or tomato cumin braised lamb shank. Seburn remarks that this total hospitality package has the property enjoying steady gains in occupancy with some weekends booked solid. In fact, April delivered a record month for occupancy to the property. “Certainly, our central location is key to our popularity, but now the meeting facility and the OH SPA can serve to attract an even bigger client base,” he says, adding that the area tends to be over-serviced with a lot of properties offering rooms. “We have had to be very competitive with rate, however, the fact that we are new means people are more interested to book and find out about us.” The property also features a Quarter Ownership opportunity with floor-plans available for purchase. This entitles people to a stay one week per month in facilities that offer private fitness club, pool and hot tub as well as all the amenities one would expect in a world class setting. Floor plans are varied and extensive. With all these attributes the property owners and management are very positive regarding the coming year. As mentioned, occupancies have been strong already. Now with the Olympics right around the corner there is an opportunity to showcase the property and the Comox Valley as the Mount Washington slopes host the run-up to the Winter Olympics with ski teams training prior to the event. “We celebrated one million visitors to the Comox airport last year and I believe the run-up to the Olympics will only serve to heighten our visibility. The more people know about this region, the greater the likelihood we will see further gains in both rate and occupancy,” says Seburn, concluding that with a full four seasons to play with the prospects are very bright indeed at The Old House Village Hotel and Spa. ●

What Makes Your HOTEL So Special? Has your hotel recently: • opened? • done renovations? • had a change in management? • expanded? • celebrated an anniversary? • rebranded? If yes, please contact David Bastable Tel: 1-800-337-6372 or email:

Let us tell the Western provinces why your hotel is so special!


Western Hotelier Magazine


Staff Training

By Kelly Gray Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock

Training schools and organizations have a wealth of shovel-ready programs for everyone from entry level workers to managers seeking post graduate degrees. Western Hotelier Magazine

n this economy, training is one of the most powerful tools to maintain a steady keel at hotel operations where entry level staff can be hard to come by. By training workers, properties are allowing what staff they do have to complete tasks more effectively. Training also lets staff know they are appreciated and their jobs matter. These two factors alone contribute to sizable retention in an industry characterized by high staffing turnover. Simply, these days hotels cannot hope to compete without utilizing some form of training program for on-site personnel. The same is true for the management individual. Competition is tough for the best jobs. Training delivers the edge that keeps managers at the top of their games. Want to keep staff, maintain a high standard in operational and management practice, and limit turnover? Training is the only way to go. Look here for some of the best schools and organizations to help make this happen.



ince 1969 The School of Hospitality & Tourism Management has graduated in excess of 3000 students into a wide range of positions within the industr y. Today, the program is well known as one of Canada’s premier teaching and research institutions in the field of hospitality and tourism. Available programs include a Bachelor of Commerce (BComm) degree as well as Masters of Business Administration (MBA). In the BComm program students may choose The Hotel and Food Administration major. This track offers principles of administration, theories of interpersonal relations, human resources management, and communications. Distinctive courses include Hospitality Facilities Management and Design and Lodging Management. The courses in this program relate to the man-



agement of both the accommodation and food service facilities used by the public and private sector. The Hotel and Food Administration Co-op program seeks to facilitate the transition of students from academic studies to a professional work life by enhancing the integration of theory and practice. Administered by the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management the co-op work program consists of one twelve-month period. The work semester begins at the end of the second year and extends from May to April. The co-op program is completed over a five year period. The program in Tourism Management builds on a strong base of hospitality management courses (human resources management, accounting, finance, cost controls, hotel operations). In conjunction with these courses the program provides specialized courses dealing with the economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects of the industry as well as the critical functions of tour ism marketing , distr ibution, planning and development. In addition, there are opportunities to develop expertise in eco-tourism and international tourism operations. The University of Guelph’s two-year, online MBA is designed for up and coming professionals who wish to enhance their skills and credentials without leaving their current employment. Guelph’s MBA is based on the application of contemporary management concepts and strategies to industries where the University has a world-class reputation. Upon admission, participants choose to concentrate their MBA studies in one of two fields: Food and Agribusiness Management or Hospitality and Tourism Management. The University of Guelph MBA program includes a core group of courses that build and develop key managerial skills, and specialization courses that allow participants to apply concepts and skills to management situations in a particular sector. Case studies are widely used. Participants complete their program with a major research project or have the option to substitute two courses for the major research project. Program prerequisites include significant work experience in either Food and Agribusiness Management or Hospitality and Tourism Management.

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University of Guelph/School of Hospitality & Tourism Management

Professional Development Institute of Tourism & Hospitality Management ased in British Columbia and active in 45 countries with entry level to advanced programs the Professional Development Institute of Tourism & Hospitality Management offers a variety of offsite study options. The Correspondence School, in academic partnership with the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association offers Hotel Management Diploma, Hospitality Operations Certificate, and Resort Operations Certificate programs as well as individual Home Study Courses through Distance Learning.


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Modules are available in 12 areas: • • • • • •

Hospitality Management Diploma Hospitality Operation Certificate Rooms Rooms Division Management Food and Beverage Management Accounting and Financial Management International Resort Management

• • • • • •

Food & Beverage Management Diploma Hospitality Operation Certificate Food Marketing and Sales Management Human Resources Management Club Management Individual Home Study Courses

The curriculum is geared to meet the certification requirements of The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) and the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s AHLA Educational Institute. The programs are approved by the British Columbia and Hotels Association (BCHA), and Hospitality Industry Education Advisory Committee (HIEAC).

