CALGARY—“Contemporary with Aboriginal flare.” That’s the image the Hotel Blackfoot projects now that it is almost finished a year-long renovation that encompasses the hotel’s name, guestroom decor, new menus in the restaurant, and dramatic new uniforms for staff.
Carrie Larose, executive director, is the visionary behind some of the changes to the 40-year-old, 194-room hotel, located a short drive from Calgary Airport.
“Our maintenance people are awesome, and we’ve won numerous housekeeping awards, but the last time we renovated was in the late 1990s,” Larose told CLN during a tour of the hotel.
The hotel’s name changed from the Blackfoot Inn to Hotel Blackfoot.
Guestrooms now include 413-square-foot executive king rooms, all designed with the location and history in mind. Pictures from the Glenbow Museum add colour tones to the rooms. Bathrooms have lots of space, and high-end fixtures, including big shower heads.
In addition to the executive king rooms, there will be two suites per floor on the two executive floors.
“We are moving to 47-inch TVs in the executive rooms, and are trying to get 55-inch ones for the suites,” Larose said.
The executive rooms feature Herman Miller desk chairs, which are ergonomically friendly and made specifically for the hotel.
“Our clientele is changing,” Larose noted. “The goal with the executive floors is to look at upper and mid-level management. During the Stampede, we’ll get entertainers in the full-sized suites. We’re looking at people in film and television production, and Calgary is also a corporate city.”
Downstairs in the 70-seat Greens Lounge and 210-seat Greens Restaurant, the menu has been changed to include vegetarian, healthy choice, sustainable and gluten free food. GM Scott Warner has a strong F&B background, and executive chef Jason Pederson has also worked at the Valley Ridge Golf Club. Other dining alternatives at the hotel include a sports bar (with a tempting popcorn aroma), and the Laugh Shop Comedy Club, which features 350 seats and buffet dining.
At Hotel Blackfoot, even the uniforms have received a makeover. Working with an image consultant, Larose requested uniforms that are contemporary with Aboriginal flare, made with comfortable, fitted high-quality material. “You don’t have to have stuffy, conventional uniforms.”
Uniforms start with basic black, but each hotel department has colourful accents and logos. Food and beverage has orange accents, accommodations has blue, entertainment has yellow and administration has green. Uniforms feature silk with leather trim.
“I’ve heard people say, ‘I’d wear that out afterward’,” Larose said.