Nik Nanos, Craig Wright kick off WCLC 2018

What’s the long term economic and political outlook for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba? What do the experts say and how does the major populous really feel?

VANCOUVER — What’s the long term economic and political outlook for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba? What do the experts say and how does the major populous really feel? Nik Nanos of Nanos Research and Craig Wright of RBC will share their thoughts on what's in store for Canadian hoteliers at the Western Canadian Lodging Conference 2018, which is being held this year at the JW Marriott Parq Vancouver hotel and conference centre in Vancouver.

“I'll be doing a tag team with Craig Wright,” said Nanos when asked for a preview of his presentation by CLN. “I'll be talking about two broad subjects. 

“First, I'm going to unpack the economic mood using the Nanos Bloomberg Canadian Confidence Index — talking about how people feel about economics, jobs and real estate values. 

“Then, I'm going to unpack the political mood regarding populism in Canada. Is it coming here? I'll be breaking things down provincially across the country, and talking about the 2019 federal election.”

The annual Transactions Round Up by Carrie Russell of HVS and Scott Duff of CBRE Hotels takes on a new dimension, as results reveal 2018 was another banner year for sales. At the conference, Russell and Duff will dig below the surface to examine the details behind the deals. Who were the buyers and what motivated their decisions? Why did they choose one market over another? How have these record-setting deals affected the value of properties across the country? 

Market by market, Russell and Duff will examine the transactions, the dynamics and the influences of 2018, and cast a light on what lies ahead for 2019. This is the session that will set the tone for the year that lies ahead.

New this year is a take on Dragon's Den. The WCLC version is called, Designers Meet the Dragons: Room Renovation ideas on a budget of $15,000 and $20,000 per room.

Where's the best place to focus renovation dollars and how do you calculate payback on this outlay?  How much money is enough? Two designers, Harry Christakis of HCA Architecture and Jocelyn Malcolm of Vivid Interior Designs Inc., will each pitch their recommendations to the two dragons, Robert Bruins of Oxford Properties Group and Nicholas Lakas of InnVest Hotels. Bill Tom of Rosedale Advisors will be the moderator.

Getting deals done is the title of a session moderated by Ian McAuley of American Hotel Income Properties REIT LP. The panel will look at key stumbling blocks that occur when deals are put together and explore the challenges from all sides. 

“Our panel will be an interesting and lively discussion amongst Canada’s biggest deal makers in the hotel business, with our panelists bringing a wide array of experience from a legal perspective, management, brokerage, and ownership,” McAuley told CLN. Panel members include: Irfan Ali of Pacific Reach Properties, Greg Kwong of CBRE, David Longcroft of Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Ron Mundi of Mundi Hotel Enterprises Inc., and Glenn Squires of Crescita Hotels & Resorts Limited Partnership

Amit Vyas, Nexa.

Amit Vyas, Nexa.

The session titled The Next Wave with Amit Vyas of Nexa will provide a future look at Canadian hotel revenues. It looks at tools to maximize revenue with a deep dive into digital media strategies. The Online Travel Agencies have become as powerful as they are today because they have understood the Internet and digital marketing opportunities arguably better than the hotels have. 

The result has been the close collaboration of large competitors compelled to work closely together in order to survive. As correct budget allocation is key to success, along with the multitude of marketing options (social media, email, SEO and review sites), investors will need to be extremely disciplined with how they allocate their budgets moving forward. This strategy session will help hotels adapt quickly to the changing environment around them.

Tony Cohen of Global Edge Investments/Crescent Hotels & Resorts will moderate a development session that looks at the increasing popularity of “soft brands” and “dual brands.” With the recent entry of many non-traditional hotel competitors into the market, it has become increasingly important for hotel brands to target customers more precisely and directly.

Keynote speaker, technology and innovation futurist Adam Nanjee, will end the day by discussing the future of financial technology in Canada and around the world, addressing the evolution of innovation in financial services, from technological advancements to disruptive new economies of scale. 

Big Picture Conferences is the owner and producer of the conference, formerly known as Western Canadian Hotel & Resort Investment Conference. 

Hosted by founding partner CBRE Hotels and platinum sponsors HVS, the conference provides a year-end perspective on resort and urban lodging, with a western focus. In addition to the interactive sessions and speakers, the event provides an opportunity for lenders/investors, architects, designer, hospitality consultants and lawyers to gain a better perspective on this rapidly evolving industry.