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The Home Study courses and Distance Learning Programs are available to individuals seeking entry into the Hospitality and Food and Beverage industry, as well as to employees and supervisory staff currently employed in the tourism and hospitality industry who are seeking to upgrade their skills or seeking advancement into management positions. Courses are all text book based. According to principal Bashir El Khalafawi students are tested in proctored settings following each module. He suggests there are numerous advantages to off-site correspondence study. For example students may learn while they earn and learn on their own time at their own pace.


he Yukon Tourism Education Council is an organization that addresses industry’s need for a coordinating body to undertake the human resource issues facing the Tourism Industry in the North. YTEC provides training and education products to tourism and service businesses, in an effort to enhance the growth of a professional training culture in the industry. YTEC works in conjunction with the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council. In the North, YTEC is the local representative of emerit, the Nation’s seal of excellence in human resource products and services. emerit offers a remarkable selection of training programs and resources ideally suited for professionals in various tourism occupations at different stages in their career. emerit training resources are available online. This is perfect for those comfortable working in an online environment and interested in a flexible, self-directed training option. For added convenience and flexibility, students can buy only the modules they are most interested in.


Royal Roads University

Training is an essential component to both recruitment and retention.

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and customers from other cultures, and provide practical skills and advice to improve our ability to communicate with them. Trainer training workshops help develop the skills to uncover the wealth of knowledge that is in each employee and to assess the most effective method to ensure the trainee learns what needs to be learned. The goal of the two-day Train the Trainer workshop is to provide trainers with an understanding of adult education principles, plus provide information about and opportunities to practise training and coaching skills. YTEC also delivers Foodsafe seminars. On offer is Level I: Basic For Foodhandlers and Servers as well as Foodsafe Level II, a program that provides advanced information for operators, managers and supervisors. YTEC is part of the Canadian Human Resource Tourism Council (CHRTC) and is responsible for administering programs in each of the three Northern Territories.

who lead them. She reports that last year oyal Roads University in Victoria they launched a two year electronic edition offers both undergraduate and of their Hotel Management BA. In 2010graduate level programs for the emerit online training 2011 they will launch a grad program in hospitality sector. Programs include a BA courses are available for these Worldwide Hospitality Management in an in International Hotel Management, and a graduate education while continuing to work. Our combined on-line program with tourism occupations: effort to continue enhancing an already MA in International Hotel Management, you have the best of both worlds in learning! Bartender a 10-day on-site residency ensures very complete program. MA in Tourism Management, Graduate Event Co-ordinator “We are in the people business. We Certificate in Tourism Leadership, GraduEvent Manager S offer programming in modules that ate Certificate in Destination DevelopFood and Beverage Manager i deliver short face-to-face ment, Graduate CertifiFood and Beverage Server sessions alongside online cate in Sustainable Front Desk Agent functions that create a Tourism, and Graduate Heritage Interpreter total package that is flexiCertificate in InternaHousekeeping Room Attendant ble, choice-laden, and tional Hotel & Resort Reservation Sales Agent student focused.” Management. Sales Manager Supervisor Arsenault suggests that According to Nancy Tourism Essentials their module approach is such that stuArsenault, associate dean, tourism & ExterTourism/Visitor Information Counsellor dents who cannot commit to big time nal relations, there has been a merging of chunks are still able to get involved with the tourism and management faculties. the program. The programs are flexible Now there is a School of Business that YTEC alsoM offers a number of sector and students can stop and start as necesoffers MBA and BComm programs and a workshops. For example, the Welcome sary. This means jobs can be maintained School of Tourism and Hospitality ManYukon seminar emphasizes important and home life is not upset thanks to variagement. From leading-edge programs aspects ofDquality customer service training able exit points. designed for experienced professionals, such as Tourism Awareness, Quality Ser“We are able to design modules with who have taken on or aspire to senior manvice, Yukon Community Awareness. industry in mind. This means a degree or agement responsibilities, to innovative The Welcome Yukon program is a threecertificate at Royal Roads is relevant to the delivery options that balance the time preshour training seminar that emphasizes the trade today,” she says, remarking that 50 sures and preferences of those seeking faceimportance of treating each customer as a per cent of module work is compulsory to-face interaction and the flexibility of the very important individual. with the other half mix and match accordinternet‚ the Faculty of Management tarSuperHost-Service Across Cultures — is ing to the students needs. gets the needs of organizations and those designed to increase awareness about visitors



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in International Hotel Management. The nine-month executive and 12-month advanced hospitality management programs offer a strong emphasis combining hotel work experience with academic learning. The mission of the school is to educate students who are aiming for top careers in the international hospitality industry. Through their emphasis on both academic and practical preparation they ensure that graduates are operationally competent and immediately effective on the job. Imperial Hotel Management College is

accredited by the Private Career Training Institutions Agency (PCTIA) in British Columbia. They are a client of the Canadian Education Centre Network (CECN), and a member of the following associations and organizations such as: International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education, Canadian National Association of Career Colleges (NACC), British Columbia Career Colleges Association (BCCCA), Br itish Colombia and Yukon Hotel Association, Hotel Association of Canada, and Tourism Vancouver.

Advance your career. Advance your life.

