STAY Magazine, Vol. 2. Issue 1

Page 1



Circa 1989: Ideas from Isadore Sharp (that ring true to this day)

Keeping Culture Alive: Indigenous-Owned Hotels

SPACE & PLACES: Marriott’s 2022 brand evolution + Smart Buildings

INTELLIGENCE: Tracking the Transaction Market

Community-Centric Hospitality


January/February 2022

Volume 2 Issue 1

Publisher Joe Baker

Managing Editor

Stacey Newman

Advertising Sales

Stephanie Gadbois

Produced & Creative Agency Boomerang Art & Design Inc.


Brian Flood, Lauren Arnold, Joe Baker, Daniel Fung, Jade Prévost-Manuel, Stacey Newman, Patrick Lecomte

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STAY is published six times per year by Big Picture New Media (BPNM), a subsidiary of Big Picture Conferences. For 25 years, Big Picture has been hosting the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference (CHIC) and other go-to conferences and events for Canada’s hotel industry. Subscription price: $110 per year, most single issues $18.95.

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Editorial Advisory Board

Brian Leon President, Choice Hotels Canada

Brian Flood VP and Practice Leader, Hospitality and Gaming, Cushman & Wakefield

Scott Richer VP, Real Estate and Development (Canada), Hyatt Hotels

Ed Khediguian Senior VP, CWB Franchise Finance

Bill Stone President, Knightstone Hotel Group

Gunjan Kahlon VP Franchise Sales and Development, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Judy Sparkes-Giannou Co-Owner, Clayton Hospitality Inc.

Deborah Borotsik Senior VP, Beechwood Real Estate Advisors

Alan Perlis President, Knightstone Capital Management and CEO, Knightstone, Hotel Group

Alnoor Gulamani President, Bayview Hospitality Inc.

Christina Poon General Manager Hotel W New York – Union Square

Phil Thompson Business Lawyer, Thompson Dymond

Sandra Kanegawa Owner, Heritage Inn Portfolio, X-Dream

2 | | January February 2022 Canadian Hotel Investment Conference April 5-6, 2022 The Sheraton Toronto Centre LIVE - IN PERSON # 1 HOTEL INVESTMENT NETWORKING EVENT OF THE YEAR REGISTRATION OPENS MID FEBRUARY BECOME A SPONSOR Contact Stephanie Gadbois | 905 466-1522



On the Cover 23 38 CONTENTS 5 Editor’s Note Community Matters: The places and the people that surround the owners, operators and properties of Canadian hotels 10 Intelligence Cushman & Wakefield on a recovering hospitality transaction market 17 Indigenous Indigenous hotels are keeping culture front and centre 23 W Nashville Big Branding & Conscientious Partnership STAY CANADIAN HOTEL INTELLIGENCE Community-Centric Hospitality Keeping Culture Alive: Indigenous-Owned Hotels Circa 1989: Ideas Isadore Sharp (that ring true to this day) INTELLIGENCE: Tracking the Transaction Market SPACE & PLACES: Smart Buildings
Aerial view of The Wickaninnish
on Chesterman Beach, Tofino, B.C.
Spaces & Places Courtyard by Marriott’s NA brand evolution
Trends 2022
invasion of smart building technologies
May We Recommend
tech & data management
product and service o erings
Photo by Simone Mondino.
dominate 2022
38 Circa
Ideas from a Canadian hotel mogul that ring true
January February 2022 | | 3
and upcoming events + debriefs
hotels Oklahoma City - Quail Springs Candlewood Suites® Springfield
With a strong portfolio of brands, an expansive global footprint, and an impactful loyalty program, IHG® Hotels & Resorts is committed to the success of our stakeholders and our purpose to provide True Hospitality for Good. DEVELOPMENT.IHG.COM ©2021 IHG Hotels & Resorts. All rights reserved. Most hotels are independently owned and operated.
Hotel Indigo® Lower East Side New York


This issue of STAY Magazine contains stories about the places and the people that surround the owners, operators and properties that make up the Canadian hotel sector.

We’ve lived through a historic era; marked by isolation, the reinforcement of borders and an interruption of the connections we’ve built throughout our lives and businesses. We are social creatures. We are curious. We need one another and our relationships. This has never been more true than it is today.

There are those in the hotel sector who have always understood the importance of building symbiotic relationships within the communities in which they are located. The following are just a few of their stories.

Bridge-builders & Changemakers

Newfoundland’s Fogo Island Inn offers 29 rooms and suites featuring views of the Atlantic from floor-to-ceiling windows. The inn was launched in 2013 and is built on the principles of sustainability and respect for nature and culture.

Fogo Island Inn is an initiative of Shorefast, a registered charity with the mandate to help build community wellbeing for Fogo Island while sharing new models of economic development that hold learnings for places worldwide. The Inn is a 100 per cent social business and a community asset: all operating surpluses are reinvested in Shorefast’s initiatives to help secure a resilient future for Fogo Island.

Founded by eighth-generation Fogo Islanders Zita, Alan, and Anthony Cobb in 2004, Shorefast’s work is comprised of a holistic set of charitable programs and social businesses based on the inherent cultural and natural assets of Fogo Island. Shorefast pioneered the innovative

January February 2022 | | 5

Fogo’s Island Inn’s community-centric and sustainability practices include:

• Member of Regenerative Travel

• Dining room serves seafood and fish harvested in the waters around Fogo Island, including Fogo Island Fish handline cod which is Oceanwise recommended

• Fogo Island Inn kitchen follows the “80/20” rule: 80 per cent of ingredients used are fished, farmed, hunted, or harvested from Fogo Island. The other 20 per cent (including essentials such as chocolate, spices) are sourced from as close to home as possible and from traditional trading partners

• Guests can opt in to achieve carbon neutrality for their stay, supporting a Newfoundland-based project, through our partner Carbonzero.

• Cotton cycled out in favour of more sustainable linen for bedding

• Electric vehicles and charging stations on-site

• Steel water bottles provided to all guests while at the Inn – no plastic bottles

• Environmentally friendly toiletries produced locally in St. John’s, NL

Economic Nutrition Certification Mark: a tool for radical transparency that demonstrates “where the money goes” for its social businesses, both geographically and operationally.

“A sustainable travel experience, in its true form, includes human, social, economic and environmental factors.”

Fogo Island Inn offers a holistic immersion into community development and cultural preservation. The Inn’s 100 per cent social business model and commitment to community are clearly illustrated via Shorefast’s Economic Nutrition Certification Mark, which shows exactly “where the money goes” and how the cost of a stay contributes to the local and global economy. Strict sourcing policies ensure that local suppliers are favoured for food, amenities, and third-party services.

The Drake is a renowned, historical hotel headquartered in Toronto. But it is so much more as well. The Drake Hotel Properties include two outstanding properties in heart of Wellington, Prince Edward County (PEC). PEC has been a beloved cottage destination for well over a century. But the county has been enjoying a renaissance over the last decade—drawing world-class wineries, restaurants, music festivals, agricultural markets, hoteliers and a huge influx of tourism to the area with much-needed patronage and dollars injected into the local economy.

Drake Devonshire is an all-season 13-room boutique hotel. The Drake Motor Inn is parked just down the street from Devonshire, pays homage to the classic roadside motel the lodge hosts 12 playful guest rooms

6 | | January February 2022

and is brimming with curious art and photography installations.

Scott Hart is COO at Drake Hotel Properties, but he started with the brand in 2018 as the GM of Drake Devonshire. He and his family now call PEC home. Hart has had his heart in hospitality for most of his career. He lived and worked for 18 years in the British Virgin Islands (BVIs) where he met his wife, owned and operated a restaurant and then a resort. The island of Tortola where they lived in the BVIs was devastated by a hurricane and the family decided to move to Canada. The timing was serendipitous, he says. Hart’s mother had just moved from Toronto to Belleville, he is a graduate of Trent University nearby to PEC (so he knew the area), then he “landed the job at Drake Devonshire.” The stars had aligned.

