Canadian Hotels celebrate Raptormania!

Alexi Hakim (left), GM for InterContinental Toronto Centre and Ronald Hoogerbrugge (right), GM for InterContinental Yorkville get festive in advance of last night's game.
Alexi Hakim (left), GM for InterContinental Toronto Centre and Ronald Hoogerbrugge (right), GM for InterContinental Yorkville get festive in advance of last night’s game.

TORONTO — Kimpton Hotels in San Francisco may soon be serving Canadian wine and handing out maple cookies and treats — dressed in Raptors gear — if Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. IHG Toronto GMs have also wagered with their San Francisco counterparts. Easton’s Group has teamed up with MLSE LaunchPad to raise money to send kids to camp.  It’s been a slam dunk for Canadian bars as well, according to data from Moneris. And — to show how universal Raptor Fever is in this country — for the first time in league history, Canadian broadcasters called the NBA Finals in Punjabi!

In spite of last night’s heart-pumping game ending in a one-point loss, the Raptors can still win…

IHG is cheering them on. Ronald Hoogerbrugge, general manager of InterContinental Toronto Yorkville and Alexi Hakim, GM of the InterContinental Toronto Centre have placed a friendly wager with Peter Koehler, GM, InterContinental San Francisco and Michael Pace, GM, InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco. The losing team’s general manager and director of sales and marketing must wear the winning team’s jersey and donate $500 to the winning team’s charity of choice. 

GM Bertrand Mangeot (centre) and Kimpton Saint George hotel staff. Go Raptors!
GM Bertrand Mangeot (centre) and Kimpton Saint George hotel staff. Go Raptors!

Toronto’s Kimpton Saint George Hotel (the first Kimpton in Toronto, and only one in Canada) has challenged their Kimpton family in San Francisco (where company originates) to a friendly wager. 

Bertrand Mangeot, Kimpton Saint George’s general manager (and all around ‘fun guy’), has challenged the director of hotel operations David von Winckler and his team at Sir Francis Drake, general manager Emily Glick and her team at Hotel Tomo, and Nick Gregory, senior VP of operations at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. 

WHEN the Raptors win, the San Francisco properties will have to serve Ontario wine at their evening wine hour and provide guests with maple cookies or treats wearing Raptors gear. There is a special challenge for Nick Gregory, who will have to wear an inflatable T-Rex costume.

In the unlikely event of a Golden State Win, the Saint George will have to serve the “Cable Car” featured in Harry Denton’s Starlight Room during evening wine hour for the balance of June, have the front of house hotel team and managers wear The Town shirts the first Saturday after the win. In addition, Bertrade Mangeot must prominently showcase a Golden State Warriors coffee mug on his desk, and use it daily.

Summer camp for the kids

Easton’s Group, The Gupta Group and Rogue Insight Capital have teamed up with MLSE LaunchPad during the NBA finals to support Toronto Youth.

“The Raptors inspired us to support the 6ix!” the company said in a news release. “We want to send Toronto Youth to the MLSE LaunchPad Summer Camp, located next door to Dundas Square Gardens. The LaunchPad’s annual summer camp teaches kids life skills through sport and leadership.”

Reetu Gupta.
Reetu Gupta.

Reetu Gupta, president and CEO of The Easton’s Group of Hotels, said the initial goal of $10,000 was met in the first four days. At press time, the total was $14,947— so close to $15,000.

“The competition is amongst the hotels to see who can raise the most! But donations are open to anyone. On the donation page, there is an option to choose which hotel or head office,” Gupta said. 

To donate click here.

“Once the Raptors went through so much adversity to make it to the finals, and watching how they inspired our entire country, I found myself inspired. I wanted to give back to our city and make a difference,” she told CLN.

“The MLSE LaunchPad is a fantastic centre that helps our own Toronto youth build better futures.

“The Easton’s Group of Hotels is a proud Canadian company, always looking to support the community. It is so important to teach our youth, the leaders of tomorrow, the skills they need for the future,” the release continued. “We support MLSE and all it does for the country, and the LaunchPad for what it is doing for today’s youth! All funds donated will help to cover the costs of sending Toronto youth to Summer Camp at the MLSE LaunchPad.”

More bucks in bars

Earlier this month, Moneris shared that spending in bars across the GTA and Canada went through the roof during and after Eastern Conference Game 6 – making it a slam dunk for Canadian businesses too.

Canadian spending in bars across the GTA and Canada continued its high performance during Finals Games 1 & 2.

Finals Game 1 spend growth was in alignment with Eastern Conference Game 6 growth — up 14 per cent across Canada – while Finals Game 2 saw double the transactional growth both regionally and nationally.

Toronto and Vancouver led the charge in spending during Game 1, while Edmonton and Calgary were less inclined to jump on the bandwagon. With the exception of Montreal, spending during Game 2 increased in bars across Canada, an uptick that could be attributed to the Raps dropping the ball on Game 2.


NBA challenge for Kimptons in Toronto and San Francisco