Fairmont Pacific Rim by wuyunqing


									                                                                       BC Hotel Association

                                                                                Winter 2010

                                                     Fairmont Pacific Rim

                   Sparking Innovation • Driving Demand
                   Energy Efficiencies • Sustainable Culinary Trends
200-948 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1N9
T 604-681-7164 1-800-663-3153
F 604-681-7649 1-866-220-2032

BCHA Board of Directors
Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Region
Ross Dyck, Sylvia Hotel, Vancouver 604-681-9321
Linda Griffiths, Holiday Inn Express Metrotown, Burnaby 604-438-1881
Taj Kassam, Sandman Hotels, Vancouver 604-730-6600
Craig Norris-Jones, Coast Hotels, Vancouver 604-688-7711
Ken Svejkovsky, Rosellen Suites @ Stanley Park, Vancouver 604-689-4807
John Sandor, Sutton Place Hotel, Vancouver 604-682-5511
Mark Herron, Four Seasons Resort Whistler, Whistler 604-935-3400
David Wetsch, Ramada Limited Downtown, Vancouver 604-488-1088

Vancouver Island, Victoria, and Gulf Islands Region
Rick Browning, Best Western The Westerly Hotel, Courtenay 604-932-4155
Jonathan Cross, The Hospitality Inn, Port Alberni 250-723-8111
Reid James, Hotel Grand Pacific, Victoria 250-386-0450
Ian Powell, Laurel Point Inn, Victoria 250-386-8721
Kurt Pyrch, Best Western Cowichan Valley, Duncan 250-748-2722
Kevin Walker, Oak Bay Beach Hotel & Marine Resort, Victoria 250-598-4556
David Rooper, Harbour Towers Hotel & Suites, Victoria 250-385-2405
Earl Wilde, Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites, Victoria 250-386-2211
Stephen Peters, Pacific Sands Beach Resort, Tofino 250-725-3322

Thompson Okanagan Region                                                                      Up Front Fairmont Pacific Rim, page 16
John Douglas, Nancy Greene’s Cahilty Lodge, Sun Peaks 250-578-7454
Don Brogan, Walnut Beach Resort, Osoyoos 250-495-5400
Ingrid Jarrett, Watermark Beach Resort, Osoyoos 250-495-5500
Gavin Parry, Coast Capri Hotel - Kelowna 250-860-6060
Tim Rodgers, Kamloops Towne Lodge 250-828-6660

Kootenay Rockies Region
David Gibbs, Prestige Hotel & Conference Centre Vernon, Vernon 250-558-5991
Allan Brander, St. Eugene Resort, Cranbrook 250-420-2000
Patricia Kilback, Radium Hot Springs Lodge, Radium Hot Springs 250-347-9341
Don Lutzak, Elkford Motor Inn, Elkford 250-865-2211

Cariboo Chilcotin Region
Pat Corbett, The Hills Health and Guest Ranch, 100 Mile House 250-791-5225
                                                                                                     Winter 2010
Northern BC Region
Sam Mangalji, Inn on the Creek, Dawson Creek 250-782-8136

                                                                                       Features                                                         Columns
Al McCreary, Hudson Bay Lodge, Smithers 250-847-4325
Steve Smith, Crest Hotel, Prince Rupert 250-624-6771
Doug Andrews, Coast Inn of the North, Prince George 250-563-0121