How do the Devonshire and the Motor Inn support the community? By supporting the world-class wineries and farmers of PEC by using local goods throughout their food and beverage menus, but also by literally transporting PEC goods to Toronto—“bringing the country to the city.”

Drake Devonshire’s leadership team is led by four women including the hotel’s GM and executive chef. They have created the county’s premier International Women’s Day event, a marketplace held for all of the county’s women-led businesses with proceeds going towards the Reaching for Rainbows Foundation, an afterschool program for local girls aged 6 to 9 aimed at building confidence and a sense of empowerment.

But Hart seems to have innately understood how to integrate Drake’s ethos into the PEC community. What he learned in his experiences and travels is that with any property, anywhere, “You want to be able to celebrate the community and be a full part of the community.”

He credits the staff and their engagement in the community, which he says carries over to the guests.

January February 2022 | | 7
“You want to be able to celebrate the community and be a full part of the community.”

The properties are partnered with the PEC Food Hub which is a local commercial sharing kitchen that distributes healthy food to people in need in the area as well as a centre for culinary development for local youth.

Finally, Hart says that he is very proud of being part of the annual BIGLAKE Arts music festival, which brings major musicians out to PEC. The festival is a huge tourism draw.

“When you look at the history of the county and you go back to the 1890s, the two pillars really were tourism and agriculture,” says Hart. He believes that PEC is now becoming a world-renowned travel destination as a result of the unique ecosystem the businesses, farmers and residents of PEC have managed to build, sustain and grow.

8 | | January February 2022

The Wickaninnish Inn offers 75 rooms and suites located against the rugged rocks of Tofino’s Chesterman Beach on the western edge of Vancouver Island.

In 1955, Dr. Howard McDiarmid began his work as doctor to the people of Tofino. So enamoured with the natural beauty of the area, he believed it should become an international tourism destination. He began investing in his vision by acquiring oceanfront property in the area.

The original Wickaninnish Inn, established by partners Robin Fells and Geoff Crawford, opened on July 4, 1964, on land that is now part of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. In 1971, Dr. Howard McDiarmid was instrumental in the creation of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, the establishment of which resulted in the conversion of the original Wickaninnish Inn into a marine interpretive centre.

Many years later, inspired by their father, the McDiarmid family joined with long-time Tofino residents and built the Wickaninnish Inn situated on Chesterman Beach in 1996.

Great efforts have been made to ensure the Wickaninnish Inn represents the Indigenous beauty of the region by retaining the natural vegetation around the buildings and by using Indigenous materials throughout the Inn’s interior. Local artists, including master carver Henry Nolla, have made significant contributions to the design and finish of the interior spaces.

Designing the Inn for storm watching was intentional—the McDiarmid family wanted to share this powerful experience with guests. The resulting impact has been a yearround economy in Tofino which was historically known as a summer beach destination.

Charles McDiarmid has been the managing director of the Wickaninnish Inn since 1995 and is a respected voice for the strategic development of tourism and tourism products. The Wickaninnish Inn has had an impact on the Canadian tourism industry as a whole.

“It’s the people that make the place and this recognition means so much to our team who continually strive to create and enhance magical experiences for all our guests over the past 25 years. We stand on the shoulders of everyone who has come before us and yet even after 25 years, we are continually working to be better today than we were yesterday and better tomorrow than we are today,” says Charles McDiarmid.

Thank you to the members of each hotel group who provided these historical accounts, excerpts and anecdotes with STAY Magazine.

January February 2022 | | 9


After a relatively slow 2020, with just over 100 sales and under $1.0B in sales, the transaction market saw stronger activity in 2021. Cushman & Wakefield tracked almost 200 sales and nearly $2.0B in sales in 2021, a substantial increase from 2020.


Hospitality & Gaming

Valuation & Advisory


Lauren Arnold

Hospitality & Gaming

Valuation & Advisory


Daniel Fung


Hospitality & Gaming

Valuation & Advisory


Vice President and Practice Leader Brian Flood Senior Consultant
Volume (Millions $) 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 $5,000 $4,000 $3,000 $2,000 $1,000 $Total 10 | | January February 2022

The increase in activity was most pronounced for smaller, independent hotels and for hotels in secondary and tertiary markets. There were few large transactions and few traditional transactions in the larger urban markets across Canada.

With major urban areas still underperforming historic levels by a wide margin, there were few larger assets available for purchase. Owners of these hotels are well capitalized, have strong lender relationships and have been supported by government programs allowing them to weather the COVID impact. One urban sale of note was the yet to open King Blue hotel, a boutique hotel on King Street in Toronto which was acquired for $74M or $643,500 per room.


Hilton Garden Inn

Toronto Vaughan

$130.79 million

Where: Vaughan, Ontario

Rooms: 155

Per Room: $843,800

Date: November 2021

Buyer: Graywood Developments Ltd. Takeaway: This site was acquired for conversion to alternative use. Graywood has plans to redevelop the site into a three tower high-rise, mixed-use development with 1,730 residential units.

King Blue Hotel

Toronto $74 million

Where: Toronto, Ontario

Rooms: 115

Per Room: $643,500

Date: September 2021

Buyer: Northland Properties

Takeaway: The hotel is situated within the seven-storey tower of the King Blue Condominium Complex. This is a new build property with no operating history at the time of sale.

Courtyard and Residence Inn

Montreal Airport


Where: Montreal, Quebec

Rooms: 329

Per Room: Confidential

Date: December 2021

Buyer: Knightstone Hotel Group Takeaway: The hotel will be renovated by the purchaser.

Patricia Hotel $63.8 million

Where: Vancouver, British Columbia

Rooms: 195

Per Room: $327,200

Date: April 2021

Buyer: BC Housing

Takeaway: The hotel and adjoining parking lot was acquired for conversion to social housing.

INTELLIGENCE January February 2022 | | 11

Branded - Traditional Transaction

Distress/Non-Traditional Transaction

Alternate Use/Redevelopment Transaction

Independent - Traditional Transaction

As noted, the segment that saw a sharp rise in activity was the independent hotels. C&W tracked 145 of these sales up to November 2021, a substantial increase over the 80 independent sales we tracked in 2019, before COVID. The pandemic has had a bigger impact on these properties which are often smaller, older assets operated by their owners. In downturns, there is often a flight to quality leaving many of these properties without su icient business to remain viable. Single property owners are also less likely to benefit from the various assistance programs o ered to the wider industry. After two years of dealing with the impact of COVID, there have been cases where owners have retired or exited the industry altogether.

In terms of location, most traditional sales were located in secondary or tertiary markets, many in areas less impacted by COVID. Markets that depend on domestic travel and local economic activity or major projects have fared relatively well. Sales in some of these areas reflect pricing similar to pre-COVID levels in many cases.

Where better quality assets have been available, brokers reported strong interest and multiple bids. Similar to the overall CRE market, the hospitality sector also benefitted from a strong influx of investment capital. This, combined with an improving outlook for the sector, made good quality hotels attractive to buyers in 2021. Pricing for these assets saw little to no discounting as the demand for investments at least partially o set the impact of weaker short-term results on value.

Another sector that saw strong activity in 2021 was in the alternative use segment. In the larger urban areas, public bodies continued to acquire in 2021 as the need for social and emergency housing remains high. In 2021 we tracked 21 sales to municipalities. The other segment that was active in urban areas was acquisitions of obsolete properties for redevelopment; with rising land values and increased densities available, redevelopment makes financial sense.

