STAY Magazine, Vol. 2. Issue 5

Page 1



Gunjan Kahlon + Women Own the Room


Touching base: Alberta

CFIB Report

Are the independents okay?

WCLC 2022 program & schedule at a glance

AGM, Accor Hotels, North America


Sept/Oct 2022

Volume 2 Issue 5

Publisher Big Picture New Media


Stacey Newman

Advertising Sales

Stephanie Gadbois

Production & Creative Agency Boomerang Art & Design Inc.


Jim Byers, Allan Lynch, Hoda

Khalil, Gabriel Wainer, Kevin Dick, Daniel Tsai, Louise ChampouxPaillé, Anne-Marie Croteau

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© Copyright 2022 All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written permission of Big Picture New Media, the publisher.

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.

Big Picture Conferences

45 St. Clair Avenue West, Suite 1001 Toronto, ON M4V 1K9

Editorial Advisory Board

Robin McLuskie Managing Director, Hotels, Colliers Hotels

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 & CEO, 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

Sandra Kanegawa Owner, Heritage Inn Portfolio, X-Dream

October 24-25, 2022 Hyatt Regency Vancouver, BC Register Today! #WCLC2022
September/October 2022 CONTENTS 19 On the Cover STAY CANADIAN HOTEL INTELLIGENCE Women Own the Room AGM, Accor Hotels, WCLC 2022 program & schedule at glance CFIB Report Are the independents okay? Hew & Draw Hotel, Corner Brook, N.L. Carvel & Helm Design Group Architect: Stantec Photographer: Candace Kennedy 6 Innsights WCLC 2022 program & schedule at a glance 8 Intelligence Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) Report 14 Checking In Hew & Draw, Corner Brook, N.L. The Great George, Charlottetown, P.E.I. 19 Labour A hard look at some of the issues underpinning today’s labour challenges 26 Profile AGM ACCOR North America 32 Innovation Led by a Canadian executive, Ritz-Carlton launches its yacht collection 36 Human Resources, DEI ‘Women Own the Room’ with Gunjan Kahlon 38 Regional Focus Alberta’s Rockies & Calgary 36 38 September October 2022 | | 3
4 | | September October 2022
avid™ hotel Oklahoma City - Quail Springs Candlewood Suites® Kingston West
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 ©2022 IHG Hotels & Resorts. All rights reserved. Most hotels are independently owned and operated.
Holiday Inn® and Suites Calgary South - Conference Center


IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE it is October. The last 10 months have been an exercise in contrast. The Canadian hotel sector is recovering much faster than expected, yet many of the people who normally work in the sector are stressed and exhausted as are hotel owners and operators.

Travel has ramped up, event spaces are filling up more predictably, and there has been a rapid return to a state of togetherness. In Canada, hotel occupancy reached a three-year high in August according to STR, yet Statistics Canada says the country shed 113,600 jobs for the three months ended August.

We have been imbued with the optimism of recovery from the pandemic, yet everyday business operations remain vastly different than their pre-pandemic versions. Hotels are seeing unprecedented ADRs but low occupancy rates—things are topsy-turvy.

By all accounts, we’re headed straight into a recession; despite this, we’re also seeing glimmers of light.

How is everyone doing? It’s a big question.

In this issue of STAY Magazine, we take the pulse of international hotel groups and independents alike. We talk about barriers to success. We highlight programs designed to dismantle outdated systems and empower all stakeholders.

As STAY Magazine approaches its first anniversary, we are taking a broad and more creative look at the industry. In this issue, we bring you stories about the unusual, the ultraluxurious, the remarkably rustic; tales of expansive international groups and adamantly adaptive independents alike.

We look at systemic pressures underlying Canadian labour crises and we discuss big-picture solutions that attempt to address the needs of employers and employees equally, equitably and with compassion.

Thank you for being part of the STAY Magazine community, and for your contributions and your feedback. We couldn’t do this without you.


September October 2022 | | 5




Western Canada’s #1 hotel investment conference of the year


Hyatt Regency Vancouver

5:30 pm – 8:00 pm


Location: Plaza Ballroom

Sponsored by Hilton


Hyatt Regency Vancouver

7:30 am – 8:45 am


Location: Regency Foyer

Sponsored by Coast Hotels

8:45 am – 9:00 am


Location: Regency Ballroom


9:00 am – 10:00 am

Plenary #1

‘How the West was Acquired’

Location: Regency Ballroom

Expert panelists will take a super-deep dive into key factors impacting current and anticipated investment activity and values.  The evolving strata of capital, interest rates vine-like growth and evolving cap rates have been spun together and it will be interesting to see it all come out. 2022 has seen slowed investment activity but this is expected to accelerate into ‘Q4 and well into next year. Hear what the experts are anticipating.

10:00 am – 10:45 am

Location: Regency

Sponsored by Hyatt

*Note:  All times Pacific Standard Time (PST)

10:45 am – 11:15 am


Location: Regency Foyer

Sponsored by STR

6 | | September October 2022


11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Plenary #2

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm


3:00 pm – 3:30 pm


Location: Regency Foyer

Sponsored by Genuine Comfort


Don’t You Visit My Hotel Site and See What Develops?’

Location: Regency Ballroom

Hotel development has never been easy, especially today. Higher interest rates, supply chain uncertainty, brand selection, and the ever critical, will there be enough guests to fill my hotel? This session will look at which brand segments are most successful, whether its economy, upscale, resort or even an independent. Let's hear some of today’s success stories and determine which option is best for you.

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm


Location: Regency Foyer


Location: Regency Ballroom

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Plenary #3

‘What the Heck are Lenders, Owners, and Brands, but Really Lenders, Thinking Today?’

Location: Regency Ballroom

Hotel owners can find funding for refinancing, expansions, development and acquisitions and there are some great stories out there, but the parameters are changing once again, and every owner’s terms are variable in so many ways.   Some markets are still digging out, it’s tougher to raise debt capital, LTVs are under pressure while rates are at their highest level since 2008.  This session is critical in so many ways as we combine currency of recent experiences with three very important stakeholders, the owner, the lender, and the brand.

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Plenary #4



Leaders Under the Spotlight’

Location: Regency Ballroom

They have boots across Canada, some small, some large but no better perspective. Hear what these fearless leaders are thinking and acting on. Are they toiling with putting heads in beds, employees through the door, inflation or financing? Their plates are full too but let’s hear what’s on their minds.

4:30 pm – 4:45 pm


Location: Regency Ballroom

September October 2022 | | 7
Robin McLuskie, managing director, Colliers Hotels John Purcell, executive vice president, Canadian real estate, portfolio management, QuadReal Cindy Schoenauer, VP, hospitality & gaming, Canada, Cushman & Wakefield Ed Khediguian, senior vice president, CWB Franchise Finance David Ferguson, director, CBRE Hotels & MODERATORS Jonathan Cooper, COO, Holborn Holdings Ltd. Jeff Cury, senior director development Canada, Hilton Anto Vrdoljak, regional director of developmentCanada, IHG Hotels & Resorts


A recent report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), entitled Small Business Insolvency: The Tip of the Iceberg? found that 10 per cent of business owners would file for bankruptcy if they were to permanently close down; a surprisingly small number.