Executive Committee
                                                                                  6     Sparking Innovation                                             4     President’s Message
President, Kurt Pyrch, Best Western Cowichan Valley, Duncan
                                                                                  10 Driving Demand                                                     5     CEO’s Report
Past President, Earl Wilde, Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites, Victoria
Treasurer, Linda Griffiths, Holiday Inn Express Metrotown, Burnaby                14 Medical Tourism                                                    9     BC Hospitality Foundation
Vice President, Kevin Walker, Oak Bay Beach Hotel & Marine Resort, Victoria
Vice President, Al McCreary, Hudson Bay Lodge, Smithers                           16 Featured Hotel -                                                   22 Human Resources
Vice President, Gavin Parry, Coast Capri Hotel, Kelowna
Vice President, Tim Rodgers, Kamloops Town Lodge, Kamloops
                                                                                     Fairmont Pacific Rim                                               30 Names in the News
Vice President, Jonathan Cross, The Hospitality Inn, Port Alberni                 18 Energy Efficiencies
Vice President, David Wetsch, Ramada Limited Downtown, Vancouver
Vice President, Ingrid Jarrett, Watermark Beach Resort, Osoyoos                   24 Sustainable Hotel Kitchen Trends
Vice President, Ian Powell, Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria
                                                                                  28 Tourism Indicators
BCHA Staff                                                                        29 Build a Sales Team your Customers Love
                                                                                     to Buy From
James Chase, Chief Executive Officer, Vancouver 604-443-4750
Cailey Murphy, Communications Coordinator, Vancouver 604-443-4751

Website: www.bchotelassociation.com
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                               President’s Message                               by Kurt Pyrch

                                Working with our Federal Partners
                              Fall has been very busy for the BC Hotel             required in a world-competitive market. Over the last few years, parts
                              Association and we continue to focus on a            of our industry were severely constrained by labour shortages, affecting
                              number of issues on behalf of hoteliers in           our ability to maintain our service levels as well as impeding our capacity
                              the province.                                        to grow.
One of the unexpected joys of serving as the BCHA’s President has been the         With the dramatic slowdown in the economy, some of these problems
exposure to industry issues at a national level and, with it, the realization      have declined. However, the matter will resurface as economic activity
that many of the issues we think of as ours here in BC - transportation costs      rebounds. The time to update our labour facilitation services is now, so
and labour to name but two - are actually issues that affect our industry          that Canada and the hotel sector will not suffer another frustrating period
from coast to coast. The only difference is the magnitude of the issues.           of unnecessary worker shortages as the economy grows again.
Over the summer we worked with the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC)               In our meetings with MPs across BC, over the last few months, we have
to engage Members of Parliament from across Canada in a dialogue about             called on the federal government to make labour availability a leading
the issues important to the hotel sector and the broader tourism industry.         economic priority by enhancing their commitment to the Temporary
Given the state of our economy and our industry, which has undergone               Foreign Worker Program.
two consecutive difficult years, it is more important now than ever that           I would like to thank the dozens of hoteliers from across all regions of BC
we ensure that Canada’s lawmakers understand the issues impacting our              who made time this fall to meet with their local MPs to bring the issues
businesses as we move forward.                                                     that impact our industry to their attention. Your time and efforts are very
We set out to meet with federal representatives from across the province,          much appreciated and will be a benefit to us all.
in every single constituency, with the goal of educating them on the value         The value of our industry on a national scale is significant and the health
of our industry and how federal policies in transportation, taxation, and          of our industry directly impacts the overall economy of our country and
human resources directly impact our businesses each and every day. This            the jobs of thousands of Canadians. The lodging sector produces more
grassroots initiative was a critical first step for getting the issues onto        than $2.8 billion in tax revenue to the federal government annually, and
the table and in front of the individuals that can help shape the policy           we employ 320,000 people nationally. In BC, our contribution is no less
solutions, in order to turn what is currently working as disadvantages             significant. We are a considerable component of BC’s $13.8 billion tourism
into policies that stimulate a more competitive national tourism industry.         trade, and represent in excess of 78,000 rooms and 58,000 employees.
The main issues we brought to the forefront included a lack of air travel          The Canadian economy arguably came through the economic crisis better
competitiveness, and the importance of labour availability.                        than many others, but that doesn’t mean our sector was not hit hard. The
                                                                                   hotel industry lost more than $4 billion in 2009 and, more than most
Air Travel Competitiveness                                                         industries, we are suffering from the hardships of our trading partners.
                                                                                   The continued malaise of the US economy is crippling what has historically
The high cost of air transportation to Canada is one of our critical concerns.     been our most reliable source of visitors.
Air travel in Canada has become so overpriced that almost 20% of                   We will continue to work with our government representatives to develop
Canadian travellers cross the border to initiate their travel in the US.           the policy solutions required to build Canada, and BC, into a globally
Travel surveys from key markets make it clear that we are priced far above         competitive tourist destination.
our competitors. Many government policies contribute to this problem:
Firstly, Canada has the highest aviation security tax in the world. Between
2002 and 2008, the government has collected $2.3 billion in Air Travel