Older hotels in some of our larger urban markets have reached the end of their economic life but have been successfully adapted for other uses. In some cases the value achieved when sold for alternate uses exceeds its value as a hotel. This clearly benefits the hotel owner but can also make sense for the purchaser as well. Where a hotel is acquired for social housing, the cost to acquire and renovate is often less than developing a new facility. In most cases the need for housing is urgent and the time required to acquire a site and develop is far too long.

23% 6% 22% 49% 12 | | January February 2022
(Number of Transactions)


Holiday Inn Express & Suites Kincardine


$12.3 million

Where: Kincardine, Ontario

Rooms: 70

Per Room: $175,700

Date: September 2021

Takeaway: This transaction was negotiated prior to the pandemic. The hotel will be renovated by the purchaser.

Quality Inn & Suites Petawawa

$10.25 million

Where: Petawawa, Ontario

Rooms: 66

Per Room: $155,300

Date: December 2021

Takeaway: Modern property. This site is situated close to the Canadian Forces Base Petawawa.


Days Inn Canmore

$10 million

Where: Canmore, Alberta

Rooms: 60

Per Room: $166,700

Date: June 2021

Takeaway: The hotel was acquired by Basecamp Resorts (regional chain of upscale resort properties). The hotel will be renovated and repositioned.

Date Name City Province Rooms (#) Price Buyer Intended Use Mar-21 Days Inn Vancouver Metro Vancouver BC 65 $25,500,000 City of Vancouver A ordable Housing Mar-21 Ramada Limited Vancouver Downtown Vancouver BC 80 $36,000,000 BC Housing A ordable Housing Mar-21 Howard Johnson Aurora Aurora ON 98 $8,250,000 Private Investor Retirement Residence Apr-21 Super 8 Downtown Toronto Toronto ON 92 $22,250,000 City of Toronto A ordable Housing Jun-21 Lakeview Signature Inn Calgary Airport Calgary AB 120 $14,000,000 Silvera for Seniors Retirement Residence Jun-21 Carriage Hills Resort Oro-Medonte ON 172 $41,250,000 Private Investor Condo Apartment Jun-21 Carriage Ridge Resort Oro-Medonte ON 78 $18,750,000 Private Investor Condo Apartment Nov-21 Comfort Inn Brampton Brampton ON 107 $19,600,000 The Regional Municipality of Peel A ordable Housing
INTELLIGENCE January February 2022 | | 13
14 | | January February 2022 More Power Today. More Value Tomorrow. MARRIOTTDEVELOPMENT.COM

Resorts remained attractive to investors this past year as buyers were keen to capitalize on the surge in COVID-driven leisure demand and the rising revenues seen in 2021. Most notable was the sale of Skyline’s resort assets in November at a reported price of $330M. The transaction was the largest hospitality deal of the year and included Deerhurst and Horseshoe resorts along with substantial development lands at the two resorts and at Blue Mountain. The sale of Carriage Hills, a failed timeshare development north of Toronto, provided an opportunity for the Sunray Group to relaunch the development as a resort condo development. We also tracked sales of a number of small resort properties and small motels in emerging leisure destinations, acquired for renovation and repositioning.


Deerhurst Resort & Horseshoe Resort

Part of the $330 million Acquisition

Where: Muskoka/Barrie/The Blue Mountains, Ontario

Date: December 2021

Buyer: Freed Hotels & Resorts

Takeaway: Transaction included sale of Deerhurst and Horseshoe resorts, along with substantial development lands at the two resorts and at Blue Mountain Resort, and the roll-in of Muskoka Bay Resort.

The acquisition establishes Freed as the largest resort community owner, operator, and developer in Canada.

Carriage Hills & Ridge Resort

$60 million

Where: Horseshoe Valley, Ontario

Rooms: 250

Per Room: $240,000

Date: June 2021

Buyer: Sunray Group

Takeaway: The two former timeshare properties were not operating at time of sale. The properties were acquired for conversion to condo units. Receivership sale.

As 2022 begins the transaction market looks poised to see more activity with several significant transactions in progress. Investor interest is expected to remain high as the sector continues to recover through 2022.

INTELLIGENCE January February 2022 | | 15

Keeping Culture Front and Centre

Storytelling and authentic representation as mainstays in Indigenous hospitality

Mounted in the lobby of the Kwa’lilas Hotel in remote yet picturesque Port Hardy, B.C. is an elaborately crafted centrepiece that’s hard to miss—an embossed copper wall whose undulating patterns tell the story of the Gwa’sala‘Nakwaxda’xw people.

The two First Nations, once separate, were joined together when the Canadian Government forcibly relocated them to the Tsulquate Reserve outside Port Hardy in the 1960s. Yet they have always been gracious hosts, something that comes to them naturally, says guest services manager Logan Wilson.

In Port Hardy, B.C., the Kwa’lilas Hotel teaches travellers about Indigenous culture through the milieu of a luxurious stay.

(Kwa’lilas Hotel)

“I think across Indigenous hospitality and tourism, this is something that we normally do. This is a natural process, to be natural hosts and natural guides,” says Wilson, who is ‘Namgis First Nation. “The spirit of Kwa’lilas Hotel is to capture that hospitality of how we as Indigenous people naturally are.”

It’s why Wilson thinks Indigenous tourism is a rapidly growing and successful market on the Canadian business landscape. 

January February 2022 | | 17

Indigenous people—a group that includes First Nations, Métis and Inuit people—have called the landmass that we know as Canada home for millennia. Today, there are more than 600 distinct Indigenous nations in Canada, each with its own cultures and customs.

In 2019, nearly 39,000 people in Canada worked in Indigenous tourism, an industry that was contributing $1.86 billion in direct GDP to the country’s economy.

Those numbers declined during the pandemic but are beginning to recover. And as we enter a new year, one where we dare toe a line of optimism to hope for an economic and pandemic recovery, one thing is clear: more and more, hotelgoers crave authentic hospitality experiences.

Indigenous-owned hotels satisfy that need, o ering their guests authentic and immersive cultural experiences.

Kwa’lilas Hotel


Situated at the Northern tip of Vancouver Island, the Kwa’lilas Hotel o ers guests a curated selection of authentic local Indigenous arts and culture at its 85-room establishment.

Kwa’lilas—located on the traditional territories of the Kwakiutl people—was named by Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw elders and means ‘place to sleep’.

Structurally, the establishment resembles a traditional big house with a smoke hole at the building’s apex, which, in days of old, billowed smoke as a signal for welcoming newcomers.

The hotel is one of several businesses that the k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation, owned by the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw people, operates. Keeping culture front and centre has been the hotel’s priority since it first opened four years ago.

“The goal was to create a hotel that could tell the story of the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw people, as well as the people of the Kwakiutl territory, through a luxurious stay,” says Wilson.

The embossed copper wall at the Kwa’lilas Hotel tells the story of the Gwa’sala‘Nakwaxda’xw people. (Kwa’lilas Hotel)

18 | | January February 2022

The room dividers, headboards and bed runners all incorporate Indigenous symbolism and art selected and designed by Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw community members. The hotel’s Nax’id’ (drink) pub and Ha’me’ (food) restaurant—the latter of which is currently undergoing renovations— o er guests Indigenous fare such as smoked game and salmon, elk sausages and fresh bannock bread.

Wilson says tourists of the recent past and present are asking more questions. When they leave, he adds, they can’t wait to come back and learn more.

“When guests come in here, they ask for the stories,” he says. “Guests want to know, who are the Gwa’sala‘Nakwaxda’xw?”

Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations

At around 400 years of age, Quebec City is one of Canada’s oldest fortified metropolises. But just a half-hour drive from its cobblestoned core, the HôtelMusée Premières Nations in picturesque Wendake tells the story of those who’ve occupied the region since time immemorial.

The 55-room boutique hotel and accompanying museum, situated on Wendat territory on the tranquil bank of the Akiawenrahk river, is owned by the Huron-Wendat community and o ers travellers a modern twist on Indigenous tradition.

Indigenous ownership is the reason why the business can o er tourism experiences that are grounded in authenticity and not in exoticism, says Danisse

The HôtelMusée Premières Nations in Wendake, Q.C., combines Indigenous tradition with modernity. (Tourisme Wendake)

January February 2022 | | 19

Neashit, who develops tourist markets for Tourisme Wendake.

“What we want to present is tradition, yes, but not only that,” she says, adding that the hotel, for example, has refused guest requests to have guides swap their modern attire for traditional garments.

“The culture now is more modern, and we want to present its modern side.”

Guests have the opportunity to dive deep into local tradition on guided tours of the Huron-Wendat museum, or on evening visits to the property’s wood- and bark-built Ekionkiestha’ National Longhouse where Indigenous storytellers recount Huron-Wendat myths and legends.

But they also get a taste of modernity through the First Nations cuisine-inspired o erings of Restaurant La Traite, where wild berry sauces, boreal forest herbs and game meats smoked inhouse are incorporated on its contemporary menu.

A myths and legends evening inside the property’s Ekionkiestha’ National Longhouse. (Tourisme Wendake)

The proximity of the hotel to the province’s capital means that opportunities to learn about and appreciate First Nations culture are easy for travellers to access—so much so that before the COVID-19 pandemic, the hotel was often booked to capacity year-round.

Neashit, who is Atikamekw from Wemotaci, says that working with the tourism industry “is a great way to showcase the beauty of First Nations cultures, [which] Wendake is a great example of in many ways.”

Myths and legends evenings, for example, provide Huron-Wendat artists—as well as those from other nations—with encouragement as well as a stage on which they can perform. Moving forward, the hotel plans to o er more activities, refine its menu and improve its facilities to become a premier luxury experience in Canada.

“We don’t want to be seen as a place that is low-quality,” says Neashit. “We want as many stars as possible.”

20 | | January February 2022

Skwachàys Lodge Hotel and Gallery


The crossroads of Vancouver’s historic Gastown, Chinatown and Railtown districts—the Downtown Eastside—is known today as a bourgeoning urban core that boasts restaurants, bars and trendy boutiques.

But from its earliest, pre-contact beginnings, it has been a place of transformation—one that its earliest inhabitants called Skwachàys. The unceded territory of the Squamish, TsleilWaututh and Musqueam peoples was a place of abundance and bounty with numerous underground springs that were considered portals to the spirit realm.

Today, it is where the Skwachàys Lodge Hotel and Gallery, owned and operated by the Vancouver Native Housing Society, welcomes guests and changes lives. The establishment bills itself as Canada’s first Aboriginal Arts Hotel.

Caroline Phelps, Guest Experience & Cultural Liaison Lead at Skwachàys, says it’s the combination of first-class traveller accommodations with authentic Indigenous cultural representation that makes the establishment unique.

Hotel visitors, for example, can partake in experiences like traditional smudging ceremonies,

where sacred plants are burned to cleanse a person’s body and senses.

“[The lodge] is a learning experience for people who want to know more, not only about Skwachàys but the culture,” says Phelps, who is Nuu Chah-Nulth and Sto:Lo.

The Tlingit Hat, King Salmon and Forest Spirits rooms are among the 18-guest suites Skwachàys o ers, all of which have been designed by local Indigenous artists and Vancouver interior designers. Their interiors visually tell the stories of First Nations cultures, and many of their products—such as their soaps and co ee—are sourced from Indigenous businesses.

Guests who visit the attached Urban Aboriginal Fair Trade Gallery have the opportunity to

The Skwachàys Lodge Hotel and Gallery is owned and operated by the Vancouver Native Housing Society, a nonprofit registered charity that is run by an allIndigenous Board of Directors.

(Skwachàys Lodge Hotel and Gallery)

January February 2022 | | 21

admire original paintings, jewelry, pottery and wood carvings from local artists, as well as benefit from a wealth of sta knowledge.

“We can show you how to tell the di erence between West Coast or Coast Salish artwork, or Ojibwe or Cree artwork,” says Phelps. “If you’re looking at this painting here, we can explain who this person is.”

Part hotel, part social enterprise, Skwachàys gives travellers the opportunity to transform their understanding of Indigenous cultures while o ering residency and subsidized housing for early-tosenior career Indigenous artists through its Artists in Residence program.

Over 100 artists from across Canada have come into the program. Kwakwaka’wakw and Tlingit artist Corrine Hunt is one of them. She co-created the

medals for the Vancouver Olympic Games in 2010 and designed the snowboarding jackets worn by Team Canada in 2018.

Eric Schweig, an Indigenous actor whose cinema repertoire includes The Last of the Mohicans and The Grizzlies, is also an alumnus of the program.

An artist herself, Phelps, who is also the Artists in Residence program coordinator, has always been passionate about bringing Indigenous knowledge forward. Skwachàys, she says, is the kind of place that gives that passion a stage.

“I always feel so privileged, coming into such a beautiful workspace with all these di erent artworks and carvings […] and rooms all designed by Indigenous artists.”

In the Forest Spirits Deluxe King Room, artist Jerry Whitehead’s painting of powwow dancers represents a family standing together sideby-side, like trees in a forest.

(Skwachàys Lodge Hotel and Gallery)

Logan Wilson is the Guest Services Manager at the Kwa’lilas Hotel in Port Hardy, B.C. (Kwa’lilas Hotel) Caroline Phelps is the Guest Experience & Cultural Liaison Lead Skwachàys Lodge Hotel and Gallery in Vancouver, B.C. She is also the program coordinator for the enterprise’s Artists in Residence Program. (Skwachàys Lodge Hotel and Gallery)
22 | | January February 2022

Big Branding & Conscientious Partnership

We are often led to believe our decisions come down to choosing either/or. There is no shortage of geopolitical developments and events that galvanize the public into choosing one side or the other. And yet on the other hand we have also experienced leadership and organizational decisions made where compromise is heralded as the solution to a dynamic challenge only resulting in a watered-down outcome—a way to appease everyone.

The reality of professional life is that forcing ourselves and our stakeholders into a binary way of thinking and acting creates division, not unity. And it creates a business process or experience that just feels inauthentic.

I have always held firm to the belief that success leaves clues. Innovative ways of thinking and innovative ways of doing business can be identified and modelled for others to learn from and replicate. In my perpetual hunt for successful and innovative leaders in Canada’s hotel industry, it took a detour through the University of Toronto to discover the algorithm contained within one of Canada’s pioneering hoteliers. And now that I have seen the world through the lens of an integrative thinker and an industry icon, I can see where inspiration and influence lead to innovation through next-generation visionaries and their manifestations across brands around the world. And I never miss the opportunity to share, especially when what I experience firsthand is truly best in class.

January February 2022 | | 23

Integrative Thinking

Roger Martin is a distinguished author, consultant and business school leader. His practice and research led him to frame a concept he termed “Integrative Thinking.” Martin defines Integrative Thinking as the ability to face constructively the tension of opposing ideas and, instead of choosing one at the expense of the other, generate a creative resolution of the tension in the form of a new idea that contains elements of the opposing ideas but is superior to each. In his own words, “We often don’t know what to do with fundamentally opposing models. Our first impulse is usually to determine which is ‘right’ and, by the process of elimination, which is ‘wrong.’”