Imperial Hotel Management College mperial Hotel Management College is an accredited hotel management school based in Vancouver. The college was founded on the principle that to be successful in the hospitality business, one needs to have knowledge of management theory, as well as substantial firsthand knowledge of the practical aspects of hospitality. The school’s philosophy is to combine these two elements in a theory-pluspractise approach, which balances academic learning with hands-on training. Imperial College has partnered with a group of elite hotels and resorts across North America to create what they call a chain of ‘teaching hotels’ or ‘hotel campuses’. For example, students attending the nine-month diploma program will be studying and gaining work experience in a fully operational hotel at one of the many affiliated ‘hotel campuses’. Programs include Executive Hotel Management Diploma and Advanced Diploma


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Our new six month, three course, Graduate Certificate in International Hotel and Resort Management is your key to advancing in the global marketplace of a dynamic and ever changing industry. An intimate, high quality and innovative learning environment at Royal Roads will allow you to succeed in obtaining a graduate education while continuing to work. Our combined on-line program with a 10-day on-site residency ensures you have the best of both worlds in learning! Successful program graduates will be eligible to apply for advanced standing in the Master of Arts in Tourism Management. Put us to work for you today. Inquire 1-877-778-6227 Email Visit



STEC askatchewan Tourism Education Council (STEC) works with tourism operators, managers, employees, and educators/consultants across the province with a mandate to develop a professional tourism workforce in Saskatchewan. Since 1990, STEC has worked with literally thousands of industry professionals in every sector, from front-line staff to managers and owners. In 1996, STEC merged with the Saskatchewan Tourism Authority and the Tourism Industry Association of Saskatchewan (TISASK) to create Tourism Saskatchewan. STEC is non-government and industry-driven. And, while they receive some funding from government, it is the tourism industry that determines the programs and services they offer. STEC promotes, coordinates and evaluates industry managed standards, certification, career awareness and training in the five tourism industries: Accommodation, Food and Beverage, Recreation & Entertainment, Transportation, and Travel Services. STEC is on the Board of the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC), a national network of tourism human resource councils that work together to establish, implement and deliver national occupational standards, training and professional certification. Nationally recognized programs have been developed for over 30 tourism occupations. STEC delivers CTHRC-sponsored programs and products in Saskatchewan.


Assiniboine Community College/Manitoba Institute of Culinary rts ACC’s Culinary Arts students and faculty is located in the beautiful new campus on Brandon’s North Hill. Together with the Hotel and Restaurant Management program, Culinary Arts opened the doors of its state-of-the-art educational facility in September 2007. The site features heritage buildings and picturesque grounds, and newly constructed and renovated classrooms and labs with a leading-edge teaching kitchen, theatre, and sixty-seat dining room. This interactive two-year program features a high level of student/instructor interaction and lots of hands-on experience through in-class food preparation and community events. If you are seeking a career as a chef, this two-year program can provide the skills and practical experience to help you reach your goal. The Culinary Arts program features interactive instruction with hands-on training involving classroom work, community projects and industry-based competitions. Students are trained in all aspects of food preparation including institutional cooking, international cuisine and nutrition. To graduate with a diploma students must successfully complete 132 credits with a cumulative weighted GPA of at least 2.0. Students also have the option of exiting after the first year of studies and graduating with a Professional Cooking Certificate after completing 66 credits. Graduates who enter into apprenticeship agreements may apply course credits towards the technical training requirements for apprenticeship as a cook. ●


Learn marketable skills and gain management training to advance your hospitality, food and beverage career

The Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts Visit or call 800.862.6307 ext 6145 for more information.


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By Kelly Gray

This past March 22-24 saw 400 delegates and 100 exhibitors gather at Regina’s Queensbury Centre. This marks the first time the organization has used a facility that is larger than those utilized in the past. The reasons for the change in venue were simple. This year, the Saskatchewan Hotel and Hospitality Association joined forces with Tourism Saskatchewan and last year the SHHA brought Saskatchewan Outfitters Association on board to create a complete package. Now, HOST Saskatchewan offers something for everyone in the accommodation sectors, foodservice as well as tourism. Attendees were welcomed to walk the aisles of the trade show, participate in some of the 15 informative sessions, listen to addresses by trade personalities such as Peter Yesawich of U.S.-based Ypartnership Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations and Barry Lacey, president SLGA, or attend events like the gala Chairman’s dinner or Host Saskatchewan Fun Night. According to SHHA President Tom Mullin, the turnout was excellent and attendees reported good times. “Our idea has been to create an event that can bring everyone together. This is HOST. For three days all the stakeholders are in the same building talking issues and discussing business,” he says, noting that this year a lot of operators were concerned about Bill S-226 and its impact on gaming revenue from VLTs. Under the proposed Bill, VLTs would have to be located in dedicated gambling sites like casinos. Saskatchewan and other jurisdictions see the federal move as a limiting of provincial authority to manage gaming. Currently VLTs in Saskatchewan represent $350 million. Discussions at HOST pointed out the danger to revenue inherent in such a bill. Following the event the provincial industry is positioned to speak with a stronger unified voice on the matter. The industry is invited to pencil in March 14-16, 2010 when the next installment of HOST Saskatchewan will be played out at TCU Place in Saskatoon. Western Hotelier Magazine