Official small business bankruptcy numbers have been increasing steadily since the beginning of the year and are currently at a twoyear high. According to recent exclusive CFIB data, only 10 per cent of Canada’s small business owners would choose to file for bankruptcy if they were unable to keep their doors open, including many in Canada’s accommodations sector.

Forty-six per cent of businesses at risk of closure would simply stop operating rather than go through the bankruptcy process. Canadian business insolvency data does not reflect these types of closures.

As we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, other challenges continue to deeply affect Canada’s small businesses, including struggles to return to normal revenues, the weight of the COVID-related debt businesses were forced to take on to pivot and survive, rising costs on virtually every business expense and a gripping shortage of labour.

Fifty-four per cent of businesses are still reporting below-normal revenues and 62 per cent are still carrying unpaid debt taken on during the pandemic.

Small businesses are feeling the financial pressure mount and seem to have much less room to maneuver. Targeted measures could keep many from closing for good.

8 | | September October 2022

Decisions facing small hotel owners and operators

Insolvencies in Canada may have declined early in the pandemic, but they have been on an upward trend since mid-2021. How and why a small hotel might exit the industry depends on the ownership structure. Is this a corporation versus a sole proprietorship? And then what the ownership of the building assets looks like. Is the business still carrying a mortgage? What other debts have not been paid o ?

In the majority of cases, if a hotel owner is worried about and/or is going under, they will be selling assets. This is probably the most common scenario in the hotel sector for small business owners.

Across industries, we are starting to see an uptick in brand consolidation. This is relevant to larger chains of course, but also prospective independents. If an investor is looking to get into the hotel game, now might be the time if some businesses are distressed or looking to get out.

Insolvency numbers vary by sector

The construction and the accommodation and food services sectors have had the most insolvencies since the start of 2021. Figure 2 also shows an upward trend in other sectors during the same period. small-business-insolvency-the-tip-of-the-iceberg

Source: Insolvency and CCAA Statistics in Canada – O ice of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada (ic. Note: CFIB selected the 6 sectors with the most insolvencies.

Figure 2: Small business insolvencies in Canada by sector, January 2021 to June 2022
* Figure 1 and other components of the research snapshot less relevant to the hotel sector can be viewed here.
September October 2022 | | 9 INTELLIGENCE


Insolvencies: Only the tip of the iceberg

Since the pandemic began, a significant number of Canada’s small businesses reported their concern over the potential for bankruptcy or permanent closure.

Taking a look back at the January 2021 data in Figure 3, we can see that 16 per cent of the country’s small businesses were already considering bankruptcy or closure. A year and a half later, by June 2022, the CFIB survey showed that things hadn’t changed much, more than one in six small businesses across the country were considering going out of business. The numbers seemed to be trending downward as 2022 kicked off, but that trend has reversed in recent months.

Smaller, independent hotels are uniquely affected

Throughout the pandemic, when business owners had the federal rental assistance programs, advocacy groups like the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) heard from owners whose leases were coming up. Tenants were being charged more and didn’t understand how or why this would happen.

Isn’t it better for lessors to keep the business in the space so someone is paying rent as opposed to having no business paying rent and taking on the costs, the mortgage, and the property taxes? Maybe not. Businesses reported that some lessors were increasing the rent dramatically. It quickly became apparent that commercial protections around this don’t exist in Ontario and perhaps other provinces and territories as well.

In terms of government relations, looking towards all levels of government but mainly the federal one on loans, advocacy groups like CFIB and Hotel Association of Canada are working toward expanding the forgivable portion of these loans.

Debt is a huge factor for small businesses and some advocacy groups project a two-year-plus timeline in terms of small businesses being able to break even.

Figure 3: Percentage of small businesses considering bankruptcy or permanent closure, Canada Source: CFIB, Your Voice surveys
10 | | September October 2022 CFIB REPORT

No vacancy?

In conversation with Ryan Mallough, vice president of legislative affairs (Ontario), CFIB

Q: What has CFIB been seeing in the accommodation and food services industry, specifically?

A: Of the closures or the closure intentions that we’re seeing, the accommodation and food services industry is among the most affected. Owners have indicated that they’ve increased their prices by a lot more than usual. Coming off of the pandemic where they weren’t allowed to have anybody stay or they weren’t allowed to have anyone come into the restaurant— reopening is great in theory but reopening to an inflation crisis and supply chain challenges, and a labour shortage…reopening is not the silver bullet that it seemed like it might be a year ago.

Q: What factors are precipitating insolvencies and closures today?

A: We started to see that uptick in May 2022, coinciding with the end of the federal support programs. We’re watching our numbers closely, what will the latest numbers tell us? We’re most concerned about a dropping-off-a-cliff situation with federal programs, as opposed to a ramp down. Will we see more businesses that were holding out not able to hold out anymore? That’s compounded with the additional pressures of inflation, and labour challenges, and it’s also dependent on where the businesses are located.

For example, some numbers are back up in Toronto, and we’ve seen conferences come back, but they tend to be happening as hybrid events, and perhaps not as many people are coming. More remote destination businesses, like fishing lodges, for example, are not seeing the same return in numbers.

Q: So, how are urban businesses faring vs. those outside urban centres?

A: During the recovery, businesses in downtown cores were reliant on tourism to boost their intake as opposed to representing the entirety of their intake. That boost isn’t necessarily there because while some of the tourists are back, they’re offset by the fact that downtown workers and regular day-to-day foot traffic isn’t quite there. It’s one of those situations that’s still playing out.

Then the other frustration amongst tourism and related industries has been the changing vaccination rules at the border effectively putting a damper on the number of tourists coming in. This looks to change a great deal in the fall, particularly following the recent announcement by the federal government about dropping the COVID-19 vaccine mandate at the border.

Q: Has business travel changed permanently?

A: We’re a national organization. We’ve got people across the country and travel has become much less regular. With other organizations, the advent and universal adoption of video conferencing—being able to be in a room with someone without having to be in a room with them—has certainly changed that dynamic significantly. As businesses look to adapt, they’re trying to fit into the new normal that we are seeing and travel expenses were among the first cuts made by many small businesses.

Q: What about selling instead of insolvency?

A: We’ve seen a fair chunk of our members, around 27 per cent, indicate that instead of closing the business, they’re looking to sell. That’s another area that we are watching closely. We’ve known over the last five to 10 years that there is a very large transition in business succession coming. However, the

September October 2022 | | 11 INTELLIGENCE


pandemic seems to have expedited some timelines. For those close to retirement or mulling over selling the business—after having gone through the last couple of years—that decision is a lot more front and centre for them.

Conversely, in some cases winding it down just makes more sense than going through the bankruptcy process.

Q: What messages does the CFIB have for Government in terms of supporting independent businesses?