So how does this play out in the hotel industry? In his book, The Opposable Mind, Martin reflects on Isadore Sharp and his incredible ability to wrestle with the dynamic between two concepts that seemed to be divergent during the formative years of Four Seasons. Back then Sharp was faced with a decision between building smaller motels with less than 200 rooms or the larger downtown hotels with more than 750 rooms and extensive amenities.

“Each type of hotel had its advantages, as well as distinct drawbacks. For all its comfort and intimacy, the small motel wasn’t an option for the business traveller who needed a wellappointed meeting room or state-ofthe-art communications facilities. Large hotels produced a big enough pool of revenues to fund the features the market demanded but tended to be cold and impersonal.

“After opening that fourth hotel, Four Seasons Sheraton, in 1972, Sharp sought, in his words, ‘to combine the best of the small hotel with the best of the large hotel.’ He envisioned a medium-sized hotel—big enough to afford an extensive array of amenities, but small enough to maintain a sense of intimacy and personalized service.”

And so began a hotel industry revolution that has transcended brands, destinations and even generations as the modern hotelier seeks to inspire their guests while delivering a robust bottomline and an engaged local community.

Inner Change

As an obsessive observer of change myself, I am constantly keeping my head on a swivel in search of people who find themselves in the throes of massive change and who somehow find their strength to thrive amidst disruption. I am a firm believer that many of us have been lulled into a false sense that life comes with a sure amount of predictability, stability and certainty. The last two years have shown me that to get the most out of this life, we may be better served with open minds and open

24 | | January February 2022

hearts as the world changes around us. Why? Because the ultimate truth is that change is the seed of life itself.

In my travels, I was drawn to Nashville, Tennessee. I had heard about the macro changes the city was experiencing. And I started to see the evolution of the city’s hospitality industry. Nashville’s population grew more than 20 per cent between 2010 and 2020 making it one of the fastest-growing metro areas in the U.S. at close to 2 million residents. But growth alone doesn’t tell the whole story. This

is a city that is in the process of being reimagined. While its history will always be rooted in country music, it is emerging as an inclusive destination known for entertainment and hospitality. It may always be Music City, but its evolution communicates all are welcome.

A Big Brand and Conscientious Coffee

While both Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton are coming to Music City, it was the Marriott W Hotel brand that first struck

a chord with me. Construction on the mirrored 14-story tower began in 2018 and finally opened to the public in fall of 2021. The hotel is built into the Gulch, a dynamic mixed-use LEED-certified community in the heart of Nashville. In an article by Nashville Lifestyles, Tom Jarrold, global brand leader, W Hotels Worldwide said: “The W experience has always been centred on a local, social scene but W Nashville takes it to the next level. Today’s global traveller is not content staying at a hotel with superficial neighbourhood references, and locals are

A 3-year journey launches soon!
So excited for y’all to see this amazing hotel and enjoy it for the first time!
Unbelievably honored to play a small part, as well as link the development group to use so many local small businesses in this build!
– Andy Mumma, founder and owner, Barista Parlor, September 2021.
January February 2022 | | 25

not embracing hotels that ignore the social fabric of the community. W Nashville is different as it weaves itself into the Gulch seamlessly and authentically through the brand’s distinct lens.”

The 346-room hotel is led by General Manager, David Cronin. Cronin told the Tennessean: “Hotels always have a very strong sense of place and a strong narrative, and Nashville obviously lends itself so well to having a strong narrative (with) music and architectural components. I think what really sets the W apart from some of our competitors is how we bring the community into our hotels.”

Of all the features contained within W Nashville, it’s the most unlikely pairing that stands out. In the lobby of this luxurious and creative development lies a local gem of a food and beverage outlet in the Barista Parlor. This hyper-local brand has seven locations in and around Nashville. They are focused on sourcing direct trade, seasonal, and organically produced coffee by those working with sustainable practices. The aesthetic is modern-Nashville reflecting an extension of the W Nashville’s goal of redefining traditional luxury.

Why is this so different? Because conventional thinking may force big brands to believe alignment with other big brands helps with standards and profitability. While both may be true, so also can be the new convention that the integrative thinker knows you can have roots and wings at the same time. The unique experience of integrating a familiar beloved small business into a new large-scale business brings the community that much closer together and takes authenticity to a new exciting and inclusive level and creates a new experience.

Reflective Reading

Hotels don’t have to choose between big brands and local operations as though it’s a binary decision. When you blend both, the result can be even better than the best of both worlds. The tension between the two seemingly conflicting concepts creates an elevated authentic experience for guests with success for the businesses and the community. And it all stems from courageous leadership. For anyone seeking to find both inspiration and a road map towards a more innovative and inclusive future, find your way to the lobby of W Nashville, grab a cup of Barista Parlor coffee in The Living Room and enjoy two elemental reads in Four Seasons: The Story of a Business Philosophy by Isadore Sharp and The Opposable Mind by Roger Martin.

Change can be synonymous with risk, but risk does not need to have a negative connotation. Because maybe the hard roads are the roads worth choosing after all. So, while you’re making your choices, don’t forget to push yourself to first experience change through authentic and pioneering change-makers and leaders who went before you.

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Inside Courtyard by Marriott’s NA portfolio brand evolution, now underway

Courtyard by Marriott, the brand with the largest global footprint of hotels within Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 brands, has shared its modern design evolution and renovation strategy for North America.

More than 375 of the brand’s earliest generation hotels throughout the U.S. and Canada will be modernized with exterior renovations by 2024, including prominent displays of the refreshed Courtyard logo. Many hotels will also be complemented by new interior designs in their public spaces and guest rooms.

“Over 38 years ago, Courtyard was the first hotel brand specifically for business travellers. Our new design strategy builds on that Courtyard legacy in ways that are perfectly suited for both leisure and business travellers,” said Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand leader, Classic Select Brands. “As the pioneer amongst select service brands, Courtyard continues

to adapt to the changing ways that guests live, work, and play through thoughtful innovation to provide the best possible guest experience.”


Courtyard is expanding renovations to include exterior façade and landscaping updates to the earliest generation hotels. Aimed at enhancing its North American portfolio, the purpose of these updates is to shape the modern hotel experience from arrival to check-out, along with innovations taking place within the hotel.

The new façade is inspired by an elegant and minimal aesthetic to include a redesigned porte-cochere, reframed and repainted exterior surfaces, ambient lighting, new signage, and fresh landscaping. It features wood tones with grey hues to reflect the smart casual style of Courtyard’s next-gen traveller. Landscape planting will accentuate the architectural elements of the hotel while creating an open, unobstructed view.

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Courtyard by Marriott Exterior, Before and After


In 2021, W Hotels brought its unique lens on luxury to destinations including Nashville, Osaka, Philadelphia, Melbourne, Xiamen, and Rome where a 162-room hotel comprised of two 19th century palazzos marked the brand’s debut in Italy. With nearly 60 hotels around the globe, W is defined by detail-driven design, inspiring energy, a buzzing cocktail and dining culture, as well as elevated programming localized by destination. With a continuous focus on redefining and elevating the W experience, the brand is slated to open in exciting destinations in 2022 including the Algarve, Sydney, Dubai and Toronto.


Courtyard has introduced its newest generational prototype featuring a sleek exterior and sophisticated, yet comfortable interior design that will also be adopted by earlier generation hotels. From day to night, hotel public spaces will include a modernized lobby, versatile meeting spaces, and enhanced fitness centres designed to be adaptable and welcoming.

As travellers arrive, they will be welcomed into an urban-inspired lobby with individual check-in desks accented by wooden textures and modern light fixtures. At the centre focal point of the lobby is The Bistro Bar: a casual bar and dining destination featuring a classic American menu with a contemporary twist. The recently revamped Bistro menu has a selection of classicinspired breakfast and evening items including a full bar with a wide selection of beer, premium wine and specialty cocktails, from a Black Cherry Old Fashioned to a signature margarita, at participating hotels.