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HOST Saskatchewan

AHLA Trade Show & Convention Alberta has a lot going for it. And, perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in the mountain parks where the Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) hosted its recent annual get-together at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (April 5-7). There, staff in woolen Tyrolian-style trousers greeted 450 delegates from 200 AHLA member properties. Over the three days, attendees crowded the facility’s new conference centre to check out the 85 exhibitors and take in some of the informative sessions. Breakout rooms offered trade guru’s PKF who delivered their Alberta Accommodation Outlook as well as 61

other business sessions (there were eight in total) where there was discussion on yield management techniques, menu development and promotions as well as a wide range of other topics that made the event a powerful idea exchange. According to Tracy Douglas-Blowers of the AHLA, there were a number of new participants this year. For example, AB Children & Youth Services were on hand to promote the launch of the new partnership between the AHLA and Children & Youth Services to prevent child sexual exploitation. The event kicked off with a welcoming reception that was well attended and full of buzz as Paul Rusesabagina people got ready for a packed slate. The next morning, Connect Logistics and HED Insurance sponsored a breakfast session that featured an address by Paul Rusesabagina, a hotelier who is famous for his defiance of the Rwandan genocide and saving more than 1000 hotel guests from certain death at the hands of Hutu thugs. The event also featured gala dinners and award ceremonies where the association lauded housekeepers, operators and even menus. This year Sawridge Inns, Lina Venchiarutti of Becker’s Chalets in Jasper and a host of others were lauded by the AHLA and the industry at large. Next year’s AHLA Conference and Trade Show will be held at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, April 18-20, 2010 62

Centrex This year more than 1800 owners, managers and staff from hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality businesses met at The Winnipeg Convention Centre for the 2009 edition of Centrex. Similar to others in the western hospitality industry trade fair circuit, Centrex also increased participation by including other stakeholders. This year was the first time for broader participation from the wider Manitoba tourism industry, through MHA’s cooperation with Travel Manitoba. Together, both organizations presented a gala awards ceremony and dinner just after the conclusion of Centrex. “We’ve tried very hard to bring in new booths that are of interest to all the partici-

pants whether it’s restaurants or hotels,” says show manager Jerry Weir. “And we try to build as much into the convention program as we possibly can with education being an important component.” According to Weir there were 130 exhibitors this year, a tally that is down slightly from 2008. This said, the group of exhibitors represented a who’s who of suppliers and contributed to the overall excitement of the show. As well, Weir and his team were helped by a very active centre stage that brought back Iron Chef, a black box cooking completion. This year the Fairmont Winnipeg beat out seven other teams to take the Iron Chef title at the Garland sponsored stage. Iron Chef was produced by the CCFCC Juniors, who spent more than a year planning this year’s event. “We also brought in Chef David Adjey from Restaurant Makeover to offer cooking demos on the centre stage during Monday and during our convention. David also addressed Monday’s breakfast session as the keynote speaker.” Weir comments that Centrex has remained popular as the place to be for hospitality among the industry in Manitoba. “A lot of buyers from around Manitoba come in for this show, and it really helped make this a strong show for us this year.” Weir mentions that next year’s show is slated for April. “Centrex is the only chance that hotels and restaurants have to see some of these suppliers. We’re really happy with the turnout from our sector this year and we’re hoping for more in 2010.” ●

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By Kelly Gray

The issues surrounding housekeeping have been swept under the rug long enough. Hotels that want to really compete on appearance and service have recognized they must address the housekeeping challenge. ousekeepers rock ‘n roll through shifts using more body positions than Chubby Checker. In fact, studies suggests that during a standard shift where a worker changes 16 rooms, posture is changed every three seconds meaning that for every day a housekeeper cleans she has to find about 8000 moves to make a bed, clean a bathroom and tidy up. What this creates is a job where there is a high rate of repetitive motion injuries (RMI) to neck and back as well as upper limb. The job is also tiring. For example, the Centre for Occupational Health and Safety points out that an average room attendant will expend four kilocalories per minute lifting mattresses, mopping tiles, and cleaning tub surrounds. Consider that housekeepers at a luxury property where bedding can have more than 10 components might typically handle in excess of 500 pounds of soiled linen and another 500 pounds of clean linen during each shift. Not surprising then is the fact that the caloric output places housekeeping into the heavy work category. Now, current trends — where properties are over-specing rooms with thicker sheets and towels, luxurious duvets and mattresses that are higher off the floor than previous models — are showing scenarios where a room attendant’s job has become more difficult than ever. Add to this the fact that current recessionary pressures are making hotels more cost conscious resulting in some properties seeking to get more out of cohorts that are often short-staffed. Not surprisingly housekeeping stands out as one of the toughest hires in the industry with a worker supply shortfall approximately three times the Canadian average. It is currently estimated that of the 280,000 hotel workers in Canada, roughly one quarter (70,000) are room attendants or persons who perform housekeeping as part of their overall duties. For these duties room attendant, maids and housekeepers with up to four years experience receive an average of $10.81 hr. (Vancouver = $11.50/ Calgary = $14.75). According to Arlene Keis, CEO of Go2, a provincial tourism resource that works with industry and staff to help B.C. meet its tourism service commitment, housekeeping recruitment is better than


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Housekeeping people willing to work this hard job for the wages on offer because there were alternatives in the market. “Even with labour problems in other parts of the country we are not finding people willing to relocate to take on housekeeping roles,” she says, noting that firsttime workers have been the traditional pool from which properties have pulled new housekeepers. “We are seeing a demo-

