NEWS BRIEFS update Oct. 8, 2019

HC2 speakers announced

TORONTO — HC² has announced some of the speakers for the conference, which will be held Wed., Oct. 30 in the Wellington Room of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Toronto.

Monique Rosszell, partner and managing director of the Toronto and Montreal offices of HVS Canada.
Monique Rosszell, partner and managing director of the Toronto and Montreal offices of HVS Canada.

Big Picture Conferences has announced that Monique Rosszell of HVS and Mark Kay of CFO Capital will be giving the opening remarks at the conference. Other confirmed speakers include Jason Arbuck of Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, Marybeth Edge of Business Development Bank of Canada, Harley Gold of CMLS Financial, Ed Khediguian of CWB Franchise Finance, and Alexis Levine of Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP.

Comprised of experts from both the legal and financial communities the conference will be covering topics including:

— Factors to consider with hotel renovation and construction completion risks 

— Common covenants in the Canadian market

— Cash management, skewing to multiple property owners

— Strata use – condo arrangements

— Guarantees and non-recourse considerations

— EBITDA addbacks

— Appeasing the stakeholders (owners, brands, managers and lenders)

— Recap of the most recent and relevant legal cases for the sector

A summit where hotel owners meet lawyers and lenders, HC² is designed to provide C-Level (CEO, COO, CFO) hospitality executives the resources, knowledge and vision to help make better investment decisions.

HC² explores current issues impacting the hotel investment community and future opportunities through in-depth, interactive workshops that are lead by Canada’s most trusted legal and financial firms.

BLLA launches two new websites

From left: Ariela Kiradjian, Ian Schrager and Frances Kiradjian at the Stay Boutique Investment Conference earlier this year.
From left: Ariela Kiradjian, Ian Schrager and Frances Kiradjian at the Stay Boutique Investment Conference earlier this year.

LOS ANGELES — The debut of two bold websites offers a host of benefits and enhanced features for BLLA hotel members and boutique-loving customers.

BLLA, the official association of the world’s boutique hotels, is re-energizing and extending its leading brand with the debut of two bold websites offering a host of benefits and enhanced features for hotel members and boutique-loving customers. 

Continuing to successfully reinvent and expand the global boutique experience, BLLA has launched Stay-Boutique.com which offers the first-ever Master List of the world’s authentic boutique and lifestyle hotels that are bookable on the site, along with integrated City Guides showcasing boutique businesses.

“We will also be launching the Master List of Canadian Boutique Hotels later this year too,” Ariela Kiradjian, cofounder of Stay-Boutique.

“BLLA continues to be one of the most forward-thinking organizations in the hospitality industry and we’ve been pushing boundaries and breaking barriers on behalf of our members and the boutique industry-at-large for over a decade,” shared Frances Kiradjian, BLLA founder and CEO. 

“StayBoutique is a natural extension of our original philosophy and creates an agile and scalable platform for multifaceted segment growth. The site’s development was fueled by research and feedback from BLLA members as well as key input from its Board of Advisors.”

The new StayBoutique site can be found at stay-boutique.com, while the newly designed BLLA site can be found at blla.org. More information on the launch and purpose is found here.

An unfiltered look at Canadian coffee habits

VANCOUVER — In honour of National Coffee Day, Sept. 29, Angus Reid and Silver Chef launched a report titled: Coffee in Canada: an Unfiltered Look, which dissects the coffee drinking habits of Canadians.

This new report reveals that coffee purchasing habits have changed for 4 out of 10 Canadians in the past year. 

— 26 per cent of Canadians say the quality of coffee is more important now than 12 months ago.

— 2 per cent say cost has become a more important factor.

— Millennials (aged 18-34), in particular, have become cost-conscious, with 34 per cent factoring in the cost of coffee to their decision-making process compared to 12 months ago

— 70 per cent of Canadians consider sustainability when purchasing coffee, a habit that is new for 22 per cent of Canadians over the last 12 months.

— Canadians have not yet adopted espresso over drip coffee versus similar developed countries like Australia and Italy. Consumption of coffee types varies greatly by region across Canada, with all provinces indicating they are most likely to enjoy drip coffee the most.

— The availability and convenience of drip coffee and cafe chains potentially continues to restrict consumption patterns and choice.

— Canadians have not yet adopted espresso over drip coffee versus similar developed countries like Australia and Italy. Consumption of coffee types varies greatly by region across Canada, with all provinces indicating they are most likely to enjoy drip coffee the most.

— The availability and convenience of drip coffee and cafe chains potentially continues to restrict consumption patterns and choice.

An infographic detailing the report findings is available here. The full report can be accessed here.

