VICTORIA, BC—Mandy Farmer, president and CEO of Accent Inns, is heaving a sigh of relief. Over the last four years, the company has been rejuvenating its hotel exteriors, and now it’s all done.
“We always renovated our rooms, but not the exteriors of the hotels. We wanted a more West Coast contemporary look, in a blue-green colour blocking scheme,” Farmer told CLN. “We replaced metal railings with glass. The columns have real stone on the outside, and there are hundreds of hanging flower baskets. It took a while and a lot of dollars.”
The final step for Accent’s new look is tweaking the logo. “We had a focus group and found that our customers and our internal stakeholders knew how great we are, but people on the outside didn’t have the same view. It was eye-opening,” Farmer said.
“Tweaking our brand has been the most exciting thing I’ve ever done,” she added. The process will culminate in a new advertising program, a new website, a new tagline—plus new amenities in the rooms to include the new logo.
Accent’s website calls it a “pint-sized, boastfully BC hotel chain with five locations.”
The company welcomes pets in the rooms, and is also encouraging cyclists with a program called Bike Love.
“We’re just expanding our Bike Love program for the serious cyclist. They can bring their bikes into the room, and we have bike washing stations.”
Accent Inns has just launched Bike Love II, which includes a priority bicycle circle with bolts and locks to secure the bikes, and covers to put over them.
The Accent Inn in Victoria experienced a fire recently. The adjacent abc Country Restaurant was burned to the ground.
“It’s a pretty major event over here,” Farmer told CLN. “It was weird pulling up at midnight. My Dad built the place, and our staff had their meals there, and I took clients there. It was strange watching them clear up the debris.”
But the blessings were that no one was hurt, everyone pulled together to help, and the hotel was not damaged due to a “beautiful, excellent, solid firewall,” Farmer said.
Farmer took over leadership of the family-owned firm five years ago from her father, Terry Farmer, who is still involved. “Dad is essential to our culture—if I’m considering something I’ll run it by Dad. It’s been the loveliest transition,” she said.