LAS VEGAS — Marc Staniloff, president and CEO of Superior Lodging Corp., which owns the franchise rights to Super 8 and Travelodge in Canada, and is partnering with MasterBUILT for Microtel in Canada, said his company has grown to 257 hotels in Canada, including 22 last year, and continues to dominate mid-market hotels in the country. He made his remarks at Canada Connects, the standing-room-only Superior Lodging session at the Wyndham Global Conference on Sept. 24.
Wyndham president and CEO Geoff Ballotti, who addressed the Canadian delegates, had nothing but praise for Superior Lodging’s Canadian properties, noting that they have much higher than average quality scores. “Super 8 had an average of 3.9 stars; Travelodge scores were up and Microtel is off the charts,” he said. “The RevPAR indices keep going up, with Super 8 more that 100. Microtel is best in class in terms of brands worldwide.”
Chip Ohlsson, EVP and chief development officer for Wyndham Hotel Group, told the Canadian audience that Wyndham is by far the largest hotel company in Canada with more than 500 hotels. He added that Superior Lodging, with its 257 properties, is the company that puts Wyndham ahead of the next largest competitor, Choice Hotels Canada, which has about 325 hotels.
“Peter Lee is our vice-president of development for Western Canada, and there was a bit of imbalance until we hired Gunjan Kahlon, who has been there since 2010,” Ohlsson said. “They have never missed a goal up until now, and they are both up in Canada! But we realized that there was more we can do, so we hired Scott Duff to take care of urban centres and put the larger boxes together.”
Ohlsson also talked about the Generation 5 Microtel prototype and Canadian collaboration on the project.
Erin Penner, director of franchise development, Western Canada for Superior Lodging Corp., noted that there are now 127 Super 8s in Canada, with seven more deals this year alone. New Super 8s are coming to Spruce Grove, Alta., Moncton, N.B., Courtney, B.C., Niagara Falls, Moosonee, Ont., Winnipeg, and Lively, Ont. (near Sudbury).
Eric Watson, president of MasterBUILT, said Microtel is about to open its 19th Canadian property this month. In the past 18 months, there have been two new hotels in the Quebec market, Val d’Or and Mont-Tremblant; and the first in Manitoba will open in Portage La Prairie on October 26. When Microtel began, it targeted tertiary and resource-based markets, including Timmins, Ont., and southern Saskatchewan. With new Microtels in places like Oyster Bay on Vancouver Island, the brand now has some leisure-driven properties with a consumer base. “It’s an exciting time for us,” Watson said.
He added that 11 out of the 15 eligible Microtels won Best of Microtel Awards.
“Canada significantly outpaces the U.S. We have 18 Microtels open and three under construction. We should have 21 open in 2020, with a total of 1,827 rooms. We’re on track to reach 75 by 2036, and we’re just getting warmed up. And 78 per cent of our pipeline is east of the Manitoba/Ontario border.
“In the last several years, we’ve started to move into Greater Montreal and Toronto. We have 13 hotels in the pipeline, and the brand is about to explode in Montreal and Toronto over the next 36 months. We’re going into Toronto Airport next spring, Montreal Airport next summer, and in Halifax we’re going to have the second closest hotel to the terminal.”
Watson added that Microtel’s success is driven by visibility, including inbound interest, happy guests, the new Canadian prototype design, and the alignment with hotel owners and investors, including excellent investor returns.
“The results are remarkable. Thirteen out of fifteen ranked in the top 3 in their markets — for example, Sudbury’s Microtel was No. 1 out of 55 hotels. Half of our Microtels are No. 1 in their markets. And the brand won its 16th JD Power Award for guest satisfaction.”