The open environment lobby is designed to provide ample space for guests beyond their rooms with a large communal table for conversation and interaction. Courtyard’s signature media pods, each with their own TV screens and a residential sectional sofa offer semi-private workspaces, inspiring productivity while working remotely.

In the back of the lobby, increased lounge seating is anchored by large windows, giving way to expansive views of the outdoor courtyard complete with firepits and relaxed outdoor seating.

Courtyard by Marriott New Generation Exterior The Bistro Bar at Courtyard by Marriott
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Guests can stay nourished all day with Courtyard’s CRATE market featuring a selection of premium snacks, Bistro-to-Go sandwiches and salads, and essential retail items.

Courtyard’s expanded fitness centres with dedicated weightlifting and stretching areas, as well as the latest state-ofthe-art exercise equipment, are designed to empower the active lifestyle of today’s guests. Open 24/7, the redesigned fitness centers will also include a dedicated hydration station.

Courtyard’s newly designed guest rooms feature solid colours with a warm and neutral palette and subtle accents that add just a pop of colour. Upon entry, guests will find a modern platform bed anchored by a plush upholstered headboard, illuminated by cove lighting that can easily be dimmed in-bed. A specially designed sleeper sofa with an accompanying ottoman provides a corner to lounge or work and can fold out into a full-sized bed for extra space. Courtyard’s upscale guest room also features a smartly designed valet station with a refrigerator and coffeemaker, plus a 55-inch TV that can be pulled out and swivelled for viewing from either the bed or sofa.

At participating hotels, guest rooms will be equipped with electronic locks that allow guests to enter their rooms via a digital room key. This feature is available on the Marriott Bonvoy Mobile App, which gives guests access to an abundance of interactive technology features including mobile check-in and the ability to send requests for services and amenities.

In December, from International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) Cannes, Marriott International, Inc. announced it expects to debut more than 30 luxury hotels in 2022, creating rare and enriching experiences today’s luxury traveller craves with its portfolio of dynamic luxury brands. Through the hospitality hallmarks of The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W, The Luxury Collection, EDITION, JW Marriott and Bulgari, Marriott International continues to create highly contextualized, distinct brand experiences that signal the future of luxury. With a network of more than 460 landmark luxury hotels and resorts in 68 countries and territories, Marriott International is poised to expand its luxury footprint with nearly 190 properties in the development pipeline, including the 30 hotels expected to open in 2022, in iconic as well as emerging destinations from Mexico to Portugal and Australia to South Korea.

“Our guests are seeking deeper, more immersive experiences that allow them to indulge in global exploration while sparking personal regeneration,” said Chris Gabaldon, senior vice president, Luxury Brands, Marriott International.

Marriott International expects to debut more than 30 luxury hotels across the globe in 2022
January February 2022 | | 29
Courtyard by Marriott Inspired Classic Standard King Room



The past two years were a busy time for real estate professionals. While commercial buildings like office towers, shopping malls and hotels stood empty for months in a row as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, building owners and their corporate tenants were pondering how to bring people back to their properties. Technology plays a big role in these plans.

As part of their return-to-work plans, a couple of European investment banks have decided to smarten their employees’ work stations by placing under-desk sensors to optimize office occupancy.

The technology is similar to that used to manage parking spots. The use of sensors limited to occupancy seems fairly harmless, although it would not take much to move from smart office to something potentially more nefarious.

Technologies that can capture virtually every aspect of employee behaviour in their work spaces already exist: employers can determine how much time they work, whom they interact with and for what purposes, even how they feel.

The list goes on to the extent that human behaviour can be fully captured by ad-hoc technologies developed by so-called proptech (property technology) companies. These technologies are known as background or calm technologies, meaning they capture a user’s attention only when necessary and remain in the background most of the time.

They are pervasive although totally invisible to their users, who are oblivious to their presence. When employees step into an office building or visitors enter a

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“Smart hotel tech is everywhere in 2022. Smart buildings and commercial spaces—whether they’re offices, shops, restaurants, or hotels—have a great deal in common. Smart technology comes with challenges and philosophical considerations around privacy; and huge potential regarding data aggregation, packaging, use and saleability. This article explores some of these ideas with academic curiousity and precision.”

– Stacey Newman, managing editor, STAY Magazine

shopping mall, for example, they’re often unaware they’re surrounded by technological apparatus that constantly interacts with them.


Such technology-embedded structures are known as smart buildings. They are the future of commercial real estate and allow unprecedented levels of customized interactions between a building and its occupants.

Smart buildings are equipped with realtime feedback mechanisms that allow the building to anticipate changes in its environment as well as its occupants’ needs. In the process, the building’s occupants are reduced to being the source of the feedback. They are supposed beneficiaries of the technology but their presence is the main resource feeding the technology through data collection and analytics. 01001100101010 0010010010010

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But an important question needs to be asked: In view of the recent whistleblowing revelations about Facebook, should we blindly trust those who control smart building technology to have the well-being and best interests of a building’s occupants at heart? If you believe so, then the pervasiveness of calm technology won’t trouble you.

Conversely, if you tend to doubt Big Tech’s goodwill towards mankind, one word should spring to mind: Control.

to steer. Control in commercial buildings is part of surveillance, but it goes further than that by aiming to shape behaviours.

In democratic societies, motivations for shaping the behaviour of building occupants are mostly utilitarian, part of a trade-off between individual satisfaction and free will. In less democratic societies like China, smart building technologies can also be linked to policing and maintaining social order.

whether buildings are occupied or not. They can extract data elsewhere and still thrive. By contrast, as the last two years have exemplified, empty buildings are the ultimate risk to any landlord.

So what should be the way forward for the real estate industry? Stigmatizing smart buildings isn’t helpful. Smart technologies have definite benefits for building occupants and they are here to stay.

Clearly, behavioural control is not something technology evangelists want us to associate with smart buildings. But it is the elephant in the room that the technological wizardry of smart building vendors can’t fully hide from view.

While smart buildings have the ability to predict our behaviours, they also open the door to pervasive control through ever more customized interactions. Each of us exist in our own work and living spaces, but with increasingly limited or no control over the experiences designed for us and powered by algorithms.


Since the early days of cybernetics, control has always been central to information technology. Etymologically, “cyber” comes from the Greek verb for

But these two visions of control over the spaces where we live and work aren’t conceptually very different. The moral high ground is quite slippery when it comes to technology-enabled control, and the interplay between control and profit in modern societies is nothing new. It’s been mentioned in the context of capitalist economies and the information society since the 1980s.

Behavioural control takes on a whole new dimension with smart buildings, however, since there’s nowhere to hide. Extracting behavioural data from building occupants could become a major source of wealth for the real estate industry. To capitalize on this new resource, real estate companies can partner with technology companies and join the ranks of “surveillance capitalists.”


However, it would be a deal with the devil since tech companies don’t care

But first and foremost, a regime of property rights in commercial buildings — including those pertaining to digital space — should be enacted so that these rights can be shared among all stakeholders. This is especially true for the occupants of smart buildings and in all technologyfuelled spaces, including so-called metaverses, where human dignity is at stake. Their human rights must be legally recognized and protected at all costs.

This article is republished from The Conversation.

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32 | | January February 2022

Ascend Hotel Collection® is a membership of more than 370+ upscale, independent hotels open or under development worldwide, that benefit from increased exposure, reservation potential, technology, loyalty, and support from innovative global lodging leader, Choice Hotels®. Ascend members remain unique and distinct, able to operate and design on their own terms to prioritize the needs of their guests.

