OPENINGS SALES & RENOS Oct. 22, 2019

Aimbridge Hospitality acquires Bellstar

Grande Rockies Resort, Canmore, Alta.

DALLAS – Aimbridge Hospitality, North America’s largest independent hotel investment and management firm, announces its Canadian affiliate has acquired Canadian condo-hotel management company, Bellstar Hotels & Resorts, Ltd. 

Founded in 2003, Bellstar Hotels & Resorts, Ltd., manages luxury destination resorts across western Canada. The company ensures each managed property maintains its unique individuality with a corporate mission of exceptional experiences for guests, owners and employees. 

“I am excited to pass the torch to Aimbridge Hospitality, a company just as dedicated to innovation and revenue growth,” said Dale Hodgson, CEO at Bellstar Hotels & Resorts. “The robust infrastructure and proven managerial performance Aimbridge brings to the table bodes really well for our owners and guests going forward.” 

The transaction adds seven Canadian properties with a total of more than 600 keys to Aimbridge Hospitality’s ever-growing hotel portfolio.

The newly acquired properties, all independent assets located in Western Canada, include the following: Grande Rockies Resort,Canmore, Alta.; Solara Resort & Spa, Canmore, Alta.; Glacier Mountaineer Lodge, Golden, B.C.; Kicking Horse Homes,Golden, B.C.; Palliser Lodge, Golden, B.C.; The Royal Kelowna, Kelowna, B.C.; and The Beach Club Resort, Parksville, Vancouver Island, B.C.

In addition to the seven condo-hotel management agreements, Aimbridge will acquire a corporate office in Calgary that currently employs 18 people in support of the Bellstar portfolio. 

“The acquisition of this robust company and its seven thriving properties is a huge addition to Aimbridge Hospitality’s international portfolio,” said Dave Johnson, chairman and CEO at Aimbridge Hospitality. “As we look toward international expansion, we are proud to welcome these properties to our management portfolio and look forward to ongoing success in the Canadian market.”

CFO finances SAGE’s Montreal venture

MONTREAL — On behalf of SAGE Holdings and BLAN Capital, CFO Capital is pleased to announce its latest financing for the acquisition of the Hôtel Gouverneurs Montréal and the conversion to a top-tier international brand to be determined, located on Rue Saint-Hubert Downtown Montreal, Que. The 30-storey full-service hotel with 254,665 square feet, 353 rooms and 8,510 square feet of meeting space, is well-located in the Arts and Entertainment District, connected to Montreal’s subway system and famous underground city access.

China gets its first Microtel

SHANGHAI, China — Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest hotel franchising company with approximately 9,200 hotels across more than 80 countries, has announced the arrival of its Microtel by Wyndham brand in China with the opening of the 192-room Microtel by Wyndham Guiyang.

Located in the heart of Guiyang, in Southwest China’s Guizhou province, the opening marks a key milestone for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts as it continues to aggressively expand its presence across China, introducing new brands and hotels to key primary and secondary markets. Wyndham is the largest international hotel franchisor in China, with a portfolio of more than 1,500 hotels across 11 brands in the region, including recent additions under Wingate by Wyndham and TRYP by Wyndham, which entered the region in 2018 and 2017, respectively.

“Since 2015, Wyndham has successfully introduced four new brands to the China market,” said Leo Liu, president and managing director of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts in Greater China. “With inbound and domestic tourism in China rising year over year, this creates tremendous opportunity for brands like Microtel, which is purpose-built for the needs of today’s modern travelers, particularly millennials, with stylish rooms and efficient, tech-centric amenities.”

Microtel is a trailblazer in efficiency, all-new construction and award-winning service, focused on delivering long-term value and quality for today’s hotel guests and owners. In China, Microtel depicts a neo-futurism design concept, which is characterized by contemporary architecture, novel shape, clean-cut lines and a minimalist interior.

Specific for the market and lifestyle traveller in China, and to align with Wyndham’s strategy in the country, Microtel by Wyndham Guiyang takes the brand’s modern efficiencies and minimalist look to the next level by incorporating a new, streamlined design, including a neutral color palette of black, white, grey and beige. Because of this, and to expand in a faster pace in line with demand in the region, Microtel in China will be a select-service lifestyle brand, where functionality doesn’t compromise style.

Clarke Inc. acquires Holloway Lodging

HALIFAX — Clarke Inc. has acquired Holloway Lodging Corporation and completed the assumption of Holloway’s Series B 6.25-per-cent convertible unsecured debentures due February 28, 2023.

The debentures are no longer convertible into Holloway shares and are instead convertible into 52 Clarke Shares for each $1,000 principal amount of debentures at a conversion price of $19.23 per Clarke Share.

Clarke is an investment company with offices in Toronto and Halifax. Its executive team includes George Armoyan, executive chairman; Michael Rapps, president and CEO; Paola Calce, vice-president and general counsel; and Steve Cyr, vice-president and CFO.

