Sunray doubles hotel count in just four years

TORONTO — When CLN interviewed Sandeep Gupta four years ago, he said the company was hoping to have 20 hotels in the near future. Today, the company has close to 40 properties and is still growing.

TORONTO — When CLN interviewed Sandeep
Gupta four years ago he said the company was hoping to have 20 hotels in the
near future. Today, the company has close to 40 properties and is still
growing.

Dual branding the name of the game

Recent openings include the dual-branded
Oshawa TownePlace Suites and Courtyard by Marriott; and hotels in Cambridge and
Kitchener, Ont. The Couryard part of the Oshawa dual brand should be opening in December, 2018, while the TownePlace Suites is expected to open in April,
2019. The hotels share an entrance, but have separate lobbies and
seating. 

In Cambridge, the old Holiday Inn will
become a dual-branded Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites.  

In Kitchener-Waterloo, the old Holiday
Inn was rebranded as a DoubleTree by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton. The
conference areas there will be enlarged. Construction starts there soon.

The Champlain Waterfront, an Ascend
Collection hotel, also held its Grand Opening on May 15 in Orillia, Ont.  Read more. The Grand Opening of another TownePlace
Suites in Windsor, also took place on May 30.

There are three more new build projects
in progress — not included in the count of almost 40 hotels. These are the
Hampton Inn and Conference Centre, Orillia, the Holiday Inn Express Strathroy,
and the Tru by Hilton in Kingston.

“We are excited to have a Tru in
Kingston, which is a student town,” said Gupta. “Hilton is not well
represented in Kingston.”

Conversions set to open in the next six
months include a Four Points in Hamilton, formerly a Quality Inn; a Four Points
in Windsor, formerly a Holiday Inn; and a Four Points in Vaughan, formerly a
Super 8. There's another Four Points coming to Toronto Airport East, a
former Quality Inn. Then there's the Fairfield Inn & Suites, slated
to opening in downtown Montreal.

In the last few months, Sunray has been looking at two
Edwards hotels. They have taken over the former Delta in Markham, Ont. The
Markham Edward Hotel will be converted back into a Delta by Marriott, and
Sunray has taken over the Delta North York. They are negotiating for the North
York Edward Hotel. They will fully gut and renovate these hotels, making them
even better with more conference space.

They have also taken over the Holiday
Inns in Sarnia, Ont., and St. John's, N.L.  In St. John's, they are going
to maintain the PIP to keep it as a Holiday Inn.  The Sarnia Holiday Inn
will be undergoing changes as well.

“The Marriott system is great, and
the Four Points brand has a lot of potential,” Gupta said.

They also have an extended stay hotel,
which will be converted into a TownePlace Suites by Marriott right by the
hospital in St. John's, N.L.

Looking to the future

Sunray has officially taken over the
Delta Toronto East, which will be converted into a Sheraton Hotel. This
property also includes development lands for a condo development. Read more.

“We are still expanding and adding
numbers to our executive team,” said Gupta. “We have a great
management team. We now have 40 people in our head office, 45 including
operations managers.” Ray's brother, Narinder Gupta, has also joined the
group recently.

“Our strategy is to execute
conversions and have them as the market leader. We are looking for opportunities,
small and large, wherever they present themselves. We have the capabilities to
expand to different provinces — Newfoundland is one of the first, but we are
looking at expansion throughout Canada,” he said.