Robert McNamara suggests operators don’t have to look to the Philippines or Mexico for workers. McNamara is general manager of Jani King, a national janitorial company that wants to do a hotel’s dirty work. “In the U.K., Spain and Portugal it is very common to find housekeeping outsourced. Now the U.S. is looking more closely at getting this service for its hotels. Canada has been a bit slow in its accep-

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“Hotels have seen the light and they are working hard to become employers of choice with improved remuneration and benefits that make housekeeping more competitive with other sectors.”

it was eight to 12 months ago, but it is still challenging with properties reporting staffing holes. She points out that before the wheels came off the economy last August, it was far more difficult to find


graphic shift where there are fewer youth coming to the labour market. It may well be 2020 before things balance out. This means that over the short term we have to look at a variety of options. However, the simple fact is that housekeeping is a physically demanding job and as such the senior or older worker is not a viable option. This leaves many properties looking to foreign countries to help fill the need.”

tance of outsourcing, but with all the advantages we are finding properties here are getting involved as well.” According to McNamara, outsourcing properties looking to outsource can partner with a franchised JaniKing operator. “Our franchisees are not dissimilar to a hotelier who operates a franchise banner. Both are business people who have a lot invested in their reputations. What the

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Housekeeping is one of the toughest hires in the industry.

outsourcing model delivers to hotels is a firm cost structure to room cleaning,” he says, commenting that properties pay Jani King a fee predicated on the number of occupied rooms in a performance-based scenario where staff wear hotel uniforms and live up to the property’s standards. “There is no overtime, no recruitment problems, and no training issues. We take care of this and we do it for a cost very close to what most hotels are currently experiencing for room cleaning.” Keis adds here that properties that want to get a grip on housekeeping and its challenges must look at the issue strategically. Properties must be willing to recruit and retain as well as train and advance people. “Hotels have seen the light and they are working hard to become employers of choice with improved remuneration and benefits that make housekeeping more competitive with other sectors,” she says, concluding that with the spotlight shining on B.C. and the coming Olympics operators there are stepping up to the housekeeping challenge. “But, we are not alone. The industry has recognized the problem and positive initiatives are being seen in every province.” ● Western Hotelier Magazine


across the WEST British Columbia New Golf Resort Slated for Nk’Mip Bellstar Hotels & Resorts, the Osoyoos Indian Band and Watermark Asset Management have announced that they will jointly developing Canyon Desert Golf Resort, a $150 million destination resort community in Oliver, British Columbia. Located on NK’MIP Canyon Desert Golf Course and the shores of Tuc el Nuit Lake, the destination will offer 450 golf and lakefront condominiums, villas and resort lodge suites along with a host of mixed amenities. Canyon Desert Golf Resort will be the first destination resort of its kind to be built in

Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver Unveils $20 Million Renovation

the Oliver area. The destination will include a restaurant and bar, wine and culinary programs including a wine cave to be used for private functions, and a vineyard celebration green for private functions. Subject to an Osoyoos Indian Band Land Use Designation Vote in the summer of 2009, real estate sales could commence in the spring of 2010, with development starting soon after. The first phase of the development should be completed by the fall of 2011.

Sparkling Hill Resort and Wellness Hotel Unveils First Look Sparkling Hill Resort and Wellness Hotel perched high on a cliff above Okanagan Lake, have unveiled the first architectural details of the resort that will be the first hotel project in North America incorporating elements from Swarovski crystal. The $50 million, 150 room hotel project is on schedule for the grand opening for spring 2010. Chiselled from granite bedrock, the wellness hotel will be 22,400m2 (240,000 sq. ft.) and built in a fluid style respecting and infusing the natural landscape. With unobstructed access to both the sun and full moon, and their shimmering reflection from the lake, light and crystals play a pivotal role in the overall structure as well as throughout the unique interior. Sparking Hill Resort will infuse the crystals in waterfalls, in fireplaces and in overhead lights.


Following two years of refurbishments, a completed $20 million renovation reveals a vibrant 30-storey Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver. Designed to capture the essence of British Columbia’s natural environment, the final renovation to the 372 guest rooms and 23,000 square feet of meeting space completes the third phase of the renovation that launched in July 2007 with a new lobby and the award winning YEW restaurant + bar. The design team at Forchielli Glynn of Los Angeles updated the 372 guest rooms, including 66 suites providing new energy and harmony to the building’s contemporary architectural style. Three different colour schemes have been used to lighten and refresh the rooms with accents of earth tones incorporating the West coast environment. To provide superior guest comfort, the addition of new bedding, seating, lighting, carpet and wall coverings are complemented by new artwork featuring Vancouver’s picturesque surroundings. A full renovation to the lobby includes new floors, artwork, furniture and front desk with the addition of Blo, Blow Dry Bar open seven days a week. The 23,000 square feet of meeting space including the Park Ballroom have been upgraded with with new carpets, wall coverings, sconces and drapes. The timeless Park Ballroom accommodates up to 500 or 700 for theatre-style meetings, an ideal choice for weddings, celebrations, events or meetings. The 10 additional meeting rooms are fully equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual wireless services. They will dazzle and set the mood with bold prisms in public areas while subtly creating a feeling of warmth and rejuvenation in the wellness centre.

