Isherwoods retiring and CLN up for sale

Colleen & Steve Isherwood at AHLA100th Anniversary celebration at Banff Springs Hotel, 2019.

By Colleen Isherwood, President and Editor

TORONTO — Steve and I are ready to retire after more than 40 years in the hospitality publishing industry, but we are actively seeking a buyer for Canadian Lodging News, and have had some interest. Our strong desire is to see it continue to grow with the right owners. 

In the lodging industry, we talk a lot about passion — how passion and a love of people are what make the difference between a great hotel and one that just gets by.  Over the past 17 years, Steve and I have felt that passion as we produced Canadian Lodging News. We have had our fingers on the pulse of the hotel industry in Canada, and it’s been a good run.

That passion has translated into a core of engaged readers. Canadian Lodging News isn’t the sort of publication people file away to read when they have time.  People open it immediately. One of my rewards as editor has been to watch the Mailchimp stats after the publication launches on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 3 p.m. Most readers open it in the first hour it comes out.

Canadian Lodging News is devoted to uncovering news stories in our Canadian hotel community. That’s our mandate. And while we have been known to run stories about the U.S., South America, the Caribbean and even Thailand, most of our stories are about the people, the hotels and the developers who make up the Canadian lodging world.

This copy of the first issue of Canadian Lodging News in March 2004 hangs in my office.

Steve and I are at retirement age, and it’s time to hand Canadian Lodging News over to new owners. It’s been a great run — 15 years for me as editor and 17 for Steve as publisher, and more than 40 when you count our Restaurant News publications.  Our strong desire is to see Canadian Lodging News continue. It provides much needed information, which many readers value. We recently updated the look and feel of our website, a move that has been well received by our readers.

COVID has drastically changed our industries — both the lodging industry and the publishing industry. COVID has meant that our readership is up.  March and April saw readership increase dramatically — 35 per cent of subscribers opened their newsletters and 16 per cent clicked to read articles. While those numbers have cooled a bit, Canadian Lodging News readership during the pandemic has been consistently higher than before.  We are trying our best to provide relevant, and hopefully encouraging, stories in our newsletter.

I’m 67 and Steve is 68. For me, the reason for retiring is that I want to write novels. I’ve got one that’s half-finished and hope to commit more time to that venture. Steve and I also have plans to travel and spend more time with family.

The Canadian hotel community is a vibrant, ever-changing group of people who are going through the toughest times in living memory. Canadian Lodging News has had a role to play in communicating just how we are managing during these trying times, and giving us ideas on how to pivot our businesses. 

Steve and I are looking to pass the torch to someone who believes in the importance of this role, and we will be instrumental in helping them succeed.