                                                                                             Next Issue
Security Charges from travellers. However, as HAC has pointed out,
policing and other forms of national security are funded by governments
as a public good, which is why we are advocating that Canada’s aviation
security tax should be eliminated.
Another contributing factor is that the federal government imposes a high
airport rent charge on our major airports, $300 million in 2009 alone.                       •   Battling Price Wars
These additional costs on travel to and within Canada are unnecessary                        •   Playing the Social Media Game
obstacles to a competitive national tourism industry, and we are strongly
encouraging the federal government to revisit these policies.                                •   State of the Industry
                                                                                             •   Attracting Chinese Travellers
Labour Availability
The second issue we raised was labour availability. A key feature of                             Call 1-800-667-0955 to book
Canada’s hospitality sector is service. Our most valuable assets are                                your ad by February 4.
human resources, which assure travellers will receive the levels of service

 4 InnFocus
                                 CEO’s Report                   by James Chase

                               Each year I         TotalGUARD provides comprehensive life,            add employees to your profile, offer special
                               look forward to     health, and dental plans, and currently            industry rates to your fellow BCHA members,
                               connecting with     services over 1,100 independent Canadian           and post to our online classifieds system.
                               our members at      businesses. This benefits BCHA members             Visit our new site frequently to stay in the
the BC Hospitality Industry Conference. It was     through premium savings and long-term rate         know about the issues impacting your business,
great to see so many of you at the conference      stability. TotalGUARD will provide BCHA            with the new Member’s Only News, the online
again this year; it provides an excellent          members all services related to their health       edition of InnTouch eNewsletter, and archived
opportunity to get together and compare notes      plan, including invoicing/billing, production of   issues of InnFocus. Follow our latest Tweets
on the past year, make projections for the         booklets, day-to-day administration, analytical    with up-to-the-minute industry updates from
year ahead, and learn about new, innovative        support, new business sales, and ongoing           our homepage.
strategies and trends that are emerging in our     service support.
industry.                                          Some of the savings and features that are          Editorial Committee Update
This year’s conference was another success         included are:
                                                                                                      Earlier this year we launched the BCHA
with returning social media expert Todd            Premium Savings: BCHA members                      Editorial Committee with the mandate of
Lucier, hotel consultant Bonnie Buckhiester        with 10 or more personnel will receive an          examining the content of the InnFocus
and Dragon’s Den star and Chairman & Owner         immediate 10% savings off existing premiums        magazine, and getting input from hotel
of Boston Pizza International, Jim Treliving       for equivalent coverage. Those with less than      operators on what they would like to see to
delivering outstanding presentations to            10 employees will receive an immediate 5%          keep the magazine relevant and engaging
attendees. These are just a few of the many        savings.                                           while providing value-added information for
highlights that I hope you had the opportunity
                                                   Rate Stability: Stability is generated by          our readers.
to enjoy and benefit from.
                                                   spreading claims over the entire pool, which       The committee met a number of times over the
Thank you again for your participation in          currently includes 1,140 businesses across         past 12 months, and through their advisement
another great conference. We will continue         Canada.                                            and suggestions we have continued to build
to work hard to deliver to you the foremost
                                                   Program Flexibility: There are numerous            on the successful track record of InnFocus
hospitality conference in the Pacific Northwest.
                                                   coverage options to choose from, and Group         magazine.
Be sure to mark your calendars for next year’s     Insurance Solutions will work with each            Based on feedback from the committee, the
conference and exposition, scheduled for           property to ensure that BCHA members have          editorial calendar for 2011 will include new
November 6-8. I look forward to seeing you         the best coverage for their individual needs.      topics such as “Playing the Social Media
all again in 2011!
                                                   Online Billing and Invoicing: Service              Game’”, “Best Practices in Technology”, and
                                                   providers, including massage therapists,           “Measuring Marketing Effectiveness”, and
Board of Directors                                                                                    I have no doubt that InnFocus magazine
                                                   chiropractors, and physiotherapists, can
I am pleased to note that there are four new       invoice the claim payment service provider         will maintain its reputation as a top rate
Directors on the BCHA Board. On November           directly, avoiding out of pocket expenses and      industry publication. Should you have any
21st at our Annual General Meeting the             cutting out the middleman.                         suggestions or feedback for the editorial
membership welcomed Mark Herron (Four                                                                 committee, I encourage you to send them to
Seasons Whistler), Stephen Peters (Pacific         Pay Direct Drug/Dental Card: All insured           communications@bchotelassociation.com.
Sands Beach Resort), David Gibbs (Prestige         persons will receive an automatic payment
Hotel & Conference Centre Vernon) and Doug         card, which prevents the insured from paying
Andrews (Coast Inn of the North) to the Board      up front for any amount above his deductible.
of Directors.                                      I strongly encourage you to visit our website to
As always, I encourage you all to reach out        view the benefits of this new program and the
to your local Director should you have any         positive impact it can have on your ability to
questions, comments or concerns.                   retain employees and create a more efficient
                                                   and productive workforce. Learn more at
I would like to thank non-returning Directors,     bchotelassociation.com.
Bruce van Mook, Sebastian Hofsetter and
Francis Parkinson for their years of dedication    BCHA Website
and service to the BCHA.
                                                   As many of you are aware, we spent some
New Group Health Insurance Program                 time over the past several months updating
                                                   our website to create a more interactive and
I am pleased to announce that the BCHA has         functional portal for our members to engage
further partnered up with Western Financial        and use to their benefit.
Group, administrators of our property
insurance program, to bring our membership         I encourage you to visit the Members Only
a new proprietary employee benefits program,       section to make sure your account information
TotalGUARD.                                        is up-to-date. There you will find further
                                                   options to update your account information,