Blue Mountain to host a Cannabis Convention

TORONTO — The tourism and cannabis industries are all set to combine forces at the first annual New Heights Cannabis Tourism Summit, to be held at Blue Mountain Village Conference Centre on Monday, October 28th, 2019.

“Canada has caught the world’s attention with the legalization of recreational cannabis and Canna-tourism is the next big thing. Now that edibles will be launching on October 17th, it presents an even bigger opportunity for many tourism cannabis experiences,” said Jennifer Mason,founder of the Cannabis Tourism Summit. 

“There’s already a big demand by consumers for cannabis experiences such as Cannabis-friendly accommodations, activities (golf, yoga, art classes, etc.), events and tours. Building a new cannabis product will present new revenue generating opportunities for cannabis and tourism companies.” 

Post legalization, cannabis tourism companies are coming up across Canada, anticipating the cannabis tourism industry to explode, a trend that market research analysts are already talking about in recent reports. This trend is expected to be especially popular in the province of Ontario where regulations are more relaxed compared to its West Coast counterparts.

The summit will feature informative sessions on everything one needs to know about creating a cannabis tourism product – from marketing to compliance and more. Attendees can look forward to an energizing and positive learning environment that will include: presentations from the world’s leading experts on cannabis tourism; networking sessions with industry leaders; and brand and product development sessions with world-class cannabis tourism companies.

The summit is timely for individuals and companies who want to gain an insight into what cannabis tourism entails and what they can do in order to capitalize on recreational legalization.

Attendees must be 19 years of age and older to attend this event. Photo ID is required.

Contact: Danielle McKay, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Danielle@marigoldpr.com, 905-808-7230, Marigold PR.

Caption by Hyatt launched at the Lodging Conference

Bathroom at Caption by Hyatt
Bathroom at Caption by Hyatt

PHOENIX, Arizona—Caption by Hyatt, a new lifestyle select-service brand announced on at the Lodging Conference late last month, was created to serve a need in the select-service space that brand leaders said is currently unmet: Travellers who want to connect with new people. 

Gary Dollens, head of product and brand development at Hyatt, said Caption by Hyatt was designed as a global brand that can thrive in both a franchise and managed model.

“We think this is going to be a large franchise vehicle,” he said. “There will also be managed hotels in the brand, and it depends on the part of the world and where you’ve got fewer franchises. But when you look at North America, you’re going to see this as a highly franchised brand with a lot of appeal from a development perspective and an ongoing runway.”

The brand’s global reach will be important to scale, but also is inherent to its concept, he said.

Dollens added Caption by Hyatt will fit in “easily” in the top 200 U.S. markets, where it will “layer on top of other brands” without much overlap, as well as throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Changes to TFW program

The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program is changing the way the limit (“cap”) on low-wage temporary foreign workers is calculated, to take into account efforts made by employers to help workers transition to permanent residency.

The intent of this change is to ensure that going forward, employers applying for a new Labour Market Impact Assessment in the Low-Wage Stream may reach the TFW workforce size allowed under the cap. 

Specifically, employers who have a recent history of supporting workers’ transition towards permanent residence could be eligible to have their cap calculation modified to reduce the effective number of TFWs by an amount roughly equal to the number who are likely to be selected for permanent residence in the near term. 

This number will be estimated according to the proportion of the current TFW workforce in possession of a Provincial Nominee Program nomination certificate.

Expedia/Marriott deal a game-changer

BELLEVUE, Wash.; BETHESDA, Md. — Expedia and Marriott will partner in an optimized distributor model. Expedia Group and Marriott International announced recently the two signed an agreement in April in which Expedia will become the “exclusive global optimized distributor of Marriott’s wholesale rates, availability and content to a network of global travel providers.” The agreement will go into effect 15 October, according to a Marriott news release.

“With the launch of the optimized distributor model, Marriott is introducing changes to how it approaches the redistribution of the company’s wholesale rates and availability among third-party travel providers,” the release states. “Through this agreement, Marriott will leverage Expedia Group’s industry-leading technology and enterprise-level service to create a single gateway for the redistribution of Marriott’s wholesale inventory.”

Hilton U.S. best place for women to work

MCLEAN, Va. — Hilton has ranked No. 1 on the Best Workplaces™ for Women U.S. list by Fortune and Great Place to Work. This impressive rise from #14 in 2018 underscores the company’s continued investment in women-focused initiatives, a robust program of partnerships, learning and development options and industry-leading benefits.

More than half of all Hilton employees in the U.S. are women, including 53 per cent at the management level. Women at Hilton – in corporate offices and across owned and managed properties – have access to a number of programs designed to encourage women’s success at various stages of their careers. They can also take advantage of the growing list of family-friendly benefits, including a flexible working environment, adoption assistance, the recently announced expanded parental benefits and partnership with Milk Stork.