A: The CFIB has urged governments to help ensure the viability of small businesses and help keep their operating costs down. The recommendations include:

• Increasing the forgivable portion of the Canada Emergency Business Account (CEBA) loan to at least 50 per cent

• Extending the repayment deadline for CEBA loans to qualify for partial loan forgiveness to December 2024

• Increasing the small business deduction to $600,000 (currently $500,000)

• Freezing planned federal tax hikes, including the 2022 increase in CPP, EI, carbon and liquor taxation, and reducing the provincial payroll tax burden

• Immediately implementing the promised reduction in credit card fees for small merchants.

Resources for independent hotels

Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)

Hotel Association of Canada (HAC)

Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC)

Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA)

British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA)

Association hôtelière de la région de Québec (AHRQ)

Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association

Manitoba Hotel Association

Hospitality Saskatchewan

Hotel Association of Nova Scotia (HANS)

Business Development Bank of Canada

12 | | September October 2022 CFIB REPORT


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Point of Difference

Independent hotels are faced with very different challenges than chains or franchises, yet they’re underrepresented or lumped in with larger operations, to their detriment.

We’ve spoken to representatives of two established Canadian independent hotels about what differentiates them and why the industry needs to learn how to better represent them.

The Hew & Draw Hotel Corner Brook, N.L.

Autumn Gale is the director of operations for the Hew & Draw Hotel and Boomstick Brewing Co. in Corner Brook, Newfoundland.

Q: How did the Hew & Draw come to be in its current location?

A: The Hew & Draw is a complete renovation of what was once the retail hub of the city—Woolworth's Department Store. The Woolworth's Department Store was built in the early days of Corner Brook, and eventually became a discount retail store called The Bargain Shop which was open until 2013. Once the bargain shop closed, the building was put up for sale and Major's Contracting (our parent company) purchased the building with the intent of building a brewery in the downtown core of the city. The family intended to keep as much of the original

building as possible as its history is very important in our community. The structure's footprint has been preserved and the steel supports are exposed and visible throughout our building. The idea for the hotel came second as the family recognized a significant gap in the accommodations market, the city had limited accommodations. It felt like a natural pairing for a new brewery to have a boutique hotel on-site although we discovered this combo is still quite rare in North America. We sit in the downtown core of Corner Brook, which may make the city sound large but it's an inlet bay community of just 23,000 residents.

Q: How many rooms does the hotel have?

A: We have 36 rooms in total, all are unique as the building is not square. Suites vary in size, shape, design and

view: with four distinct patterns that coordinate the custom Newfoundlandinspired wallpapers with beautifully upholstered Canadian felt chairs and headboards designed to stand out against the minimalist layout and tones of the suites. It was important to us that the suites reflect both the family and community's history of natural resources without removing the industrial feel of the building. Guests find combinations of hardwood, wool, steel, felt and glass throughout.

Q: What are the hotel’s main differentiators? What sets the Hew & Draw apart?

A: There are so many things! Notably, we are one of only three places I can find in North America that combines a hotel with a brewery under the same roof and if you choose not to be under it, you can also be on top of it—we also have a full rooftop patio and rooftop hot tubs.

There is no need for a designated driver at our brewery, you can just walk right up the stairs to bed. All of our guest fridges are filled with our in-house craft beer and we certainly put the brewery on display, with a floor-to-ceiling curtain wall of transparent glass so our guests can see everything happening inside the brewery.

Checking In
14 | | September October 2022

Our design is incredibly unique but the addition of our amenities and focus on local products, packages and the community is what really sets us apart. When determining our target market and brand ethos it was clear that we wanted to be not only a hotel or a brewery but a natural gathering place. When you stay at our hotel you will be interacting with local coffee (Gros Morne Coffee Roasters), locally made toiletries (East Coast Glow), and milled wool blankets (MacAusland's Woollen Mills). Even the cocktail syrups in the taproom and snack basket in your suite contain local products only (IronBerry, The Oat Company, Boomstick Brewing).

To promote our space for gatherings we regularly offer art shows, musical entertainment, movie screenings, artist residencies and creator workshops, pop-up shops, and markets. When these things are not happening—the lobby is a free communal workspace open to the public and our guests.

Q: What are some things that the hotel enjoys as a celebrated independent hotel? What are the perks for you as a business?

A: As an independent, family-owned business I feel the biggest perk is the freedom to achieve our vision, there are no predetermined barriers to developing the Hew & Draw and what we offer. We have a small management group that includes the owner and his family and we created a team that shares a very precise vision of what our product should be and how it should be represented. Every detail was discussed at length and decided as a team, from the bed sheets to the beer names to the beach rocks that surround the rooftop patio. We do everything together and it's truly a beautiful thing.

There are no rules and guidelines that come with franchises and chains, we develop and grow this business together.

Q: What are the challenges facing an independent hotel, especially emerging from the pandemic?

A: Emerging from the pandemic, I see no challenges that are specific to our business. Quite the opposite, travellers are hungry for unique experiences. We've noticed that more travellers want to explore and venture farther but are paying attention to their footprint and appreciate the local partnerships we focus on, our approachable, affordable touch of luxury, and our commitment to sustainability.

September October 2022 | | 15

The Great George Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Ricardo Salvini is the general manager and Ed McNamara is the marketing manager for The Great George by Murphy Hospitality Group in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Q: How did The Great George come to be in its current location?

A: In 1990, with another partner, current owners Kevin and Kathy Murphy purchased the property. Then known as The Regent Hotel, they began restoring it to its original glory with the goal of making it the most unique hotel on Prince Edward Island. Re-envisioning this entire section of downtown Charlottetown, the pair purchased all adjacent buildings turning almost an entire city block into one grand hotel.

During the renovations, the owners' primary objective was to maintain the historical integrity of these buildings, while renovating the property to modern standards has gone down in history as one of Prince Edward Island's largest private heritage development projects ever completed.

In July 2009, Kevin and Kathy Murphy became the sole owners of The Great George hotel and continued to expand the hotel by purchasing and renovating other adjacent buildings.

Q: How many rooms does The Great George have?

A: We have a lot of options for our guests. We have 55 units/suites, and they are all different. Our inventory includes rooms with historic appeal and more modern ones. Rooms with double Jacuzzis or just a classic queen-size bed. We also have units with 2, 3 and even 4 bedrooms, it always depends on what the guest is looking for.

Owners Kevin and Kathy Murphy are hoteliers, restaurateurs, and heritage

tourism developers. They’ve been serving and hosting visitors from around the world for the last 43 years. With genuine island hospitality at the forefront of their business, and creating memorable experiences as the backbone of their day-to-day, the Murphy Hospitality Group family represents the true culture of the East Coast.

Q: What are the hotel’s main differentiators? What sets The Great George apart?

A: The hotel has high standards for all departments and finding the perfect room and providing the best Great George experience is the number one priority. Our purpose is to create a sought-after experience designed around the comfort and satisfaction of all the senses. Our

16 | | September October 2022
Checking In

signature style of service is anchored by one simple motto: “The Answer is ‘Yes.’ What is Your Question?” Empowering our team to go above and beyond to create memorable experiences for all our guests.

Q: What are some things that the hotel enjoys as a celebrated independent hotel? What are the perks for you as a business?

A: We can personalize our hotel, offering high standards with personal touches. We can be authentic and make decisions quickly to always improve the guest experience. Continuous flexibility to adjust to any situation.