                                                                                                                                        InnFocus 5
                                                                             Black Rock Oceanfront Resort, Ucluelet

                     Sparking Innovation
              Staying Ahead of the Crowd With Fresh Ideas
                                                 by Alex Van Tol

You have to set yourself apart from the competition in today’s travel landscape. It’s a fact of the information
age: Customers have so many choices now - so many properties vying for their dollars - that it’s worthwhile
considering how you can grab that short attention span and get them through the door.

 6 InnFocus
“We have a goal,” shares Wickaninnish Inn General Manager Charles
McDiarmid. “We want to be better today than we were yesterday. And
we want to be better tomorrow than we are today.” Meeting that kind of
goal would be impossible without constant innovation. Staff are often
the best drivers of new ideas, as their experience in their respective
departments means they see what works - and what doesn’t.

Highlight the Differences
Innovation is one of the hallmarks of leadership. By making things
fresh and interesting - even if it’s just a little thing you do differently
than other properties - you’ll set yourself apart. Maybe it’s something
small, like the way your door card is designed. Or maybe it’s something
you’ve invested huge amounts of money in, like footprint-free geothermal
heating. Whatever it is that you do differently, it’s good. Do more of it.
And tell your guests about it.
At the Sidney Pier Hotel & Spa, special residents’ rates (10% off the
best available rate) put heads on beds throughout the year. “We also
offered Run-of-the-House rates,” reports General Manager Natalie
King. “Guests would book for one rate, and based on availability they
could have the signature suite if it was available.” Offered in January of
2010, the special drove local business, and guests loved it. “Rather than
change our rate, we wanted to give people more value for what they’re
spending,” offers King.

