Accor a leader in lifestyle lodging. Marriott plans 1,700 new hotels. Spain's Riu eyes Vancouver for a second site. Toronto Plaza sold to Sunray Hotels. Restaurants Canada: More than a third of Alberta restaurants could close.

Accor a leader in the lifestyle lodging sector

2018 marked a historic year for the Group with record openings and signings, and strong acceleration in the lifestyle sector, mainly due to the acquisition of 14 new brands that strengthened the Group’s portfolio. 

With 100,000 guestrooms opened in 2018 – including organic growth and acquisitions – the Group consolidated its presence and international leadership in the fastest growing markets with strong, iconic and complementary brands that meet all expectations, including those of customers and owners. 

Accor strengthened its development momentum and posted a record performance level with almost 500 hotels signed in 2018, representing 110 more hotels signed in comparison to 2017. 

Gaurav Bhushan, chief development officer at Accor, commented, “Once again this year, the Group has proved its capacity to push its own limits. Just one year ago, Accor consolidated its international footprint by passing the symbolic milestone of 100 countries. Never in its history had Accor opened as many hotels as in 2018. 

“The Group also dramatically strengthened its position in the Lifestyle sector. In a very short time, our teams have successfully assembled a strong and comprehensive brand portfolio in this market, thereby responding to very high demand across all brand segments from economy to luxury.”

Marriott plans 1,700 new hotels in three years

The AC by Marriott Montréal.

The AC by Marriott Montréal.

BETHESDA, Md. — Marriott International Inc. announced earlier this month that it plans to open more than 1,700 hotels and return up to $11 billion USD to shareholders by 2021 as part of its three-year growth strategy, a move that sent its shares up as much as 3 per cent.

Marriott also forecast its annual profit in a range of $7.65 to $8.50 USD a share by 2021, largely above of analysts' average estimate of $7.72 USD a share, according to Refinitiv data.

Opening 1,700 hotels by 2021 means an average of more than 500 a year, adding between 275,000 and 295,000 rooms over the next three years and potentially generating $400 million USD in fee revenue in 2021. Marriott opened 386 and 440 hotels in 2018 and 2017 respectively.

The company expects comparable hotel RevPAR growth of between 1 and 3 per cent each year for the three year period.

Spain's Riu eyes Vancouver for a second site

Rendering of Toronto Riu Hotel.

Rendering of Toronto Riu Hotel.

PALMADE MALLORCA, Spain — Spanish hotel chain Riu Hotels & Resorts is planning more growth in Canada, following its commitment to a $125-million luxury resort hotel in downtown Toronto, according to an article by Rachelle Younglai in the Globe & Mail.

The family-run company is looking at Vancouver, which like Toronto has strong demand for high-end hotels. The number of luxury hotels in both cities is increasing and the sector is attracting more investment.

“We are in discussions for potential Vancouver locations,” said Curtis Gallagher, vice-president at Cushman & Wakefield, Riu's broker in Canada. Gallagher didn't comment on how close Riu is to a Vancouver deal, but did say they were looking for a site similar to the one in Toronto, with potential to attract both business and leisure travellers.

Riu had 93 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa, and notes that about 400,000 Canadians stay at its hotels in Mexico and the Caribbean each year. 

“We also intend to attract our loyal Canadian customers to experience our city hotel line,” Luis Riu, CEO of Riu Hotels & Resorts told Younglai in an emailed interview through a translator. “In Canada, our focus has always been toward Toronto and Vancouver.

Toronto Plaza sold to Sunray Hotels

TORONTO — CBRE was retained by Grant Thornton Limited in its capacity as receiver of Virk Hospitality Corp. in the sale of the 199-room Toronto Plaza Hotel.  The hotel had not operated as a traditional hotel since February 2016, with the City of Toronto leasing the guestrooms for use as short-term housing. 

The 199-room property was sold to Sunray Group for $20.5 million. Shelter, support and housing spokesperson Greg Seraganian told the Toronto Sun that at the time of sale early this month, the Toronto Plaza hotel was housing 500 shelter clients in 199 rooms, with 80 per cent of them refugee claimants.

Sunray president Kenny Gibson told the Sun that the company will work with the city on the contract while they proceed with the redevelopment of the site.

Formerly branded as a Ramada and a Days Inn, the hotel provided an opportunity for a new owner to renovate and reposition under a nationally recognized brand in an under supplied market. 

CBRE has a hands-on approach, and was present for every tour to assist on-site representatives, control buyer expectations and to clearly identify upside potential. 

To satisfy the receiver’s requirements, CBRE undertook a broad marketing campaign recognizing the number of investors looking to enter the highly sought after Greater Toronto Area market. After a seven week marketing campaign, CBRE held a structured call for offers process. 

CBRE generated multiple offers, with the ultimate buyer having no conditions and the ability to close the transaction expeditiously. 

More than a third of Alberta restaurants could close

Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada.

Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada.

EDMONTON, Alta. — More than a third of Alberta’s foodservice businesses might close their doors if the realities of running a restaurant in the province don’t improve, according to new survey results from Restaurants Canada released yesterday.

In a recent survey of foodservice operators across Alberta, an alarming 35 per cent of respondents said they have considered closing up shop following recent changes to provincial labour legislation.

When asked how they have adjusted to the minimum wage increasing sharply from $10.20 in 2015 to $15 per hour in October 2018, respondents said they have resorted to the following actions to keep their doors open:

— 94 per cent have increased menu prices
— 88 per cent have decreased staff hours
— 61 per cent have hired fewer youth for entry-level positions
— 46 per cent have laid off staff
— 26 per cent have explored self-service solutions like touch pads and kiosks

Restaurants Canada shared 16 policy recommendations with Alberta’s four major political parties on Jan. 14 in the hopes that they would be incorporated into all their platforms in the lead up to the next provincial election. 

A complete listing of these recommendations can be found at, along with information on key issues facing Alberta’s foodservice industry and how to support the #RestaurantRealities campaign.

“When restaurants struggle, so do the communities they serve,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Restaurants Canada Vice President, Western Canada. “With a provincial election coming up on April 16, we look forward to hearing how each of Alberta’s political parties plan to help foodservice businesses survive and thrive.”