Q: What are the challenges facing an independent hotel, especially emerging from the pandemic?

A: The two main challenges are rising costs and staff shortages. We are known for the quality of our service and it is not an option for us to lower quality, so raising costs can be a challenge. Regarding the shortage of employees, the North American hotel industry has lost 20 per cent of its workforce in the last three years and the biggest challenge now is how to get them back and retain them. Together with the HR department, we are developing strategies for the short/medium-term future that will solve this problem.

Q: What kind of unique challenges does an independent establishment face?

A: One of the unique challenges an independent hotel faces is how to advertise the hotel. Sometimes guests from outside the Atlantic region or from outside Canada, who may have never heard of us, choose chain hotels just because they are sure of the quality they are getting. Even if we have better quality and services in the same rate range, we may not be the 1st option when deciding where to stay.

September October 2022 | | 17
Checking In
WHYNDAM 18 | | September October 2022 Reach your hotel’s full potential. Visit or call 800-889-9710. 1 As named by US News & World Report. 2 Versus independent or unbranded hotels. 3 In response to internal owner/GM survey based on last visit. This is not an offer. Certain provincial laws regulate the offer and sale of franchises. An offer will only be made in compliance with those laws and regulations, which may require we provide you with a Disclosure Document, a copy of which can be obtained by contacting Wyndham Hotel Group Canada, ULC at 22 Sylvan Way, Parsippany, NJ 07054. In Canada, Days Inn and Travelodge franchises are offered by a third party master franchisee. All hotels are independently owned and operated with the exception of certain hotels managed or owned by an affiliate of the company. © 2022 Wyndham Hotel Group Canada, ULC. All rights reserved. OPEN YOUR HOTEL TO the Wyndham Advantage. Be Efficient. Bottom line savings like up to 20% on OTAs2— driven by Wyndham’s buying power. Be Supported. Wyndham’s performance toolkit and local support team—with 99% owner satisfaction—help maximize profits.3 Be Seen. #1 hotel loyalty program1 with approximately 94 million members helps to bolster revenue. WINGATE BY WYNDHAM KANATA WEST OTTAWA ONTARIO, CANADA WYNDHAM GARDEN CALGARY AIRPORT


September October 2022 | | 19


Over the past two years, COVID-19 has dramatically affected the global job market. Canada is no exception to this upheaval. In the first quarter of 2020, a 15 per cent decline in Canada’s employment rate was reported and attributed to COVID-19.

However, with the recent removal of COVID-19 restrictions, the Canadian job market is finally starting to recover. In May 2022, Statistics Canada reported the unemployment rate in Canada had declined to 5.1 per cent. In June, the rate declined even further to 4.9 per cent—a rate that hasn’t been recorded since 1975.

In August 2022, Statistics Canada reported the unemployment rate in Canada had risen to 5.4 per cent.

Early in the pandemic, workers were scrambling to find jobs. Now, it is employers who are unable to find enough

workers to fill vacancies. At the same time, lifestyle factors such as rising inflation and the rental crisis, have been putting financial pressure on Canadians to find higher paying jobs.

The hot job market, coupled with the increase in remote work options, appears to be leading to a rise in the number of workers seeking to relocate to cities that offer a balance between good salaries and a better lifestyle.


Our team of data science students and researchers at Carleton University conducted a study on the mid-pandemic Canadian job market. We collected data for 65,000 job postings from the Canadian Job Bank through ethical web scraping between March and April 2021. We also collected data about key quality-of-life indicators, including commute time and housing affordability, for Canadian cities.

The study was recently presented at the IEEE Computers, Software, and Applications Conference and provided an interactive web platform to allow job seekers to explore the job market across different provinces. This tool allows job seekers to make informed career decisions that incorporate financial and lifestyle factors.

Job searchers can use the platform to identify which cities provide better salaries, while offering information on lifestyle aspects, such as healthcare or safety indexes, for particular locations. Moreover, users can identify common qualifications and skills required by employers.


Our research provided several insights into the job market. Some of these insights follow logical conclusions. For example, the number of jobs posted in provinces

20 | | September October 2022

with major cities, like British Columbia, are considerably higher than in provinces without metropolitan hubs. This is unsurprising because a larger population means more job opportunities for workers. British Columbia, Québec, Ontario and Alberta have more openings for technical and intermediate jobs than the rest of the country. Interestingly, Prince Edward Island has a high demand for labour jobs relative to its population size.

According to Job Bank, Canada’s national employment service, workers with qualifications related to hospitality and the food market are the most in-demand, a finding that is consistent with our midpandemic labour market snapshot. In addition to guiding job seekers, these insights will enable policy-makers to make data-driven decisions, as the research provides a benchmark for comparing the job market during the pandemic to preand post-pandemic.

For example, rules and crisis management policies could be adapted from the cities that appeared to be more resilient in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.


Our data shows that Edmonton and Mississauga, Ont., are attractive cities to relocate to. They both have higher average salaries relative to key performance indicators, such as quality of life and commute times. As for the cost of living, Saskatoon and Edmonton appear to have higher-than-average pay and a relatively low cost of living.

We also explored the data for specific industries. For instance, while the highestpaid construction jobs are found in Marathon, Ont., the highest-paid positions for information technology professionals are available in Ajax, Ont. For health workers, there seems to be a greater

demand in Saskatchewan, but the highest average salary is in Chapleau, Ont.

Generally speaking, the data indicates that high-skilled jobs pay more in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island and Saskatchewan. These provinces provide higher pay as an incentive for highly trained individuals to move to more rural, northern or lowresource areas.


While it seems lucrative to move to cities that offer higher salaries and better quality of life, other factors, like job security and further economic disruption, should be considered before changing jobs. When the economy is unstable, people who joined most recently, with their limited experience in the work environment, tend to be laid off first.

Canada's economy lost 113,600 jobs over the late spring and summer as reported by Statistics Canada.

Career and relocation decisions are individual choices with long-term impact. The expected salary and quality of life are only some of the mere factors contributing to that decision. Hopefully, our interactive job dashboard may assist Canadians in their decision-making.

This article is republished from The Conversation. September October 2022 | | 21


Do women need to adopt male traits and behaviours to be successful in business? Are stereotypes still present and do they continue to disrupt women’s careers? How do leaders in Québec compare to those in Europe?

In early 2020, the Women Initiative Foundation, in partnership with Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, the Stanford University Women’s Leadership Innovation Lab, and the CentraleSupélec of Université Paris-Saclay, conducted a new study about stereotypes and discrimination in the business world. The study surveyed leaders from Europe and Québec, from seven large organizations in France, Germany, Italy, and Québec, with an international reach.

Together, we, the Dean of the John Molson School of Business and an expert in the challenges faced by women in the highest echelons of leadership, are sharing the results of this study with emphasis

on the results from the Québec component, all while conducting an analysis of the synergies with the situation in Europe.


One of the objectives of this study was to determine if women are more difficult leaders than men in their way of managing people. Are they more severe towards their female colleagues? Are women more careerminded than men? Do they need to put their family life aside to achieve all of their professional aspirations?

