Toronto paints the town purple… and more

TORONTO — Last night, GTHA urged hoteliers to paint the town purple to be #HospitalityStrong. They encouraged hotels to light their properties in purple and share the photos with #GTHA. They also suggested companies and individuals add the #HospitalityStrong filter on their social media profiles. Ryerson students took part, and photos in purple came from as far away as Vaughan and Niagara Falls!

Blue Mountain’s retro pond skim

BLUE MOUNTAINS, Ont. – It is usually around this time of year that Blue Mountain Resort hosts its send-off to ski season with their Retro Pond Skim where skiers and snowboarders ride down a ski trail and attempt to skim their way over the small pond at the bottom. As with many events the Resort had slated for spring 2020, the Retro Pond Skim was cancelled due to COVID-19. Blue Mountain, however, has found a way to revive this annual event in a way that promotes social distancing while also supporting the local hospital. 

“The Retro Pond Skim has always been a favourite event for Blue Mountain skiers and riders,” says Tara Lovell, public relations manager for Blue Mountain Resort. “We were all sad to see the end of the ski season but our hope is that this take on what would normally be an on-hill event will give people a chance to celebrate the ski season by staying at home and supporting an important cause.” 

The Pond Skim Challenge invites social media followers to go online and post a video of themselves dressed in ski gear and getting soaked with with water just as participants would at the real event. They can donate what would have been their event registration fee to the Collingwood General and Marine Hospital Foundation and challenge three friends to do the same with the hashtag #PondSkimPlunge. 

Blue Mountain sponsor Molson-Coors is the Retro Pond Skim event sponsor and has partnered with the Resort to match online donations in support of the Pond Skim Plunge. 

For more information or to make a donation, visit https://cgmhf.com/event/pondskimplunge/ or www.bluemountain.ca

Home Inn Express Medicine Hat welcomes front line

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — Front-line health care workers are putting their lives on the line every day during the COVID-19 pandemic, and some hotels are going above and beyond to show them some love, the AHLA Innsider reported last week.

The Home Inn Express Medicine Hat, a d3h hotel, recently hung a banner and filled their windows with handmade hearts to make sure front-line workers know how much they are appreciated!

A new home for Centennial’s Food

Shannon Carrigan, GM of The Local Cafe and Restaurant at Centennial College and Trevon Braithwaite loading up a Second Harvest truck with food supplies for the community

TORONTO — With Centennial College’s programs being moved from face-to-face to online delivery in response to the pandemic, the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts had surplus food from its inventory that would otherwise sit dormant while the college closed. Rather than leaving this food inaccessible, the School decided to reach out to those in need to distribute the food supplies.

They partnered with two organizations for two separate donations. Last week the school donated an entire truck’s worth of shelf stable food items to Second Harvest. And this week, the school partnered with House of Neighbours to package the remaining food items to 50 of Scarborough’s most in need families.

The packages were made of shelf stable items as well as essential food supplies such as eggs, dairy and frozen proteins. These pack ages were assembled and distribued by community volunteers, who worked tirelessly over three days to pack the food items while observing physical distancing.

“Our school has always been rooted in our local community and it healthy food. We stand with our community in these times of need and were happy to help by donating our surpluss food supplies to families in our community who are most in need of a helping hand during this crisis. Our partnership with House of Neighbours and their connection to our local community helped us bring our values to life,” said Joe Baker, dean, School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts at Centennial. “The college is also making financial and non-financial resources available for all of its students during this crisis.” 

Westin and Sutton Place Edmonton light up with valentines

Hearts on the Sutton Place.

EDMONTON — The Westin Edmonton and Sutton Place Hotel Edmonton are both lighting up their towers at night to say thanks… what a beautiful sight!

The Westin Edmonton has lit up its own 12-storey Valentine, the Edmonton Journal reported last week. Sixteen of the hotel’s windows facing northwest — lights on and blinds up — have formed the pixels of a gigantic, 8-bit heart. It’s a simple and effective message of love, joining hotels around the globe in a collective gesture to both furloughed and front-line workers, who deserve our economic as well as emotional support.

“One of the Marriott hotels in Europe started it,” Sabinus D’cunha, front desk manager of the Westin, who’s worked with the company seven years, said of the luminous, temporary gesture of street design. “Most of the hotels in the world are now doing it to show solidarity with the hospitality workers, as well as to express love and thank you to all the front-line staff who are working hard for us right now, putting their loves in danger.”