Encourage Input
It’s not just in rates that you’ll see innovation at the Sidney Pier. “It’s
actually one of our metrics,” explains King. “[Innovation] is one of
four things we use to measure how we’re doing.” The Pier is a highly
entrepreneurial environment, with an owner who asks his staff to only
be right 70% of the time. “He says if you’re right more often than that,
you’re not taking enough risks,” notes King. It’s all about trying new
things and learning as you go. “The café, the spa…all of them run as
independent businesses,” she says. “All of the people working in those
areas are encouraged to bring forward ideas - and we’ve implemented so
many.” A sampling? The hotel has created its own herb garden for its F&B
operations, and offers entertainment on the patio every Thursday and
Friday night during the summer months. “It’s been wildly successful,”
boasts King.
“Some of the smallest things can be some of the coolest,” agrees
McDiarmid. “When we found we could get our door cards made out of
recycled plastic, that was great. We’re hugely committed to making a
smaller footprint on the environment,” he says of his multiple award-
winning Tofino property. “We had a meeting yesterday where we talked
for an hour about how to make our recycling room a place that everyone
is proud of.” Working with First Nations and local experts, the hotel is
also redesigning its door hanger cards to be crafted out of local wood.
“No one else is doing this, so we have to find our own way,” McDiarmid
acknowledges. “We’re experimenting. It’s taking a mundane thing and
creating personality about it.”

Innovation in Staffing
Even in terms of staffing, the Wickaninnish is thinking about how to keep
its approach fresh. “We try to mold the position to the person rather than
the other way around,” McDiarmid explains. “We often will adjust duties

                                                                              InnFocus 7
                                                                                                             “You can’t just look at one part
                                                                                                             of your operation... You have to
   Black Rock Oceanfront Resort, Ucluelet
                                                                                                             look at the whole picture.”

for a certain position to suit an individual and       initiatives. “One of our team members built           and we see a huge benefit,” notes Larkin of
their personality.” By looking for strengths,          a greenhouse and has grown all our non-               the switch to Ocean Wise. “Nothing on our
listening to staff requests, and recognizing           indigenous plants from seed,” explains General        menu is unsustainable. It’s something that we
particular interests within individuals, the           Manager Adele Larkin. “It’s hard to live life on      strongly support.”
Wickaninnish is able to create a strong team           the coast as a plant! Our team members have
that can think for itself in providing the best        decided to bring their home gardens in to             Make the Right Changes
care for its guests. It’s a team that is intensively   work, split them in the greenhouse and then
                                                                                                             There’s room for innovation everywhere. “You
trained, housed in home-away-from-home staff           plant them around the property. That’s an
                                                                                                             can’t just look at one part of your operation,”
housing, and treated like family - all important       entirely employee-driven initiative.” Another
                                                                                                             concludes Larkin. “You have to look at the
in creating fertile ground for innovative ideas.       staff-driven innovation? Garbage pickup days.
                                                                                                             whole picture.” Even so, just choosing a couple
                                                       Twice a year - just before the busy season and at
                                                                                                             of small areas in which to make a change can
Staff-driven Innovations                               the tail end of it - Black Rock staff suit up, grab
                                                                                                             start the ball rolling at your property.
                                                       a bundle of garbage bags, and head out with
Just down the road a ways, in Ucluelet, is the                                                               Take care to focus on areas that you could really
                                                       members of the local community to tidy up the
Black Rock Oceanfront Resort, a leader in                                                                    polish. “You don’t want to innovate just for the
                                                       world-class Wild Pacific Trail that surrounds
sustainable practices. Flagged with four Green                                                               sake of innovation,” reveals McDiarmid. “It has
                                                       the property. “We want to show some strong
Keys, an OceanWise distinction, and a ranking                                                                to be true improvement. It’s not about how fast
                                                       stewardship. You want to be responsible for
as a top destination according to Expedia users,                                                             you can make changes. It’s about going in the right
                                                       the asset you’re so proudly touting,” comments
the recently opened Black Rock owes much                                                                     direction…and making the right changes.”
                                                       Larkin. Same thing with the menu in Black
of its success to staff-driven environmental
                                                       Rock’s F&B outlets. “We did a menu change