In other words, referring to generally well-known stereotypes, do women become more “masculinized” by adopting male traits and behaviours to succeed? The study revealed that a low number of female respondents from Québec (24 per cent) and male respondents (17 per cent) think that female leaders become more masculine in order to progress in their careers. Conversely, in Europe, 46 per cent of women and 47 per cent of men share this belief.

This low feeling of masculinization of Québec women leaders is particularly important to point out because it prevents certain leaders from becoming obstacles rather than role models for other women. Far from denying their femininity, the results of this study seem to indicate that women develop a leadership style that is unique to them.


The comparison of the results on both sides of the Atlantic shows that stereotypes are still just as persistent and disturbing for the advancement of female careers.

It has been found that in both Québec and Europe, women have been stereotyped as having

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competencies that are typically associated with support roles (rigorous and attentive) whereas men are presumed to have traits associated with positions of power (politicians, leaders, careerists). More specifically with regards to leadership stereotypes, women are perceived as organized, leaders and rigorous whereas men are described as politicians, careerists, strategists, and leaders.

Once again, men are considered as those in the thick of the action and more focused on the advancement of their career (they are strategists and careerdriven) while women are regarded as passive and less ambitious. These stereotypes largely explain the sticky floor and the glass ceiling that women have faced for many years and the near absence of female CEOs in large Canadian organizations. The sticky floor is the theory illustrating the difficulty women face when they are seeking promotions at the start of their careers, and the slow climb of the ladder. As for the glass ceiling, this is the theory of the invisible barriers that stop women from being promoted to the upper levels of our organizations.


There is a stark difference in the perception that women and men have regarding their employer’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Men do not seem as aware of the inequalities and discrimination

that women can face in their work environment. As much in Québec as in Europe, men give their organizations a much higher ranking on the company’s values of diversity, the fight against discrimination, and inclusion initiatives.

Two interesting responses that illustrate this difference in perception are important to highlight: only 10% of the male participants from Québec believe that they are better paid than women who have equal competency levels, while 44% of female participants in Québec think the opposite. The male respondents are also half as likely to hear about sexist comments in the office.

However, if women in Québec have a more favourable perception of an equitable culture in the workplace than those in Europe, the study showed that nevertheless about half of respondents are likely to perceive a lack of equity in internal promotions and see the difficulty in accessing leadership roles. When asked specifically about the hardships of obtaining management roles, many women mentioned that institutional discrimination is what forces them to continuously prove their worth, and leads them to self-censure and devalue themselves.


This huge disconnect in perceiving sexist discrimination in the workplace raises some concerns, given that roles in the highest echelons of companies are more often occupied by men.

Given they are less aware of the difficulties faced by their female counterparts, these male leaders may be less inclined to put forward policies and strategies that can favour more equal access to leadership roles. It is therefore imperative that these men are made aware of the obstacles faced by women.

This study demonstrates that stereotypes, systemic hurdles, and discriminatory policies and procedures persist more in European society than in Québec. Nonetheless, there is still a very long road ahead. Diversity, equity and inclusion programs implemented by our Canadian companies and integrated into their strategies and development can make a huge difference to the advancement of women’s careers. Notably, in France, this approach is evolving.

There is clear merit in continuing to encourage and reinforce these initiatives, given there is proof in the benefit of them, especially when we compare ourselves here in Québec to the Europeans. Québec women leaders, as Martine Liautaud, president of the Women Initiative Foundation, wrote in Le Monde recently, “are more combative than even their most determined European counterparts, they are prouder of their success, and all this without having to deny their unique traits.”

The authors would like to thank Shirin EmadiMahabadi, MBA and Director, Strategic Advisory Programs (Inclusive Client Interactions) at CIBC National Sales and Practice Excellence for her contribution to this article. This

September October 2022 | | 23
article is


With the current cost-of-living crisis resulting in dramatic inflation, higher interest rates and a looming recession, people have been searching for solutions to the economic crisis. A universal job guarantee may just be the answer we’re looking for, especially since Canada lost 43,000 jobs in June, our economy lost 30,600 jobs in July, and another 40,000 in August.

Instead of a guaranteed fixed income, a universal job guarantee policy provides jobs—and wages—to people who aren’t able to find work on their own. In theory, a universal job guarantee could help stabilize inflation by providing stable, full-time employment, addressing unemployment, enhancing economic productivity and reinforcing price stability.

Job guarantee programs are crucial for a number of reasons. They keep people in the labour force, alleviate poverty, improve health and well-being, add meaning to people’s lives and help the most vulnerable. They also provide crucial non-monetary benefits that have historically been associated with universal basic income, including improvements to “health, education, social cohesion and productivity.”


There are a few unique barriers that undermine universal basic income and its ability to be implemented. As we have

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seen with government support programs related to COVID-19, government stimulus in the form of direct cash can cause inflation. These programs reduce the supply of lower skilled employees in the job market, as some people invariably decide to stay at home, rather than work.

Like the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, universal basic income might take away the incentive to work for some, resulting in a labour market bereft of workers. This would result in a vicious cycle: employers would raise wages to attract those willing to work, which would increase inflation and cost of living, causing businesses, in turn, to raise costs to be able to afford higher salaries for their workers.

The effects of cash stimulus without controls can be far reaching. To take the resulting steam out of the economy, policy-makers often resort to blunt countermeasures like increasing interest rates, which can lead to a recession.

In contrast, a universal job guarantee would generate revenue for the government through taxable income, thereby reducing the cost of the program while simultaneously enhancing other sectors of the economy, such as the environment or infrastructure. It would ensure that people are able to earn money and, therefore, be able to spend money.


Part of the reason why universal basic income hasn’t been successful in Canada is because it hasn’t been championed by any mainstream Canadian political party. A program like that would require either the Liberal or the Conservative Party of Canada to make universal basic income part of their electoral platform.

On the contrary, a universal job guarantee would be more appealing to voters because it addresses labour shortages while guaranteeing minimum wage. Considering there are already programs that help people find fulfilling jobs, it isn’t too much of a stretch to imagine a scaledup version run by the federal government.

Consider Canada’s summer student work programs, where the Canadian government subsidizes businesses to hire students, or other employment programs, such as building infrastructure to last generations or tree planting. A universal job guarantee would build on these established programs and be more likely to garner political support based on precedent.


People want better jobs and a consistent source of income. Economies with full employment operate at their full potential

with higher productivity and stability than those with high unemployment.

When I worked as a senior policy advisor for the government of Canada, the most effective bureaucrats that were able to implement policy were aware of politics and ideology and how governments of the day are driven by them and the likelihood of votes. They knew how to frame good policy within a party’s platform to attract voters.

Other countries are already taking the plunge. In October 2020, Austria announced they were running the world’s first universal jobs guarantee experiment. Canada would do well to keep an eye on the pilot program and see how it unfolds.

However, I caution us to be realistic: we cannot throw out fantastical ideas of universality of a job guarantee or a universal basic income without understanding how governments, democracy and politics inform policymaking. For a country as large as Canada, this kind of transformative change needs to take place in steps.

While it remains to be seen whether a sensible and practically implementable universal job guarantee program can be implemented in Canada, building on existing programs that have already proven to work is a good place to start.

