TORONTO — Connectivity, comfort and consistency are what sets Microtel apart from the crowd, Eric Watson, COO of MasterBUILT told a development seminar held in advance of the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference that attracted 70 people.
“Microtel has a smart, prototypical design that has lower development and operations costs, and the best guest satisfaction scores in the midscale sector,” he said.
The reason development costs are so low is that there are 11 to 39 per cent less buildable square feet per room than other midscale hotel rooms. Construction times are about two months shorter too, said Watson. “You can reduce development cost charges by as much as $5,000 per door.”
The smaller footprint translates into lower operating costs, including property tax, utilities and labour.
Aly El-Bassuni, vice-president of brand operations for Microtel, noted that the prototype includes wall-hung furniture, which not only takes up less space in the room, but is also easy to clean.
Other features include communal tables in the lobby with lots of charging units, a convenience store, business centre, gym and full hot breakfast.
Microtel also has the Common Ground program, aimed at making a difference in the hotel's community.
Rather than just writing a cheque, Microtel uses social media. Based on nominations from the community, they have partnered with groups that have demonstrated outstanding passion for the community and the people who live there. They ask residents to fill out the information shown on their website and vote for the program that means the most to them; the organization with the most votes wins the total donation amount.
The program has been run successfully in three communities with Microtels: Kitimat and Fort St. John in B.C., and Bonnyville in Alberta. “Kitimat, B.C. only has 10,000 residents, and over a 30 day period, 40 per cent of the entire town voted,” Watson said.
At the development seminar, they unveiled a new mascot for the brand in Canada, a cute, furry creature called “Justin Beaver.”