Coast Hotels & Resorts Selected to Manage New Chilliwack, B.C. Hotel Coast Hotels & Resorts has announced that it has been selected to manage a new 110-room hotel in downtown Chilliwack,B.C., which wa s re ce n t l y purchased by its parent company, Okabe North America Inc., for $7.3 million. The hotel, which was previously managed by Rhombus Hotels & Resor ts, is located at 45920 First Avenue in Chilliwack. It is undergoing an extensive $5 million interi-

or and exterior renovation and will open in June 2009 as the Coast Chilliwack Hotel, the fifth hotel property operated by Coast Hotels & Resorts in the Lower Mainland. Th e C h i l l i wa c k h ote l re n ova t i o n w i l l involve a complete redesign and upgrade to each of the 110 guest rooms. The exterior of the property is undergoing a substantial makeover including new siding and a new roof. Additionally, the lobby, restaurant, lounge, and meeting and banquet facilities are being upgraded to complement the revitalized look and feel of the guest rooms. New plumbing is being installed. The business centre has been expanded and the fitness facility updated and outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment along with a refurbishment of the pool area.

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Alberta Calgary Welcomes Acclaim The new Acclaim Hotel located at 123 Freeport Boulevard N.E. Calgary, rolled out the welcome mat this Spring. The $13 million hotel project has been developed by Canmore-based Summit Hotel and Resort Management with the architectural designs by award winning Norr Architects Planners (formerl y Po o n M c Ke n z i e) . Ea c h g u est ro o m i s designed with the electronically savvy traveller in mind. Gone are the days of big armoires hiding the electronics and dominating the room. For example, sleek 42-inch flat screen TV`s are flush with the wall, wireless or wired internet, cordless telephones, and IPod docking stations, help create a uncluttered environment to work or relax. Guests may expect pillows topped with crisp white 300 thread count linen on a brand new beds. They may also choose between deep soaker tubs or cascading rain showers and six jet Euro Spa massage shower panels. Rooms are also equipped with Keurig coffee makers, hair dryers, DVD Players, bath robes, toiletry kits and more. The Acclaim will soon offer a rooftop hot tub to help guests relax and take in the view of the mountains and city skyline as well as a fitness centre and video conference room. Meeting rooms, lounge and restaurant will be open by summer of 2009.


Manitoba Canad Inns Creates Annual $50,000 Awards Program for RRC Students Winnipeg-based Canad Inns has made a major donation that will create a $50,000 annual scholarship program for culinary and hospitality students at Red River College. The Canad Inns Awards will include 28 different scholarships for first-year, second-year and graduating students. To recognize the efforts of its own staff who are pursuing post-secondary education, preference will be given to students who are also current Canad Inns employees. Other students will be eligible for any remaining scholarships. The first set of Canad Inns Awards will be distributed this spring.

Fairmont Winnipeg Appoints Jacques Lavergne The Fairmont Winnipeg has announced the appointment of Jacques Lavergne as director of sales and marketing for The Fairmont Winnipeg hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Mr. Lavergne brings 10 years of knowledge and expertise in the hospitality industry to his new position at The Fairmont Winnipeg. Jacques, originally from Winnipeg, began his career with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts in 1999 in food & beverage at The Fairmont Winnipeg. In July 2001, Jacques was appointed sales representative and held that position until 2002 when he was promoted to sales manager overseeing the government, pharmaceutical, SMERF and entertainment markets. In 2005, Jacques transferred to The Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver as sales manager, responsible for the corporate and incentive groups. In 2007, Jacques transferred to The Fairmont Palliser in Calgary in his most recent position as director of group sales. Lavergne has completed a Business Administration Diploma from Red River College in Winnipeg and is a member of the Canadian Society of Associate Executives (CSAE).

Winnipeg Groups Slow Developments New Regs in Sask The Saskatchewan Government has announced a number of changes to its liquor regs. New are a series of upgrades to fines for offences ranging from underage patrons to operating an unlicensed UBrew. New as well is the removal of mandatory minimum opening times that allow permit holders to set their own hours. The old regulations on maximum capacity have also been removed in favour of the national fire code provisions. Patrons in Saskatchewan bars will no longer have to have service at table only. Still, however, restaurants will have to follow the old rules for table service and the meal component stays intact as well.

Radisson Hotel Saskatoon Celebrates 25 Years Radisson Hotel Saskatoon, the prairie city’s largest hotel, is celebrating its 25th year milestone with completion of a $5 million makeover to all of its guest and meeting rooms. While the hotel was continuously refreshed over the years, this is the first complete renovation of its rooms. It includes all new carpets, furniture, bedding and bathrooms with granite countertops, all done in contemporary décor reflecting a sophisticated palate of neutral and navy tones. The meeting rooms have also received a refreshed look with new carpet and paint. The next phase of changes will take place over the course of the year and include a $2 million cosmetic and structural renovation to the lobby, conference space and waterworks area which includes two three-storey waterslides and pool.

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Both Canad Inns and Lakeview Hotels and Resorts have announced a slowing of plans or complete shelving of projects. Earlier this year, reports indicated Lakeview planned to put on hold its downtown project at Edmonton and St Mary Avenue as well as the proposed Grand Hotel Winnipeg on King Edward Street. The first was anticipated to be a 13-storey 115-room property with a preliminary construction budget of approximately $11.6 million. The Grand Winnipeg Airport Hotel site was expected to include 100 rooms in seven storeys with a construction budget of approximately $8.7 million. Canad Inns has indicated it will walk away from its proposed hotel work and water park project in west central Winnipeg. The original proposal was for 100 new rooms for the existing Canad Inns Hotel at Polo Park, and a 66,000square-foot indoor water park that would include a wave pool, lazy river, family whirlpool, adult whirlpool, children’s activity pool, inner-tube slides, water roller-coaster, bowl waterslide and surf ride. Under the deal the City of Winnipeg would have contributed $7 million towards the project.