This article is republished from The Conversation. September October 2022 | | 25

AGM: Accor Hotels, North America

ACCOR HOTELS held its general meeting in person at the fabled Fairmont San Francisco in July, and it was just like old times. Industry types and sponsors were treated to a fabulous, festive week that included classical musicians, dancing dragons, a Chinatown dinner, wine tasting in Sonoma, tours of Alcatraz and a “Summer of Love” final party.

Of course, there was plenty of serious business to conduct, plenty of interesting commentary about the present state and future of Accor hotels and the travel industry as a whole.

Speaking to media from Canada and around the world, Mansi Vagt, global vice president, Fairmont Brand, said Accor opened an MGallery Hotel inside the Belmont Hotel in Vancouver late last year. She also said there are big plans for a new spa centre at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

Vagt said she couldn’t reveal specific plans, but that two more projects are in the works for Canada. Given the growth in Accor’s boutique and luxury/lifestyle brands, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a property like MGallery in another Canadian city.

Speaking in a virtual presentation, Accor Global CEO Sebastien Bazin said he'd like to see more Accor hotels in North America. Officials outlined several Accor properties in the U.S., including a new Raffles coming to Boston. It’ll be the first Raffles brand hotel in the United States.

There’s also a new Fairmont coming to Orlando, and there have been major recent renovations, including the venerable Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, which is stunning.

26 | | September October 2022
More Accor hotels for Canada. All-inclusive Fairmont and Sofitel resorts around the world. And a big push for sustainability.

Vagt said two more Fairmonts are being built in Morocco, as well as hotels in Prague and Tokyo. There’s also the Fairmont Windsor Park in west London, which is now open and is said to have the largest spa in the United Kingdom, a new Sofitel in Mexico City and a Sofitel Legend in Panama City. Significant renovations are being done to the Fairmont Southampton in Bermuda, too, officials said.

All told, 26 Fairmont hotels should be built in the next three to five years, said Vagt. “I’ve been with Fairmont for 15 years and I’ve never seen growth like this.”

One surprising development at the meetings was the announcement that Accor is getting into the all-inclusive resort business, with plans for 100 properties around the world in the next few years. They’ll carry a variety of brand names, including Fairmont, Sofitel and Swissotel.

Markus Keller, chief sales and distribution officer for Accor, said Accor partnered with a brand called Rixos a few years ago. Rixos originated out of Turkey, and all its properties are all-inclusive.

“We’ve come to learn more and more about the all-inclusive business, and how not only lucrative it can be from a business perspective, but how enjoyable it can be from a customer perspective if it’s done right,” Keller said, the clang of San Francisco cable cars echoing through an open window of the Penthouse Suite at the Fairmont San Francisco. “There can be a negative perception to all-inclusive. It’s sort of like, ‘It’s all-inclusive but only at the buffet restaurant and only from 6 to 8 a.m. and if you want a glass of wine, you’re going to have to pay extra for that.’” But that’s not true for Rixos.

“When you go to Rixos it’s all included,” Keller said. “Every restaurant, every drink is included.”

Keller said there is a premium market for all-inclusive “that doesn’t require Accor to compete at the bottom.” Loyal Accor customers might want to try something new, he said, while

non-Accor travellers might be tempted to try Fairmont or Sofitel if they have all-inclusive properties.

Keller said all-inclusives could be quite attractive for families of business travellers, who wouldn’t have to worry about the cost of a meal outside the hotel. He also said Accor all-inclusive will feature top-notch entertainment for adults and kids.

“It has to feel Fairmont,” said Vagt. “It has to feel like ‘I’m coming to this property because I either have a relationship with Fairmont’ or it’s a new guest that wants that style and level of luxury in an environment where everything is taken care of; the kids, the food, the entertainment, the wine, and you really feel this elevated sense that, ‘When I check out, what’s that (the bill) going to look like.’ You know what you’re getting.”

Vagt said Fairmont already has all-inclusive packages at some hotels, including the Mayakoba in Mexico. Speaking after the press event, Keller said all-inclusive resorts could be built in places such as the Middle East, the Caribbean and Asia.

One of the things Accor is most excited about is the Orient Express train, which should debut in 2024. “It’s not a product, it’s a feeling,” said Bazin.

Keller said heritage trains will run to destinations such as Istanbul, Split, Venice and Paris.


There were 13 brands in Accor eight years ago. There are now 43, and there’s an entire division called Ennismore that includes luxury/lifestyle brands. Those types of hotels made up only 11 per cent of the Accor portfolio in 2013, but they now account for 33 per cent of its properties. Not only that, Accor is now the second largest operator of world luxury and lifestyle brands, behind only Marriott, Keller said.

New Accor brands in the last eight years include Mama Shelter, Banyan Tree, Movenpick and Tribe.

September October 2022 | | 27

L to R: Accor Executives

Accor also has increased its footprint outside of Europe. Only 26 per cent of its properties were non-European in 2013. Now, 61 per cent are outside Europe.


Markus said Accor’s general recovery “has by far exceeded all expectations.”

“That has been by and large driven by a couple of things,” he said. “First of all leisure, secondly domestic and interregional travel. However, if there’s one thing we had significantly underestimated it was the return of small meetings, domestic and interregional small meetings.”

International is obviously more complicated…but the small meetings market has been quite strong in North America and Europe, he said.

Accor officials across the board said “bleisure,” the mixing of business and leisure, has become a huge factor in the hotel industry.

“Combining work and play used to be called a junket,” Keller said. “Now it’s a social trend.”

“Thursday used to be check-out day,” said Jan Freitag, director of hospitality/analytics at CoStar. “Now, it’s check-in day.”

Freitag said leisure travel is quite strong in North America, while group business is pretty good and business travel is still slow. Hotels in big U.S. cities are seeing a lot of business go to smaller centres, he said. Asked if that’s true about Canada, he said it seems to be the case, but that he hears Toronto is doing better lately.


Freitag said there were two million hospitality workers in the U.S. in 2019. There are now 1.7 million, which means 300,000 Americans have left the industry. The U.S. serves as both harbinger and mirror for Canada.

“Wages are up but we’re still not getting them back, because Amazon is hiring, too.”

Freitag said hotels have to do more with less; perhaps changing opening hours, having robots vacuum public spaces overnight, or having staff tidy a room each day versus conducting a full cleaning.

Jeff Doane, chief commercial officer, North and Central America, said hotels are partly to blame. “Working in the hospitality industry is special. Maybe we haven’t done enough to accentuate that.”

Bazin said the days of people working 20 years for the same hotel are over, and that workers today don’t want to put in more

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Markus Keller, Mansi Vagt, Emlyn Brown and Meenaz Diamond. JIM BYERS PHOTO



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than three days a week. It’s a nightmare for human resources planning, and it means a ton of training has to be done.


Brune Poirson, Accor’s chief sustainability officer, said sustainability and environmental issues used to be a marketing slogan. “But we now put sustainability at the heart of everything we do.”

Poirson said Accor was the first hotel group to commit to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. They also will eliminate singleuse plastics at all its hotels by the end of this year.