  8 InnFocus
              BC Hospitality Foundation                                     by Renee Blackstone

Brenda Derkacz, a 28-year-old mother of two young children, is the most          As well, 10 worthy young people who want to advance their education in
recent recipient of a BC Hospitality Foundation grant. Derkacz, whose            an aspect of the hospitality industry will be awarded $2,000 scholarships
husband Adam is a kitchen manager with the Old Spaghetti Factory in              at the BC Hospitality Industry Conference and Exposition. “The
Victoria, was diagnosed last May with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).              Foundation will have a booth there, so stop by and see us,” adds Alan
This is her second type of cancer, as she battled sarcoma through 2007.          Sacks, BCHF business development manager.
She was in clinical remission from sarcoma when AML struck. Brenda               The foundation is also developing a “Hospitality Day” campaign that
was flown by helicopter to Vancouver for immediate care and spent                 will kick off in 2011. “The campaign will aim at reaching all sectors of
seven weeks away from home for treatment. She received a bone marrow             the hospitality industry with the objective of ensuring people at every
transplant, but needed specialized care in Vancouver for another three           level know about the work of the foundation, and have the chance to
or four months, away from her family.                                            contribute in their own way to its efforts,” explains Sacks. “Although
To help with her recovery, a large part of which is being able to see her        we are doing great work, we still have a major challenge on our hands
family more often, friends and co-workers raised more than $12,000               to communicate to the thousands of people in the industry that there is
through various events. Another $5,000 was added by the BCHF                     an organization that can help in times of financial crisis brought on by
matching funds program, giving the young family the financial resources          a medical condition,” he describes. “Not enough people know that we
to be able to afford childcare as well as travel expenses to come to             run a ‘matching funds’ program that can contribute up to $5,000 for
Vancouver while Brenda recovers.                                                 fundraisers such as the one held for Brenda Derkacz. Hospitality Day is
                                                                                 going to play a big part in communicating the message.”
Meanwhile, the BCHF organized a new fundraiser, Dish ‘n’ Dazzle, which
was held in late October and raised approximately $30,000. The event             In other news, BCHF board members were delighted to hear that the
was a high-energy celebration of some of BC’s best food and drink and            foundation has had its charity status approved by the federal government,
included a cocktail contest featuring some of our best bartenders, food          something that will make fundraising a little easier, reports Sacks.
and wine bars, silent auction, live music, and a celebration honouring
unsung hospitality-industry heroes.                                              Renee Blackstone is a freelance journalist who sits on the BCHF Board of Advisors.

                                                                                                                                                      InnFocus 9
                     Driving Demand
    Going Beyond Traditional Marketing to Draw the Crowds
                                            by Alex Van Tol

In a challenged economy, everybody’s scrambling for revenue and competing to sell rooms to a finite
number of travellers. You want to make sure you’re driving demand in the right direction - straight
toward your reservation desk.

10 InnFocus
                          “While social networking might be a busymaking can of worms, the Internet offers
                          myriad other ways for you to get your name out there - and get heads on beds.”