Across the Country Senate Bill Seeks to Limit VLTs Senate Bill S-226 has been tabled for its second reading and is expected to go to the House for its next run. The bill is sponsored by Quebec Senator Hon. Jean Lapointe who calls video lottery terminals diabolical and wants them removed from restaurants and bars and placed in casinos. According to the CRFA (Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association) the bill would contravene the 1985 Federal-Provincial Agreement and Criminal Code provisions that hand to provinces the jurisdiction over gaming. Total revenue for the devices is slated at $585 million a year over eight provinces. The gaming industry suggests that if the bill goes ahead it would not only take money out of the pockets of bar and restaurant businesses, but would drive gambling underground where communities would see little benefit.


NEW products

GO GREEN SCA Tissue Introduces New Tork® Foodservice Wiper and Improves Three Existing Wipers with Addition of Microban®

SCA Tissue, a leader in wipers, napkins, bath tissues and hand towels in the foodservice industry, has introduced a new thicker bussing wiper to its lineup of color-coded foodservice wipers and is adding bacteria-inhibiting Microban® to its lineup of Tork® Advanced Cuisine wipers. The new Tork Universal Cuisine Foodservice Wiper is made of carded rayon, comes in a distinctive green and white diamond pattern, and is heavier than its blue counterpart. Both the green and blue Tork Universal bussing towels can be used for light to medium dining room duties such as bussing and wiping up spills. Both are engineered to hold up under use with foodservice sanitizers. Tork’s color-coded wipers promote hygiene and prevent cross contamination by making it easy to ensure they are used for their designed tasks and in their appropriate areas: for example you can use red for kitchen duty; white for food prep areas; blue and green for front of the house.

Rubbermaid Introduces New Metal Housekeeping Cart Rubbermaid Commercial Products (RCP) has introduced its new line of Metal Housekeeping Carts that offer expanded capacity in a compact footprint. These new Metal Housekeeping Carts are a smart solution for hotels and resorts — allowing for increased productivity enabled by an expanded capacity. Cart accessories include the patent-pending removable mobile 34-gallon fabric bag, which slides out for increased storage capacity while also allowing for the removal of soiled linens or waste while the cart stays in service. The Deluxe High Security Cart has a smaller footprint but can hold enough linens and supplies to service up to 18 rooms before returning to the supply closet for restocking. With Rubbermaid’s Metal Housekeeping Carts, transporting and maneuvering fully loaded carts is no longer an issue. The Carts’ ergonomic design makes them safer and less taxing on the user. An optional angled hood provides better visibility and, patentpending comfort grip handles include a 25 degree bend that makes pushing and steering easier, helping to reduce muscle strain.

Get Green The Warmer Window Londen Inc is a Toronto-based manufacturer of bedding, drapes and other soft home furnishings. New for this season is an insulated four layer fabric which in an independent test on a single pane window with an 1.3 r value went to 7.69. Dealing with the heat loss and heat gain of hotel windows can mean substantial savings in Energy costs

as well as being used as a marketing tool showing how your hotel is reducing its carbon footprint. There are green teams and committees as part of the marketing campaigns of many hotels and most businesses in today’s world. This product provides substantial savings during any empty room night and if closed during the day or at night by the guest or housekeeping will work year round. By its nature, it works best as a Roman Shade, but there are other applications that can be adapted based on the existing structure and windows. The savings are so dramatic that we can say with some confidence that the payback might be as quick as 24 months. Any decorative fabric can be added to the cloth to make it blend in with the existing decor and the Roman Shade can be installed behind existing drapes in banquet halls and other common areas.

Advertisers Index Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission ..........65 Assiniboine Community College ..........................60 BC Hydro ..........................................................................11 Brite Lite ........................................................................50 C & C Furnishings Inc.................................................. 41 C.P.N.A ..............................................................................38 Coinamatic..................................................................... 31 Coldstream Commercial Sales ..............................33 Direct Cash Management Inc............................. 7, 47 DMG Landscape Architects...................................... 16 Dyer Equipment Sales Ltd .......................................32 Everest College............................................................ 57 First Run Multimedia Corp ......................................69 George Courey Inc ..................................................... 64 H.E.D. Insurance & Risk Services........................... 23 Haddon Holdings Ltd ............................... 26, 35, OBC Hotel Solutions ............................................................49 Howard Johnson - Full House Franchise .............4 ISAC Hotelier............................................................... IBC Jani King Canada ........................................................64 Kruger .............................................................................44 La Quinta Inns and Suites ........................................ 19 Liquid Stone Studios ................................................. 52 Londen Inc..................................................................... 47 Marina Textiles Inc .....................................................48


Mazzei Electric .............................................................53 Milne Roofing Ltd .........................................................53 Monte Carlo Inn .............................................................13 Nora Systems................................................................ 34 OKWireless .....................................................................68 Pellerin Milnor ..............................................................29 Philips Electronics ..................................................... IFC Pie Communications................................................... 12 Professional Development Institute of Tourism ..................................................................60 Progressive Builders Ltd ..........................................20 Realstar Hospitality ......................................................9 Restwell Sleep Products ....................................39, 69 Royal Roads University...................................... 59, 69 Sask Tourism Educ Council .....................................54 Serta................................................................................. 40 Service & Hospitality Safety Assoc of Sask....... 22 SIAST Kelsey Campus .................................................24 Simmons Canada Inc.................................................... 3 Skyline Plumbing Heating & Gastfitting Ltd .......17 Studio Senbel, Architecture & Design Inc ...........18 Timmermans Landscaping....................................... 18 Westport Manufacturing Co. Ltd ...........................48 YTEC.................................................................................. 56

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Hotel Product Profiles Advance your career. Advance your life.