Emlyn Brown, global vice president, Wellness for Accor, said four of five hotel guests now say they want to lead a healthier lifestyle. Accor is bringing wellness programs to all its properties, including lower-priced hotels such as Ibis.

Not only is that a point of differentiation for its hotels, but guests expect it, and wellness clients spend 55 per cent more at a hotel than “regular” customers, he said.


Keller said he thinks slow travel has become a huge trend. Business travellers want to take an extra day for leisure, maybe bring their family or take the train instead of a plane.

“People want to absorb more culture,” said Brown. “For a lot of people, travel was like consuming junk food. You lose the wonder.”

Hanging out in the wellness lounge at the Fairmont SF.
30 | | September October 2022
Getting back to in-person meetings.



In October the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s Evrima will welcome guests aboard—the first time a hotel brand has gone to sea under its own flag. Traditionally cruise ships have divided their staff between a sailing crew and hotel staff. The hotel function can be at a high standard but has never before been operated by a recognized land-based hotel brand.

CEO Doug Prothero is the Canadian who conceived the idea to provide the experience of “casual luxury of a RitzCarlton Reserve at sea. This is a hybrid between yachting and cruising. We aren’t trying to get to seven ports in seven days. It’s casual luxury at a comfortable pace. We’re more interested in a yachting lifestyle.”


Prothero, from Port Stanley, B.C. has had a 35-year career built around the water. He was chairman of Sail Training International, the 32-country organization, which trains young people to sail, and hosts tall ships gatherings like Rendezvous 2017. That was his volunteer life. It was while working with Capital Canada Limited, a Toronto-based boutique investment firm where Prothero specialized in maritime finance. It was consulting on several cruise ventures that he says he came to know the business development team at Marriott. “Marriott has been looking at getting into the cruise business for about 25 years,” explains

Prothero. The Marriott reps suggested that since he understood all facets of the cruise business, they would be interested in working with him if he decided to “take a run at being the developer.”

That was nine years ago. Prothero spent the first five-and-a-half years compiling a team, arranging financing, finalizing a business plan, settling on a ship design and hiring a shipyard to build it.

The original plan was to launch in 2019 with the other two yachts in the threevessel collection coming into service in 2021 and 2022. The schedule fell

32 | | September October 2022

victim to bad news (a problem with the 120+-year-old shipyard’s finances) and the worse news of the COVID pandemic. Yet, in a type of business and marketing serendipity the delay caused by the shipyard’s problems saved the Collection from launching and stopping so that Evrima comes into service with the return of world travel and tourism as a fresh product untainted by pandemic concerns and questions.

The other yachts will launch in 2024 and 2025.

When it launches, Prothero says that Evrima’s crew-to-guest ratio is the highest in the business (236 crew for 298 guests).

September October 2022 | | 33

The yacht is 191 metres long and has 149 terrace suites ranging from 29 sq. metres to 100 sq. metres. “We have two owners’ suites at the top, facing aft. They split down the middle and have a 90-degree view starboard and aft, and a 90-degree view port and aft. Each is 100 sq. metres with a 50 sq. metre terrace and a plunge pool. And the smaller size is a 29 sq. metre terrace suite,” he explains.

“These yachts are designed so that most of these smaller suites can be interconnected with the one beside them. So, if we’re on charter and somebody doesn’t need all 149 suites we can offer them a selection of larger suites,” says Prothero.

Where other ships in the luxury cruise niche are stand-alone businesses offering a version of accommodation and service, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection brings the known quality, service and Ritz reputation to the novel venture. Prothero says, “With the Ritz-Carlton brand, people know what to expect or have an expectation of what the service and culinary offering will be. And then it’s a yacht that looks sufficiently different from a cruise ship.” Those attributes he believes will draw both regular Ritz-Carlton guests and new cruisers to the Ritz experience.

The Collection’s research also suggests the yachts’ guests will skew about 10 years younger than the typical luxury cruise guest and also appeal to 30- and 40-year-olds. Like the hotels, the yachts

are available for corporate clients for total charter or buyouts of decks.

To further differentiate itself, cruises are designed so guests can do back-toback seven-and-ten-day experiences without repeating routes or ports. Their size enables them to call on ports, like Portofino, Capri, Mykonos, and St. Barts that the large ships have to bypass. In those ports local chefs, musicians and artists will lead curated, bespoke shore journeys.

Prothero’s goal is to create a vessel so grand, so elegant it will inspire oohs and awes from jaded residents of the Riviera where ocean-going yachts fill the marinas.

Amenities include six F&B options including a special dining experience presented by three-Michelin-starred chef Sven Elverfeld, meaning Evrima has the finest food afloat. Additionally, there is in-suite dining. Prothero adds, “Most of our dining venues have alfresco dining as well.”

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Alfresco extends to the spa where treatment suites have their terraces for inside or outside options. The yoga studio and gym also have terraces.

Their aft marina doubles as a type of floating beach. “The swim platform can be lowered into the sea. Then from what we call the beach, where the sun lounges are there, you can go up the stairs to a lounge” which can open three sides of the yacht to the air. The onboard marina also provides a variety of toys like paddle boards, kayaks, sailboats, zodiacs and what Prothero describes as James Bondlike high-speed limousine tenders.

While travel opened earlier in the year, the yacht underwent a longer run-in period than any cruise line does “because we need to be Ritz-Carlton on day one.”

Prothero says, “Interestingly, in the research, we are seeing people who say they have never taken a cruise and never cruise, but would take this because it’s a yachting lifestyle product.”

“It’s partly the brand of course. It is a brand people know what to expect and they will have an expectation of what the service and culinary would be. And then it’s a yacht. They look at the ship and say

that’s sufficiently different than a cruise ship.”

In part two, which will appear in a later issue, STAY will look at the yacht’s hotel operations at sea. Stay tuned…

September October 2022 | | 35


Q: What is Women Own the Room and what is your role in the program?

A: Women Own the Room (WOTR) is the first-ever program by a major hotel company specifically targeting women’s advancement in hotel ownership and it is a result of a collaborative initiative between different departments—finance, HR, marketing and development. We began working on the program back in March 2019 and I provided input from the development side of things. I led various focus groups of existing and aspiring women hoteliers, who gave us insights and helped us identify the common barriers women face in hotel development and helped conceptualized three main pillars of the program.

Q: Why were you personally and professionally motivated to sponsor this program as a hotelier?

A: I started working in development back in 2015 and it was interesting to see how significantly underrepresented women were in hotel ownership, real estate, and investment funding roles. Over the last few years, I was approached by many women who were keen on understanding more about the inner workings of the industry. While some of these women were doctors, lawyers, and IT professionals who were “holding the purse strings” and looking to become investors/owners; others were part of

the industry and wanted to independently manage their own businesses. Broadly speaking, most women that I met were looking for mentorship, guidance and/or access to capital. This led us to develop the three pillars of the program: to provide Educational, Operational, and Financial support.

Q:  What was the impetus for Women own the Room?