Holloway Lodging Corporation consists of an investment in hotels as well as a hotel management business. Holloway Hotels owns and operates 20 hotels with 2,376 rooms across Canada, primarily in secondary and tertiary markets. Holloway Management Services was formed in 2019 and currently manages 40 hotels, according to the Clarke Inc. website. 

Clarke has indicated its approach to investing remains the same following the acquisition andit will continue to be an opportunistic investor that takes a concentrated, long-term, hands-on and value-add approach.

While Clarke has not historically invested in real estate, several of Clarke’s officers and directors have considerable real-estate experience and the company expects any future real-estate investments will be focused on value-add opportunities. The company also intends to explore redevelopment opportunities within Holloway’s hotel portfolio.

As part of the acquisition, Paola Calce has joined Clarke as vice-president and general counsel. She was previously general counsel and corporate secretary of Holloway. At Clarke, Calce will take on expanded management responsibilities in the company’s operations and investment business, reporting to the president & CEO.

Clarke has also announced the appointment of Marc Staniloff as a director. Staniloff is president and CEO, as well as the founding partner of Superior Lodging Corp., a privately owned, vertically integrated hotel company focused on the development, investment and management of nationally franchised, limited-service hotels in Canada. Staniloff was previously a director of Holloway.

Opening of Mont-Sainte-Anne Convention Center

From left: Pierre Lefrançois, MRC Côte-de-Beaupré, Pierre Renaud, mayor of Beaupré, Émilie Foster, MNA for Charlevoix-Côte-de-Beaupré, Sébastien Roy, general manager Château Mont-Sainte-Anne and  Jean-François Ermel, board of directors of the Mont-Sainte-Anne Convention Center.

MONT-SAINTE-ANNE, Que. – It was with a great deal of pride that the newly expanded and renovated Mont-Sainte-Anne Conference Centerofficially opened this on Oct. 11. Gathered in the 7e Ciel room, several guests and media representatives were treated to the resort environment and breathtaking mountain view at the height of the fall splendour.

The $5 million investment facilitated the renovation of the Conference Center to bring it up to current standards and increase its floor space to over 23,000 square feet. If the meeting rooms in the Château are included, the facility is still the biggest resort-based conference centre in Quebec. Château Mont-Sainte-Anne is already significantly benefitting from this major initiative.
 
“We are hosting an increasing number of major events – the recent Mountain Bike World Championships generated economic spinoffs of more than $12 M – and we are very proud to be able to offer facilities that satisfy the highest industry standards,” said Sébastien Roy, general manager, Château Mont-Sainte-Anne.

More than $20 million will be invested in the coming months to complete the hotel complex development plan, including renovation of the common areas (entrance-façade, entrance lobby, reception hall), all the restaurant areas and the 103 guest rooms. The project will also include a new aqua leisure centre and the renovation of the lower floors of the Conference Center, which will consolidate the Mont-Sainte-Anne Conference Center and Château Mont Sainte-Anne as an industry leader in the Quebec resort business tourism industry.

Crash Hotel Launches in Downtown Squamish

SQUAMISH, BC — Crash Hotel Squamish, a new, independent boutique hotel has launched in the heart of downtown Squamish, delivering a completely out-of-the-ordinary energized hotel experience. This is the second location for Canada’s newest boutique hotel brand. The first is in downtown Edmonton.

Featuring 27 custom Squamish-inspired rooms, Crash Hotel promises travellers a stay as unique as they are. A Crash Hotel Squamish room doesn’t look like any other in the sea-to-sky corridor.

“Crash Hotel Squamish offers patrons an edgy hotel experience you might find in a major urban center, but with a local flavour,” said Chad Hubbs, general manager of Crash Hotel Squamish. “We are a great place to stay if you want more than a good night’s sleep. It’s for the adventure-hard, play-hard community who need a place to crash at the end of the night.”

Crash Hotel Squamish, the second Crash Hotel brand in Canada, is aimed at travellers who are looking for hip designs and social experiences rather than just material goods and services offered by current cookie cutter brands. 

“Squamish is at the centre of extreme sports and natural beauty, and we wanted to bring that essence out in the hotel,” said Hubbs. “Our rooms are designed around what makes Squamish such a draw for travellers including mountain biking, après skiing and snowboarding, rock climbing and the scenery.”

Located on the corner of Cleveland and Victoria, a site which housed travellers since the early 1900s, Crash Hotel Squamish is bringing a modern edge to this historic location. Crash Hotel Squamish also refurbished the historic Chieftain sign and reinstalled it. “We wanted to keep part of the history that has made this site so special and refurbished the sign to bring back many of its historic elements,” says Hubbs. “After a complete renovation of both the pub, The Goat, and the Crash Hotel, we are ready to be back as the cornerstone in Squamish’s downtown hospitality scene.”

Fairmont Hot Springs’ new snowmaking equipment

FAIRMONT HOT SPRINGS — Fairmont Hot Springs Resort has invested in new snowmaking technology that will significantly extend the upcoming 2019/2020 ski season at the Resort. The major investment will allow the Resort to open its runs earlier and to remain operational later into the spring.

