Concord Hospitality update with Nick Kellock

Nick Kellock, COO of Concord Hospitality Enterprises Co.

Nick Kellock, COO of Concord Hospitality Enterprises Co.

OTTAWA — Concord Hospitality Enterprises Co. is the operator of the Homewood Suites/Hilton Garden Inn dual branded hotel in downtown Ottawa. Canadian Lodging News caught up with Nick Kellock, COO, at the hotel earlier this month.

Concord Hospitality is a hotel developer, owner and operator that started in Cleveland 35 years ago, and then moved to Raleigh, N.C. Kellock has been with Concord for more than 10 years. The company has 112 hotels open in the U.S. and Canada.

There are nine Canadian properties, with two more coming in Calgary. Five of the properties are owned by Morguard and operated by Concord. Four were sold to Genesis Hospitality, and Concord has managed them for three years.

“We have a history of developing hotels, mainly in the Greater Toronto Area,” Kellock said. “We would love to build more hotels up here!”

Their primary activity is managing hotels, but 40 per cent of the hotels they manage, were also developed by Concord. Those properties are mainly Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt brands. Most properties are corporate properties, but ideally they appeal to leisure travellers too.

The Homewood/Hilton Garden Inn dual brand in Ottawa was developed by Morguard. “We're thrilled with this,” said Kellock. “There's a fantastic leadership here. The service levels are high, and they are still growing the customer base.”

In Calgary, local developer PBA Land and Development unveiled plans last year to build a major new luxury hotel in downtown Calgary. The Dorian will be the first new luxury hotel in the city in 20 years and will actually be two hotels in one, both carrying Marriott flags. The property should be finished next year.

This is the first hotel development for them. It is a 27-storey building that includes a 220-key urban Courtyard by Marriott and a 180-room Autograph Collection soft brand. “It's right downtown, and the groundbreaking took place three months ago,” Kellock said.

Image of the Dorian, to be constructed by PBA Land and Development. It will house two Marriott-branded hotels in downtown Calgary.

Image of the Dorian, to be constructed by PBA Land and Development. It will house two Marriott-branded hotels in downtown Calgary.

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In terms of new Canadian development, “there's nothing right at this moment, but we're always looking for opportunities. We were one of the first developers here in early 2000 doing Courtyards in Markham and Hamilton. Our hotels were always the new kids on the block — now those are some of the older properties.

“There's more competition, but more demand as well. The submarkets have grown, and the Greater Toronto Area has a very thriving economy.”

Concord has three major criteria when they're looking at a hotel. They're interested in hotels anywhere there is growth in the local economy with new customers, new commercial, etc. There needs to be a decent weekend platform, because submarkets are harder to operate unless there are multiple demand generators. The cost of land and brand availability also have to be right. If the top brands are already there, the market is not as appealing.