A: The WOTR program was launched in 2021 and from inception, the goal of this project has been to advance and empower women entrepreneurs seeking to break through the segmented hotel industry. This program is designed to clear a path

Human Resources, DEI
36 | | September October 2022

for women eager to make their mark in the hospitality industry. The tourism and hospitality workforce is comprised of 70 per cent women, yet women have roughly only had 20 per cent representation in the C-suite and about 10 per cent in development roles. The hospitality industry is not lacking women workers, the disconnect comes from inadequate mentorship, advocacy, and access to capital. Wyndham’s WOTR program is actively effecting change to remove these industry roadblocks. Through these efforts, individuals and communities of women working in hospitality are provided with newfound opportunities.

Q: The program is a resource to help overcome common barriers women face in hotel development and to help them effectively open and run their hotels. Please define these barriers in relation to the pillars of the program.

A: As the key pillars of the program are Educational, Operational, and Financial support; Wyndham’s WOTR delivers comprehensive financial solutions to members through enhanced capital support, reduced initial franchise fee, and availability for new construction and conversion projects. Members are privy to personalized operational guidance and support in the form of directional support ahead of a property opening, best-in-class training, and complimentary services designed to help maximize revenue. This initiative also establishes an inclusive community for networking and education through hosted events that generate financing knowledge, the guidance of feasibility assessments

and shared success stories from women in hotel development.

Q: Please describe some of the program’s wins and achievements, of both the program and its participants this far.

A: In the U.S. where the program launched, Wyndham celebrated its first WOTR-signed agreements with new owner Trusha Patel in January 2022 for the debut of two new La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites dual-branded hotels in Texas. Two new women entrepreneurs were also announced in March: Hetal Christian, who just opened a Wyndham Garden hotel in Dover, Del. and Neha Jadhav, who will open a La Quinta and Hawthorn Suites dual-branded hotel in Warrenton, Va., which will be her first new construction project.

Wyndham currently has multiple hotels owned by women open across the country and is working with more than a dozen WOTR members on additional hotel deals. We are working with several owners in Canada to launch the program here!

Human Resources, DEI September October 2022 | | 37



Plenty is going on at the Fairmont hotels in Banff and Lake Louise.


New executive chef Atticus Garant is shaking things up with new menus at this iconic Alberta hotel.

Garant, who has worked at venerable Fairmont properties in Los Angeles (the heralded Century Plaza), Chicago and Vancouver (Pacific Rim), says he wanted to “match the food to the cocktails, with bright tastes and fresh acidity.” He’s also adding more world flavours, such as mint chutney with the Arctic Char. At the Rundle Bar, the Poke Bowl features albacore tuna, avocado, edamame, radish, cucumber, sushi rice and pickled ginger.

The hotel has given the Rundle Bar a strong new look, as well as a hidden speakeasy behind a wall of books. The bar was presented with the 2021 Canadian Interiors “Best of Canada” award in hospitality for its interior design.

Garant also is reworking menus at Waldhaus Restaurant and 1888 Chop House.

“The castle has always been a food destination. We wanted to revitalize things and bring that back,” he says.

The resort is also undergoing a $35 million renovation of its guest rooms, suites and Fairmont Gold Floor, anticipated to be completed in Spring 2023. The famed Royal Suite, located at the peak of the castle’s turret and boasting panoramic views of Banff National Park, is also being transformed with the addition of a second bedroom, an upgraded master bedroom, and other improvements.

There was a fun installation at the outdoor pool this summer called Banffchella, with a live DJ spinning tunes and colourful art, including ice cream cone decals on the ground, a melting pink and orange popsicle and a yellow, blue and purple Veuve Clicquot photo frame.


Fairmont recently opened a new spot called Alpine Social, which has large tables inside and TVs, plus a terrific patio overlooking the lawn and stunning Lake Louise.

There was a " street food" menu and we had good tacos on the patio (the duck is especially tasty). They

Regional Focus
Photo by Chris Phan
38 | | September October 2022

also have fried chicken, wings, several salads and guacamole with chips.

For a fine cocktail, there's the Whoopsie Daisy, with tequila, ginger, lemon and an anise rinse. This is one more way the hotel's F&B offerings exemplify the contemporary, sophisticated, elevated-yetfun vibe that keeps guests engaged in the experience of their stay.

Alpine Social now shares a kitchen with a new Mediterranean-themed restaurant called Louiza (formerly Poppy Brasserie), which opened in mid-September.

The chateau is building a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly well-being thermal wellness facility on the site of the old outdoor pool, which closed in 1980. They hope to open the wellness building in January 2024.


Calgary has made waves with two newer, very cool hotels.


The Dorian, part of the Marriott Autograph Collection, opened this summer as the city’s newest beacon of style.

Located at 525 5 Ave SW, in the heart of downtown, the hotel has 137 rooms and suites and was designed to be stylish, yet whimsical. Look for colourful wallpaper with birds and flowers, as well as bathrobes for your dog (yes, really.) At Prologue, the main floor dining spot, the washrooms have wallpaper that features monkeys who are drinking vodka and smoking cigarettes.

Regional Focus
September October 2022 | | 39
Photo by Chris Amat

Regional Focus

Rooms have fancy kettles and minifridges and are decorated in warm tones of blue and bronze. They also feature liquor carts with Eau Claire Earl Grey Dorian Gin, made especially for the hotel by Alberta’s Eau Claire Distillery, and a copy of the book, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” by Oscar Wilde.

Perhaps the coolest feature of the hotel is the 27th-floor rooftop restaurant and bar, called The Wilde. Hotel GM David Keam told STAY Magazine he hopes to make it one of the top dining spots in the city, with a focus on local and regional fare, as well as tableside cocktail making. It’s a bright, beautiful spot with marvellous views of the city.

It’s only the second Autograph Collection hotel in Alberta, the other being The Kananaskis Mountain Lodge.

The upper floors of the property are Dorian rooms, while the lower floors are part of a new Courtyard by Marriott hotel, which has its own, sleek lobby and shares a second-floor casual dining spot with The Dorian. The Courtyard has 169 rooms.


The Westley Calgary Downtown, fashioned out of a 1970’s low-rise office building at 630 4 Ave SW, celebrated its one-year anniversary this summer.

It’s part of the Tapestry Collection by Hilton and features six types of rooms.

Southern Ontario-born general manager Ian Jones, who has managed hotels from Toronto to Shanghai and London to Moscow, showed Stay Magazine around the property.

Rooms are smartly decorated in shades of grey and white and feature cool artwork that combines old and new scenes of Calgary.

One-bedroom suites have microwaves. All suites have a fold-out sofa bed with double padding for extra comfort.

“They don’t feel at all like a sofa bed,” Jones said.

Rooms (there are 104 in total) feature Smeg kettles (Jones said he’s adding Smeg coffee makers) and mini-fridges, with large bottles for fresh water to cut down on plastics.

The hotel has retained several 1970s architectural touches, such as rounded archways. The main floor convenience display features retro candies such as Mike and Ike, as well as bath bombs, wine, beef jerky Caesar sticks and locally made candles.

The main floor restaurant, Fonda Fora, serves up authentic Mexican cuisine and imports several types of corn from Mexico.

40 | | September October 2022


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