January February 2022 | | 33
The Fort Garry Hotel, Spa And Conference Centre Winnipeg, Manitoba
©2022 Choice Hotels Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. Keep your local identity. Gain our global presence.
local and go global.



Bringing digital key tech to North American hotels

OpenKey has partnered with Acculock to bring enhanced access to digital key technology to hotels throughout North America.

OpenKey’s partnership with Acculock’s industry-leading RFID and BLE door locks makes OpenKey the most universal Digital Key provider in the industry, now partnered with six major lock providers.

This new partnership gives Acculock the ability to offer their locks with OpenKey’s Digital Key and check-in experience.

As part of the partnership, Acculock will also take over warranty support, providing expertise and coverage for all of OpenKey’s existing lock customers.

With the power of digital key technology, Acculock provides a means for hotels to move away from traditional keycards. Through this integration, OpenKey will expand digital key services to more hotels than ever before.

34 | | January February 2022


A two-week facilitated and interactive The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)’s Sustainable Hotels Course features expert presentations, useful resources, and real-life industry examples and lessons on applying sustainability best practices.

The upcoming cohort is scheduled for Feb 10-25, 2022, with weekly live sessions at 9 am CET.

What to Expect from the Course?

• Lessons on each section of the GSTC Industry Criteria, with examples relevant to hotels.

• Expert tips and resources introducing key solutions around current issues and trends.

• Live presentations by industry practitioners, sharing insights based on real-life experience.

• Hands-on exercise to practice applying the Criteria to your own situations.

• Opportunities to learn alongside GSTC experts and fellow hospitality professionals from around the world, and to enhance your professional network. All past, current and future GSTC Sustainable Hotel Course participants are invited to join the virtual networking session hosted as part of each edition of the course.

FreshCheck Inspection Verification

A simple way for hotels to verify inspection of guest rooms

FreshCheck is a new technology that enables hotel management to ensure high levels of cleanliness by verifying daily room inspections with connected devices and an easy-to-use mobile app.

The system is simple, easy, and requires no integration with other infrastructure. The small device (1.5-inch x 1.5-inch x 1-inch deep) is installed in each hotel room and can be hidden under a table. The device electronically marks a specific location, so the inspector must be within proximity to the device to check-in at that location.

The room inspector checks a room and uses the FreshCheck mobile app to record the inspection. The inspector’s mobile device must be in the room and within 10 feet of that room’s device to check-in. That room will then be verified

as inspected, and the inspector can move on to the next room.

FreshCheck can be used either as a standalone system or in tandem with the latest FreshAir Smoking Detection System, technology that monitors for, immediately detects, and proves in-room smoking.

Hotel management can view cleaning verifications and can run detailed daily reports on inspected rooms. Those with multiple properties can receive a rollup of all inspections conducted, enabling management to compare results across their portfolio while eliminating the need to mail stacks of paper. The app provides a simple way to verify daily cleaning of each room, improve cleanliness, and thus improve guests’ satisfaction.

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Six digital issues per year + biweekly email newsletters; keeping readers engaged, informed and equipped with the best data and analysis the industry offers—with a vivid and gorgeous aesthetic.



We welcome ideas and ongoing collaboration. We will always remain attentive and agile, willing to listen to new ideas that align with our editorial mandate. Come talk to us and let us know how we can strengthen our collective voice in this industry.



Our team is here to work for your product and brand. With 30+ years in the B2B industry and with the necessary skills and platforms to deliver both digitally and in print, let our senior content team work for you.



Independent hotels in Canada will now have the chance to experience the full power of RoomRaccoon.

RoomRaccoon is the only automated hotel software system that independently adjusts rates based on the availability of accommodation. In addition, room upgrades and any extras can be offered to guests before their stay starts.

With the North American hotel market estimated to be worth $30.66 billion in 2020, RoomRaccoon can play a vital role in helping Canadian hoteliers maximize their share of the market and navigate the new normal with virtual tools like contactless check-in.

The Netherlands-based HMS provider has been available in Europe and Africa since 2017 and quickly became the preferred hotel tech solution for over 1,500 properties.

RoomRaccoon is a complete cloud hotel management system that is designed to be easy to use and fully automated, offering hoteliers a simple, yet comprehensive solution that does the job of multiple hotel tech stacks.

RoomRaccoon comes fully integrated with a Property Management System (PMS), Booking Engine, and Channel Manager, meaning you can manage

everything from guest check-ins and check-outs, capture, and process direct bookings to instant rate and availability updates across multiple distribution channels in a snap.

Other important tools and features that hoteliers benefit from include:

• Payment processing and card machine

• Revenue and Yield management

• Upsell functionality

• Guest ID scanner

• Financial reports

• Automated pre-stay, post-stay, and confirmation emails

• Online check-in

• Website builder

RoomRaccoon is made to be compatible with over 138 third-party integrations.

Hoteliers can also keep an eye out for the RoomRaccoon team at hospitality expos and events in 2022.

RoomRaccoon was voted the best Hotel Management System in 2020 and 2021 by hotel managers and industry experts on Hotel Tech Report.

January February 2022 | | 37


Ideas from a Canadian hotel mogul that ring true today

Not everyone has the privilege of knowing what they want to do for a living at a young age. Or even the means to choose a path that includes higher education. And most of us have experienced a learning and career journey that more resembles a ball of butcher’s twine than any straight line. I certainly know I have. I recognize that my journey has been a gift and I’ve always owned the responsibility of setting inspiration, knowledge and wisdom free through sharing stories like these. But this, for me, was just the beginning.

I shared my story as the publisher of STAY in our premiere issue—I was inspired at an early age by my family’s roots in Canada’s hotel and restaurant industry, so I knew right away that my goal coming out of high school was to study hospitality and tourism management.

I decided to attend Ryerson University for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the school and its residence were built into a retired Ibis hotel in an urban setting in downtown Toronto. Secondly, its alumni had gone on to great success within the industry so I was hopeful.

I had a professor by the name of Gabor Forgacs, an international hotelier who always found a way to ground his teachings in industry best practices. He shared his experience and artifacts he’d collected along the way to inspire his students. He recently retired from the university and we still stay in touch. His was the first perspective I sought when shaping a publication that was aspiring to become truly additive for hoteliers and aspiring hoteliers alike. He was radically candid and reminded me to look back before I looked forward.

Digging through old digital files had me stumbling across something from the icon himself, Four Seasons founder, Isadore Sharp.

The following are notes from Sharp’s address to The Conference Board of Canada in 1989 at its Tourism Outlook Conference. The speech was entitled Competing in a Global Marketplace. There are lessons still relevant today in these assertions.

“Both the hotel and restaurant sectors will face a semi-skilled labour shortage, and greater labour mobility will aggravate the turnover problem.”
38 | | January February 2022

Notes from an address by Isadore Sharp to The Conference Board of Canada 1990 Tourism Outlook Conference

“Competing in a Global Marketplace”

NOVEMBER 20, 1989

• We all know the importance of service and the employees who deliver it. Look at the hotel ads in any current magazine. They’re all selling a quality service image, all claiming employees are their most valued resource.

• But the fact is, according to a recent Horwath & Horwath survey, our image as an employer is not perceived as being attractive. To quote the survey “There are other more appealing industries competing for diminishing number.”

• Our labour pool is going to shrink in the 90s. Less than half as many people will enter the labour force every year as entered in the 1970s. Both the hotel and restaurant sectors will face a semi-skilled labour shortage, and greater labour mobility will aggravate the turnover problem.

• I think we’ve been making some headway in educating colleges and career advisors that hotels can be a worthwhile career. But building a hotel image is not like creating a political image— we’re dead if we don’t deliver on our promise.

