TORONTO — They've been in Canada for just over a year, but Hotel Equities is now manager of 15 Canadian properties. CLN talked to Joe Reardon, chief development officer, at the recent Hotel Association of Canada conference, about their deal with APX, and how they are managing their Canadian expansion.
Hotel Equities has announced they have been selected as the strategic partner with APX Hotels to
operate eight hotels in the Alberta region. The hotel portfolio, consisting of
IHG, Hilton and Wyndham branded properties is owned by APX Hotel Group. The
combined total guestroom count is 749 and growing, with future development
projects in the pipeline.
The eight hotel portfolio consists largely of IHG-branded hotels and includes two full service properties. The Holiday Inn & Suites Lloydminster features meeting and event space, as well as a restaurant and lounge in which guests can dine or relax. The Holiday Inn & Suites West Edmonton features meeting and event space and also offers guests the option to dine at their on-site restaurant.
The addition of these eight hotels brings the firm’s total to fifteen in Canada after entering the country in early 2018.
“We immediately recognized Hotel Equities’ presence in market,” said Mike Lai, president of APX Hotels. “Not solely for the performance results and ability to capture business, but also for the positive impact their culture brings to the community. We are thrilled to provide our hotel staff the valuable benefits and resources that Hotel Equities has in their toolkit for success.”
Growing smart and a regional office
“We continue to
expand our Canadian portfolio with owners whom we are aligned and who seek
strong management of their assets,” Joe Reardon, at during the interview at the HAC Conference. “We're committed to growing smart. We've been in Canada less than 12 months and we have a real commitment to growing in the right way. We're doing our homework.
“We made our entry into the Edmonton market early last year with two
Marriott hotels. Our dedicated Canadian regional team immediately provided
their expertise in growing revenue, while optimizing the hotel’s profitability.
We look forward to creating this value-add for our new partners at APX Hotel
Group as we welcome the new team of associates to the Hotel Equities family.”
Hotel Equities has experienced significant growth in Canada over the past year, prompting the creation of a regional office in Edmonton. “We're committed to making a sizeable investment in a regional office. We're uber-focused on this,” Reardon said.
The Edmonton office should open in the second quarter of 2019, and will start with five people with expertise in operations, sales and marketing, revenue management and accounting. These people will be supported by a five-person Canadian team operating out of Atlanta.
Prior to entering the Canadian market, the firm spent a significant amount of time understanding the country’s branded hotel growth, human resource variations, currency implications and the regional staffing model needs.
Dual branded hotel in Langley, B.C.
In late February, Hotel Equities,
announced they have been selected as the management firm for the 258-room Four Points by Sheraton and Residence Inn by Marriott dual-branded hotel in
Langley, B.C. Construction on the hotel, owned by Mitchell Hospitality, Inc., is
anticipated to begin mid 2019 with plans to open in 2021.
Dual-branded properties, while relatively new to the
Canadian market, are becoming more attractive to developers who are reaping the
benefits of the concept.
“We are proud to partner with the owners on this hotel
development,” said Reardon. “The
dual-branded model is intended to attract a more diverse range of guests as
well as meet the market’s increased demand for various types of accommodations.
The food and beverage concept will be one-of-a-kind in the region with an
upgraded offering to cater to in-house customers, as well as the business
offices surrounding the area.”
Asked what's next, Reardon said there are a lot of good owners in the Toronto market, interesting pieces of land and unique locations. Hotel Equities is doing some consulting work on adding a hotel component to these locations to make them more profitable. Most of their work so far is in Western Canada, but Reardon is also looking at a possible opportunity with Marriott in Montreal.
“We used our first two hotels in Edmonton as a case study. The owners were quite pleased with the returns.
“We're happy to share our 'secret sauce' in Canada!” he said.