New UVC Kit Destroys Micro-organisms Including Flu Viruses, Bacteria & Mold A new UVC Kit for Air Handlers from Steril-Aire, Inc. may be used in a wide range of HVAC applications to destroy micro-organisms including flu viruses, bacteria and mold. The easy-to-install kit delivers Steril-Aire’s proven UVC technology to fan coil units, unit ventilator systems and indoor air handlers with coils up to 84” (213.4 cm) with dual access. It delivers energy savings on retrofit installations, maintains factory design efficiency on new units, and improves indoor air quality and infection control in all systems. Applications include air handlers serving patient rooms, classrooms, hotel/motel rooms, apartments and condominiums, and offices in commercial buildings and industrial plants. A slim power supply and convenient mounting options allow installation flexibility close to the face of the coil for continuous coil cleaning and optimum air quality. The multi-patented high output UVC Emitter‚Ñ¢ has been independently tested to deliver up to six times the output of other ultraviolet devices under HVAC conditions, for the longest service life and most reliable germicidal control. It kills or inactivates airborne microbial contaminants to greatly reduce the spread of infectious diseases and eliminate the major source of allergy and asthma discomfort. It also eliminates surface biofilm to keep coils and drain pans in a constantly clean state, saving money by reducing HVAC energy use and eliminating costly chemical cleanings.

Our new six month, three course, Graduate Certificate in International Hotel and Resort Management is your key to advancing in the global marketplace of a dynamic and ever changing industry. An intimate, high quality and innovative learning environment at Royal Roads will allow you to succeed in obtaining a graduate education while continuing to work. Our combined on-line program with a 10-day on-site residency ensures you have the best of both worlds in learning! Successful program graduates will be eligible to apply for advanced standing in the Master of Arts in Tourism Management. Put us to work for you today. Inquire 1-877-778-6227 Email Visit

Simmons/Crypton Launch First Disinfectable Mattress Crypton Super Fabrics ( has reported that it has formed a new alliance with Simmons Bedding Company. The two companies have come together to create the first totally disinfectable mattress for the hospitality industry. Simmons Beautyrest beds with Crypton Mattress ticking are impermeable to stains, odours, mites, allergens and more. Crypton also introduces a new protective technology for wallcovering manufacturers. Makers of recycled fabrics for panel systems, par titions and other wall décor can harness Crypton’s revolutionary green technology to make their products stain, odour, mold, mildew and bacteria resistant. The easily spot-cleanable Crypton fabric system extends the life of wallcoverings and cuts down on the need for continued maintenance or expensive replacements.

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checking out by Kelly Gray

FRIENDS INDEED The BC Hospitality Foundation has made itself the charity of choice within the industry through a concerted effort that has brought all participants to the table. orkers in the hospitality industry can face some tough challenges over the course of a career. Indeed, the very nature of the trade is such that staffing that can be part-time or on-call tends to be fluid with workers moving between employers and projects in a scenario unlike most other occupations. And, the result can sometimes mean workers slip through the cracks of benefit programs and find themselves in desperate circumstances should they fall ill. This is where the BC Hospitality Foundation (BCHF) comes into the picture. The Foundation formed in 2006 and since 2008 has been the charity of choice for the BC Restaurant and Foodservice Association, ABLE (Alliance of Beverage Licensees of British Columbia) and the BC Hotel Association. Swan-e-set Bay Resort & Country Club. The BCHF vision is to provide support for individuals within the entire scope of the hospitality community from servers to wine merchants who may find themselves having to cope with extraordinary costs arising from serious illness. The need for the organization was brought to light when retired wine merchant Michael Willingham found himself sickened by a stroke, which resulted from a car accident. The industry came together to provide aid for the well-respected trade personality back in 2006 and the foundation was born. Now, the BCHF is widening its reach. The Foundation will offer an educational component to deserving members of the hospitality community. This will come in the form of bursaries and scholarships that will be available to those seeking to get a foothold in the trade or those that want to raise themselves to a higher level in a specific area. These two components — assistance during time of personal crisis and education — have pushed the foundation to become the charity of choice among those in the trade. The BCHF will host a new major golf tournament, supported by all sectors of the industry, as a way of achieving its fundraising goals. The date is July 20th at Swan-e-set Bay Resort & Country Club where it is expected that more than 220 participants will tee off on one of the two Lee Trevino designed courses. The event includes brunch and Supporters swing for the cause. dinner, power cart and 36 holes of golf. Online registration for the golf tournament is available at ●


The Hospitality Associations of BC believe that together they are much stronger. It is from this strength that they will be able to reach down to offer a hand to those in need. The industry should be justly proud of its efforts in this regard.


Western Hotelier Magazine

Western Hotelier June/July 09  

Dedicated to the accommodation industry in Western Canada, Western Hotelier offers the West's best mix of news and feature reports geared to...