Aggressive expansion, new uniforms at Travelodge Canada

CALGARY — Travelodge Canada has had an amazing year, opening the 100th Travelodge in Quebec City this summer, and now tallying 104 hotels, said Marc Staniloff.

From left: Dave Kelly, Nigel Lucas, Marc Staniloff and Trevor Hagel.

From left: Dave Kelly, Nigel Lucas, Marc Staniloff and Trevor Hagel.

CALGARY — Travelodge Canada has had an amazing year,
opening the 100th Travelodge in Quebec City this summer, and now
tallying 104 hotels, said Marc Staniloff, president and CEO of Superior Lodging
Corp., which owns the rights to Wyndham’s Travelodge franchise in Canada. He spoke at the Travelodge Canada conference held at Calgary's Sheraton Cavalier Hotel Oct. 17 and 18.

“When we bought Travelodge two years ago, we had 89 properties,”
said Staniloff. “Now we have 104 open, and it’s great getting to know
them.  You can see the quality of
Travelodge in Canada as opposed to the U.S.”

“There are 8,200 hotels in Canada, with 2,100 branded hotels open.  Wyndham has 577, and we are the largest Wyndham
franchisor with over 250 properties,” he added. “We have 40 per cent of the
Wyndham hotels in Canada, which gives us a bigger voice with Wyndham.”

Nigel Lucas, vice-president franchising and development, talked about the
progress Superior has made in growing the Travelodge brand. “Two years ago, we
did one or two deals every year.  This year we are expecting
to open 12 hotels — 10 are open now — adding 800 keys to the system.”

Lucas added that they are enforcing property improvement
plans (PIPs) of $400,000 to $500,000 prior to opening the hotels, which
explains why the new entries are in the Top 10 per cent of Travelodge
properties.

Trevor Hagel, vice-president of operations at Travelodge Canada, gave a shout
out, recognizing just some of the many Travelodge properties.

Travelodge
Montreal has been averaging $1 million in revenue per month for the last three
months.

The 100th
hotel, Tidan Group’s Travelodge Quebec City, has 235 rooms.  “It’s a full-service hotel, a great
flagship,” Hagel said.

Travelodge
Pincher Creek is a new-build with 40 rooms, operated by the Boychuk family. 

Travelodge
Hotel Vancouver had $118 RevPAR

“The
Vancouver market is just insane; Toronto is going crazy, while Alberta and
Saskatchewan are struggling a bit,” Hagel said.

Travelodge
Suites New Glasgow, N.S., has a main lobby that is beautiful and spotless; it
was nominated for three awards.

Spruce
Grove was converted from an Executive Inn about five years ago, and is a little
different from most Travelodge properties. It was one of the contenders for the
housekeeping award. “Housekeeping is crucial and important,” said Hagel. “You
don’t need to have money for renos; housekeeping is a way to upgrade for free.”

Travelodge
Hotel Saskatoon is working through some renovations. “I love their theme
rooms,” said Hagel. “There are rooms for football and car racing, five in
total. [Theme rooms] are a way to put horsepower and tap into another market –
weekend travellers. They would normally pay $149 for a room of that square
footage, but pay $200 for a theme room.”

He also added that Travelodge
Regina has “the most amazing bathroom I have ever been in… in Vegas, New York.
They have the best bathroom anywhere.”

Marc Staniloff, Superior Lodging Corp.

Marc Staniloff, Superior Lodging Corp.

“Let's give a shout out to the entire team,” added Staniloff. “We're doing 12 hotels a year, and a bunch of Super 8s as well.” 

New uniforms

First impressions count, said Julie McDonald, director of operations and support for Travelodge Canada. “That's why we have a new uniform for the front desk. It's from Mark's [Work Wearhouse], and it includes a suit jacket and other options.” She cited the example of a hotel employee outside the building having a cigarette, dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt. “If you're in a uniform, people know you work there,” she said.

Trevor Hagel models the new front desk uniform.

Trevor Hagel models the new front desk uniform.