THE WINNERS' CIRCLE Update March 12, 2019

Accent wins for putting employees first

VANCOUVER — Accent Inns Inc. has won the coveted 2019 Employees First
Award
, presented Feb. 28 at the BC Tourism Industry Conference
Gala. The award is sponsored by go2HR, BC’s tourism human resource association,
as part of the 2019 Tourism Industry Awards.

The Employees First Award recognizes a British Columbia tourism industry
employer who has upheld high standards of excellence in human resources and
people management practices. A family-run business deeply rooted in family
values, Accent Inns’ work environment reflects a strong sense of community and
support for all staff. Employees are encouraged to take care of each other,
have fun and share their fun with others to spread positivity in the workplace.

“We were so honoured
to sit with the finalists, Point Group Hospitality and Scott's Inn and
Restaurant, who are putting people first,” said Mandy Farmer, president
and CEO of Accent Inns Inc. “Nothing is more important than how you treat
people. Thank you go2HR for being a champion of people first.”

Taking feedback from their
employees, in 2018 Accent Inns rolled out a new onboarding and training program
to welcome their employees under both their brands: Accent Inns and Hotel Zed.
The “Welcome to Hotel Awesomeness Training”, or “WHAT?”, provides new staff
with branded gifts tied to the company’s four core values and sets them up for
success with check-ins at 30, 60, and 90 days.

Since then, the company has
seen an increase from 85 per cent in 2017 to 95 per cent in 2018 of staff agreeing with the
statement “I am happy to be here” in the employee survey results. Twenty-two
per cent of their staff have been with the company for over 10 years, and they
hope to improve their retention rate by 20 per cent in the first six months with their
new onboarding program.

UofG students win Tri-University Hospitality Competition

GUELPH, Ont. — Westin Ottawa has great ADR and RevPAR, but it hasn't been renovated in seven years. What should the hotel do? Mission Hill Winery has an outdoor restaurant, which is great in the summer, but the Okanagan Valley winery needs a plan for the off-season.

These were the two case studies given to students at the Tri-University Hospitality Competition held at University of Guelph on March 2. The three participating universities were Ryerson University, Toronto; University of Guelph; and UQAM, Montréal.

“I'm excited to share the
results of the March 2 HTCC competition, hosted by University of Guelph. I'm proud
to say that our teams won both the Hospitality and Tourism cases, plus a second
place in Tourism,” said Statia Elliot, director, School of Hospitality, Food & Tourism Management, University of Guelph.

Hospitality Case winners.

Hospitality Case winners.

Guelph placed first in the Hospitality Case provided by Marriott Hotels Canada, UQAM was second and Ryerson third. The first place team consisted of Cassia Groenenberg, Sahad Kassam and Shruti Kukreja.

In the Tourism Case by Mission
Hill Family Estate Winery, Guelph took both first and second places, and UQAM was third. The winning team included Alex Owens, Yufeng Yang and Jacqueline Simard. 

The 2019 event was the 11th edition of HTCC, the annual case competition featuring Canada's top hospitality schools.

This
case competition is an opportunity for schools to connect and share
ideas among each other and participating organizations. Participants were given a case that is provided by an organization which they then have to find a
solution to in a three-hour time frame. Participants then had 20 minutes
to present their solution to three judges and an audience followed by a Q&A.

This
rigorous case competition encourages students to find effective ways to handle
unique situations under pressure and apply their education to real world
scenarios.

BCIT wins student case competition

The BCIT team included Caitlin Ledingham, Eleanor Canning, Zophia Espinosa and Marni Weinstein.

The BCIT team included Caitlin Ledingham, Eleanor Canning, Zophia Espinosa and Marni Weinstein.

VANCOUVER — On the west coast, another case competition took place on Feb. 28. The team from BCIT’s Tourism Marketing
Management Diploma Program was crowned the winner of this year’s provincial
Winning Pitch competition at the BC Tourism Industry Conference today.

The Winning Pitch, organized and presented by go2HR, BC’s tourism
human resource association, is a post-secondary student case competition. This
year, student teams had to develop a new product or service that supports the
development of accessible tourism opportunities in their respective regions.

The BCIT team, made up of
students Eleanor Canning, Zophia Espinosa, Caitlin Ledingham, and Marni
Weinstein, took home first place and a prize of $1,000 with their proposal of
“Reel YVR”, a Vancouver-based tour company that blends the then-and-now of the
local film industry through immersive movie and TV location tours across the
Lower Mainland.

Fourteen teams from ten
post-secondary schools presented their four-page concept paper to industry
judging panels at regional competitions held in Osoyoos, Vancouver, Victoria,
and via online submission for the Kootenay Rockies. The winner from each
regional competition met yesterday at the provincial finals, held at the BC
Tourism Industry Conference.

Skål Hamilton celebrates 40 years

BURLINGTON, Ont — Skål Hamilton Club recently celebrated its 40th Anniversary, which was hosted by Skålleague Sonia Radunovic and her team at the award-winning Burlington
Convention Centre and Courtyard by Marriott Hotel Burlington. The keynote speaker, was The Honourable Lisa Raitt, MP
Milton.

From left to right: Frank Vismeg, vice-president (now president), Rolf Schwartjze, director, Sandra Stewart-Fearnside, president (now past president), Mark Iker, director, all from Skål Hamilton Club; Susan Webb, president, Skål Canada; keynote speaker, The Hon. Lisa Raitt - MP Milton; and Claire Ingle - president, Skål Toronto North.

From left to right: Frank Vismeg, vice-president (now president), Rolf Schwartjze, director, Sandra Stewart-Fearnside, president (now past president), Mark Iker, director, all from Skål Hamilton Club; Susan Webb, president, Skål Canada; keynote speaker, The Hon. Lisa Raitt – MP Milton; and Claire Ingle – president, Skål Toronto North.

The Westin Grand, Vancouver celebrates 20 years

VANCOUVER — This year in May, The Westin Grand,
Vancouver will reach an exciting milestone as the hotel celebrates 20 years of
welcoming guests to the Vancouver area. 

The historic 206-room, 31-storey, grand-piano-shaped property opened on April 1, 1999 and is managed by Pacific Reach of
Vancouver, BC. Located at 433 Robson Street, the prime downtown location offers
guests convenient access to Yaletown, historic Gastown, Rogers Arena, BC Place,
the Vancouver Convention Centre and numerous shopping, dining and entertainment
options.

Hotel amenities include over 4,106 square feet of
functional space to accommodate meetings or other events for up to 100 people,
a rooftop outdoor swimming pool and whirlpool spa, complete with a seasonal
deck overlooking vibrant Robson Street for drinks with colleagues or friends. 

Other hotel conveniences include complimentary Wi-Fi, a state-of-the-art 24/7
Westin WORKOUT studio that includes cardiovascular equipment, free-weights and
complimentary fitness classes, and Hendricks Resto-Lounge offering traditional
cuisine and creative cocktails.

The Westin Grand, Vancouver completed a full
renovation in May 2017. The recently refreshed hotel offers 183 one-bedroom
suites featuring a full living room and 17 double-queen rooms. Each
double-queen room connects to a one-bedroom suite and is the perfect combination for large families travelling together, as it can sleep up to eight people. Each room provides the
world-renowned Westin Heavenly Bed outfitted with sumptuous linens and
pillows, a flat-screen television, and stunning views of the city of Vancouver
from the wall of windows surrounding the rooms.