“Our new snowmaking equipment doubles Fairmont Hot Springs Resort’s capacity to create first-class snow,” said Vivek Sharma, CEO, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. “With this new technology, which is used for major events like the Olympic Games, we will be able to make snow in warmer conditions to open the hill earlier, keep the hill open later and deliver more consistent snow conditions for years to come.”

Ski Area Manager Peter Harding, who has been with the Resort for more than three decades in various capacities, remembers when the original snowmaking system was installed in 1979. Forty years later, the latest in snowmaking technology will open exciting possibilities for the Resort, including the potential to offer more pre-season training to junior ski and snowboard teams.

“Fairmont Hot Springs Resort’s ski area is perfect for all ages and abilities. I often see kids I used to teach on this hill coming back as adults with children of their own,” shared Harding. “I am thrilled that with this new snowmaking equipment, we can continue welcoming generations back to the Resort and provide even more kids with an incredible ski and guest experience.”

Above and beyond great snow and an extended ski season, the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort Ski Area offers an equipment rentals and ski shop, tube and terrain parks, a snow school, delicious slope-side dining, and striking views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains and Columbia Valley. Ski tickets and passes also include complimentary access to the Resort’s natural mineral hot springs pools. With three ski lifts and 14 runs ranging from green to black diamond, the Resort offers something for everyone.

Seaside Hotel taking reservations in Vancouver

NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. — The highly anticipated Seaside Hotel has officially opened in the Shipyards District of Lower Lonsdale in North Vancouver. The Seaside is an Executive Hotels and Resorts property, sistering several other Executive locations in Vancouver, the EXchange Hotel Vancouver, Executive Le Soleil, and Executive Vintage Park.

The 71 deluxe-room boutique property offers “uncompromising, world-class luxury and unparalleled comfort.”  Seaside also houses spacious ocean or mountain view suites. The hotel is designed to echo Vancouver and the North Shore’s natural beauty, featuring reclaimed wood focus walls, marble bathrooms, chrome finishes, and large windows that expose natural light.

Hotel amenities include Seaside Provisions, the on-site restaurant, bar, and lounge. Seaside Provisions is a stylish and “holistic dining experience” referred to as the Living Room, that features locally sourced tapas and bespoke cocktails. The space’s interior design highlights specifically curated art and photography and is set to open this month. The hotel will also provide guests with The Wallace, an adjacent event space that can accommodate up to 200 standing guests, and the Waterfront Spa, which is also set to open this month. 

With the newly renovated Shipyards Commons and recently opened breweries and restaurants, North Vancouver’s Lower Lonsdale will be a hot-spot for visitors and locals alike. 

Brantford gets a TownePlace Suites

BRANTFORD, Ont. — Marriott International’s TownePlace Suites by Marriott Brantford, Ontario opened for business on October 10. The hotel was built for travellers looking for a simple and friendly place where they can settle-in, keep their routine, and easily connect to the Brantford area.

The new hotel, located at 30 Fen Ridge Court, will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned and managed by Bawa Hospitality Management of Vaughan, Ontario. General manager Fawad Khan and director of sales Amber Kane lead the management team at the property for Bawa Hospitality Management. 

“We are excited to introduce the TownePlace Suites brand to the Brantford area,” said Diane Mayer, vice-president and global brand manager, TownePlace Suites. “At TownePlace Suites, we get it. We want to go above and beyond to do everything we can to make our guests feel comfortable. We encourage our guests to be real, and help them to do so by providing a seamless residential atmosphere with a friendly staff who genuinely care about our guests. That is what our brand is all about, and this property is a great example of that.” 

All service team members are thoroughly trained on local knowledge and look forward to connecting guests to the local area. The TownePlace Suites Brantford and Conference Centre offers guests convenient access to the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts, the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre, Elements Casino Brantford, and downtown Brantford featuring numerous shopping, dining and entertainment options. 

Ideal for travellers who need accommodations for longer stays, this new property offers studio and one-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens, as well as separate living/working and sleeping areas. While on property, guests can create their own complimentary hot breakfast every morning in the lobby area and can fire up their stay by grilling up dinner on the outdoor Weber grills. The 24-hour In a Pinch market and On Us coffee service offer guests the chance to get their snack and caffeine on whenever they feel the need.

The six-storey hotel features a lobby bar and 8,000 square-feet of meeting space to accommodate functions of up to 600 people. The obstruction-free Grand Ballroom can also be split into three separate rooms to host 150 people each. A boardroom and two additional breakout meeting rooms are also available. All meeting spaces offer state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment and lighting to enhance each event.

Other hotel amenities include an indoor saltwater pool, an outdoor patio with fire pits and barbecue area, a fitness center open 24 hours per day, laundry facilities, complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the hotel and on-site business services, including copying, faxing and printing. TownePlace Suites Brantford and Conference Centre is also pet-friendly.