CANMORE, Alta. — Clique Hotels and Resorts has four hotels in Canmore, on the edge of Banff National Park, and they are rated No. 1, 2, 3 and 4. Falcon Crest Lodge, their 10-year-old condo-hotel is ranked No. 1 among the town’s 30 hotels on TripAdvisor. At press time at the end of February, Stoneridge, Blackstone and Copperstone occupied the number 2, 3 and 4 spots respectively.
Falcon Crest has the added distinction of ranking within the top one per cent of hotels around the world rated on TripAdvisor for the past four years.
“It’s a condo hotel with fireplaces, barbecues on the patio — each unit a real home away from home with full living room and separate bedroom,” said Cory Haggar, general manager.
“Cory and the team are on the ball,” said Farra Gillis, marketing manager for Clique Hotels. “There is a 24-hour concierge and a handy guide book to Banff packages. And they always answer the phone!”
Haggar said staff are excited about their jobs and between them they have done just about every activity in the area. “Each employee has their specialty. Libor, our front desk supervisor is a hiking specialist. Taflin is our restaurant guru. Staff undergo Signature training, and they are shopped and graded on how they field and answer questions. This results in competition with each other.”
Haggar added that the staff “go deep,” experiencing activities such as their caving tour and dog sledding — activities that are hard to describe unless you have actually tried them.
This year Clique worked with Travel Alberta on a promotion called Canmore in the Bag, which offered gifts and a coupon book for 40 local retailers, restaurants, ski resorts, equipment rentals, activities and more. They will definitely repeat and expand the promotion next year, said Gillis.
The promotion, which runs from Sept. 15, 2015 to March 31, 2016, was designed to generate more traffic during the off-season — all of the above dates except for Christmas.
The campaign also had a social media component asking people to go out and take pictures of the bag in various locations, making them eligible to win a grand prize of a weekend in the Blackstone Resort penthouse private suite.
On a smaller scale, the resorts are reaching out to Canmore Cave Tours to promote caving and have promotions with Calgary and Banff restaurants, said Gillis. Clique also has two properties in Calgary, Hotel Clique and the soon-to-be-open Hotel Applause.
Unlike much of the rest of the province, which is reeling from the drop in oil prices, business in Canmore is unbelievable, Haggar said. “Americans are coming up in busloads, and we will have a busy summer for sure,” he said.
The hotel will be completely refurbished starting in October. “The designs are coming in. They will keep the great feel of the lodge, but new,” said Haggar. They are always coming up with new concepts. “We don’t just think outside the box; we make a new box,” he said.