• Service will be the battleground of luxury hotels in the 90s and finding, keeping and developing employees will be a major preoccupation. But here the Horwath survey points out another problem, and I quote “The issue of the more efficient use of existing labour…has largely been ignored by the hotel industry…Management has been more concerned with controlling labour than developing it”.

• When I was a young builder, I worked side by side with my crew, digging ditches and pouring concrete in the rain. If I had to leave, they’d still go on working as if the business was theirs, an attitude highly conducive to productivity.

• When I thought about it later it was simple, we had mutual respect and trust. We had worked together by the Golden Rule: treat others as you would want to be treated. I knew if I could get those values down to the bottom of our pyramid—to all the people who make or break a reputation for service—Four Seasons could compete with the best in the world.

• I think this will be the industry’s biggest single future challenge: convincing managers who still believe in the military model that by giving employees responsibility they’re not giving up control, they’re letting the genie of initiative out of the bottle. We have to have employees who use their heads as well as their hands. Employees who see a guest’s problem as a service opportunity. And I don’t know how you command or supervise people into thinking.

• All we can do is win their trust…Success in the global market will depend on our entrepreneurship and even more on our managerial priorities.

January February 2022 | | 39


STAY Magazine is published by Big Picture New Media, a subsidiary of Big Picture Conferences. For 25 years, Big Picture has been hosting the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference (CHIC) and other go-to conferences and events for Canada’s hotel industry. Combined with these conferences, Stay Magazine leverages 25 years of curated hotel intelligence for our readers and advertisers.

Every issue of STAY will include INNSIGHTS—where you will get the latest intelligence debriefs from recent events, as well as a current roster of upcoming events in the hotel sector.

Hotel Capital Connection (HCC)

April 7, 2022

Recognizing the need for a “made-in-Canada” event and responding to popular demand, Big Picture Conferences is pleased to present Hotel Capital Connection, an exclusive networking and educational event that matches Canadian hotel owners with top legal and financial advisors.

Designed to provide C-Level (CEO, COO, CFO) Hospitality executives with the resources, knowledge and vision to help make better investment decisions. HCC explores current issues impacting the hotel investment community and future opportunities through in-depth, interactive workshops that are led by Canada’s most trusted legal and financial firms.

This event is planned with designated time and space throughout the afternoon to meet with significant deal makers and conduct business.

Registration for HCC 2022 will be open in February.

Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) Conference

March 2-3, 2022

Fairmont Royal York

Toronto, ON

One industry. One voice. The largest gathering of hotel industry professionals in the country.

The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) is the leading voice of the Canadian Hotel and Lodging industry, bringing legislative solutions to industry challenges. HAC delivers targeted advocacy for fair rules for the sharing economy, to address Canada’s hotel labour shortage, and for sustainability solutions for the hotel industry across Canada.


Celebrating Performance Excellence in Canada’s Hotel and Hospitality Industry

The Hotel Association of Canada’s Awards of Excellence Program was developed in 2004 to recognize members who have demonstrated significant accomplishments, exemplary leadership and tireless commitment to Canada’s lodging industry.

Join HAC in celebrating the contributions made by your associates and fellow professionals at a special evening event on March 2, 2022, where the winners will be announced.


Nothing beats the power of permission marketing

The HAC Conference sponsorship program has been developed to help you meet your business objectives, whether that’s branding, lead generation, thought leadership or direct sales.

For sponsorship enquiries and exhibition bookings, download the 2022 Sponsorship Kit at the event website.

A summit where hotel owners meet lawyers and lenders
40 | | January February 2022

Young Hoteliers Summit (YHS) 2022

March 7-9, 2022


STAY Magazine is a proud media sponsor of YHS 2022.

The 2022 edition of the summit will be held virtually from March 7–9, 2022, from Lausanne, Switzerland

The Young Hoteliers Summit (YHS) was founded in 2010 by five students of the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), who shared the vision of fostering innovation in the industry through insightful discussions between thought leaders and hospitality students. Today, YHS has become the largest student-run summit in the world, inviting over 30 speakers, 80 delegates and 20 partners to its event every year.

The team behind YHS consists of over 40 students from EHL Hospitality Business School, speaking over 25 languages and

coming from 28 countries. They prepare the event for an entire year.

The summit aims to tackle the latest trends and issues of the hospitality industry through panel discussions and keynotes with industry experts. Each year YHS gathers thought leaders and student delegates from the world’s most prestigious hospitality institutions to exchange valuable insights.

Due to the persistence of the pandemic, the upcoming Young Hoteliers summit will be held online for the third year in a row. To increase engagement despite the difficult conditions, the team behind YHS has turned to two solutions.

Firstly, YHS innovated by publishing its very own podcast, titled Your Hospitality

Squeeze (YHS). On the podcast, hospitality students from EHL Hospitality Business School in Lausanne share experiences and advice about working in the industry through their unique lens, from culture shocks to guest complaints. The podcast is released in the format of a miniseries run “by students for students.” Four episodes are already available on Google, Spotify, Anchor and Apple.

Secondly, as a student committee from EHL, YHS aims to understand the point of view of hospitality business students on an international scale and to share these perspectives with a wider audience. For this reason, since 2017, YHS has organized an annual survey that is distributed to all hospitality-related individuals.

January February 2022 | | 41

Canadian Hotel Investment Conference (CHIC) 2022

April 5-6, 2022

Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel Toronto, ON

Since 1997, the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference has established itself as the definitive source for information, insight and opinion on today’s Canadian lodging market. For senior executives from across North America, this business conference delivers outstanding insight on where the industry is today, where its heading and the options it can deliver. 2021 was the 25th anniversary of CHIC!

The 2022 Most Talented Leaders Hospitality Challenge

The Most Talented Leaders Hospitality Challenge is an international competition where hospitality industry students from different schools have opportunities to learn by tackling real-world challenges. Partners of MTLHC provide study materials that present industry problems in need of solutions. The challenge is taking place online over six months; from October 2021 to March-April 2022.

Participants can network with industry professionals and take part in multiple activities to help develop their professional skills in leadership, communication, teamwork, creativity, time-management, project management and problem-solving skills.

The MTLHC competition’s Semi-Final was held on January 13, 2022, an online live event, three months after the launch of this international student competition.

Four of the seven participating teams from schools around the world will be selected to compete in the Final, the participants will have until April 1, 2022, to compete for the title of Most Talented Leaders in Hospitality 2022!


The quality of workshops and activities offered to participants is unique to the MTLHC competition. Collaborations include the conference on sustainable development given by Smart Travel Lab and ExperiSens; food and beverage

workshops, offered by experienced chefs and restaurant owners, and case resolution support, provided by the Régie de l’Énergie, Hydro-Québec, Lab NCO, Traineroo and Desjardins. And personalized coaching sessions offered by the Épik Collection group.


• Bertil Fabre – General Manager at Le Centre Sheraton Montréal

• Bill Stone – President of Knightstone Hotel Group

• Christina Poon – General Manager at Hotel W New York - Union Square

• Daniel Gallant – Vice President at Épik Collection | President at Iceberg Consultants

• David Connor – RVP – Eastern Canada Accor Hospitality | GM at Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth

• Edith Perreault – Founder & PresidentAFFIRMA Marketing & Communication & Executive Business coach

• Ghani Kolli – Partner & Strategic Designer at Credo

• Marie-Michèle Thibault – VicePresident at Lotus Marketing Inc. | Professor & Consultant at the ITHQ

• Martin Lessard – General Manager at MT Lab

• Olena Zamkova – Director of Innovation and Experience Design at Épik Collection

Save the date! April 1, 2022, the Finale and unveiling of the Most Talented Leaders

42 | | January February 2022
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