Promotions, loyalty programs, and traditional     maintain. “Do only those things that you think   describes Allison. Regardless of where or what
print and media advertising are classic           are adding value,” emphasizes Allison.           kind of hotel you are, your reputation is out
methods of reeling people in, but in an           While social networking might be a               there - and it’s going to be talked about online.
increasingly digitized world, the migration       busymaking can of worms, the Internet            “If you want to do well, you’ve got to look after
toward electronic media can’t be ignored.         offers myriad other ways for you to get your     your reputation, have a good product, and give
“It’s changing all the time,” says Sherry         name out there - and get heads on beds.          good service,” says Baumgardner. “Because if
Baumgardner, Director of Marketing for            “We understand where we’ll get the biggest       you don’t, it’s out there so fast.”
Coast Hotels and Resorts. “Everyone’s going       bang for our buck,” explains Mandy Farmer,
to make some mistakes trying different            President and CEO of Accent Inns. “We’re
things,” she says. “It’s fun. But you have to                                                      Centralized Reservation Systems
                                                  focusing on TripAdvisor, and trying to direct
know your customers.”                             more of our customers to put their responses     New technology lets hoteliers track the buying
                                                  on there and get our rankings up.” Accent        trends of their customers, recognize them
                                                  Inns gets pretty good customer reviews, and      when they return, and provide useful tips
Social Networking
                                                  Farmer wants to keep a good thing going. “It’s   on how to enhance their stay. Centralized
Know your customers, and know your                                                                 reservations systems (CRSs) are a mainstay
                                                  a good sales tool,” she notes. “More people
capabilities too. Scott Allison, Vice-President                                                    for all major chains, helping to make a
                                                  are using online reviews to determine where
of Sales and Marketing for Marriott, says                                                          guest’s experience seamless, from the online
                                                  they want to stay.”
the company cautions its hotels to look                                                            booking process to phone reservations to the
before leaping. “If you choose to open up         In an era where guests Twitter their             front desk. It’s difficult to track phoned-in
networks through blogging or Facebook or          dissatisfaction about a hotel room instead       bookings; CRSs allow hotels to track the
LinkedIn, you’re opening yourself up to a         of bothering to notify the concierge, smart      money that’s flowing in much more carefully.
big commitment. You have to be current, and       hoteliers know to pay attention to online        “It’s our biggest channel,” says Troy Rutman,
you have to be responsive.” Social networking     reviews. A bad review “goes through the          Director of External Communications for Best
sites can quickly become overwhelming to          Internet like a hot knife through butter,”

                                                                                                                                      InnFocus 11
              Western International. “Ten years ago hotel websites were basically just
              an electronic brochure, and now they’re the most significant booking

              Websites Matter
              Website functionality is important too. “We spend a lot of time on
              making sure our site is optimized so it’s easy for people to find things,”
              says Allison. “Pictures are incredibly important for guests on our site.”
              He adds that Marriott does about $6B in sales annually through its
              website. “That’s more than Dell computers, which is viewed as a direct-
              sales powerhouse.”
              Giving the customer more flexibility in terms of booking their trips
              has paid off for a number of companies. Hilton and Marriott have both
              introduced small group booking functionality on their websites, which
              allows guests to electronically book groups of rooms for small functions,
              without having to place a call to reservations or the sales department.
              “It does make it easier for customers to book,” explains Allison, “and it
              helps grow overall sales.”

              “The customer is moving away from websites and
              toward the smartphones”

              Search engine optimization is essential if you want to compete in the
              digital marketplace. “You want to be on the first screen when you do a
              search,” says Vito Curalli, Director of National Sales for Hilton Canada.
              However, in the next breath, he notes the very nature of those screens
              is changing. “How small are those screens?” he asks. The meteoric rise
              of BlackBerries, iPhones and other web-enabled devices means not
              everybody is sitting in front of a computer screen when they’re punching
              in their search terms. “The customer is moving away from the websites
              and toward the smartphones,” says Curalli. “They’re still purchasing
              electronically, but they’re looking at a different screen.” Hilton’s solution?
              A new suite of iPhone apps to connect guests with Hilton’s seven brands
              worldwide. “Our customers don’t want to use a browser,” says Curalli.
              “They want to touch that app, be on the brand, and have it take them
              to the site.”

12 InnFocus
Third Party Travel Sites
The final piece of the puzzle in driving demand
in the digital age is third-party sites and online
travel agencies (OTRs) like Expedia, TravelZoo,
Priceline, and others. “We work with third-
party suppliers because we recognize we
don’t want to give our franchisees any lack of
competitive advantage,” suggests Gopal Rao,
InterContinental Hotels Group’s Regional
Vice-President for Sales and Marketing,
Canada. Amy Simon, Starwood Hotels and
Resorts’ Director of Field Marketing for
Canada, explains that Starwood has seen great
success when highlighting special limited-
time offers through third-party distributors.
Some chains don’t sign global agreements,
but instead encourage their members to use
third-party suppliers as they see fit. “We’re in
negotiations with the online travel agencies
all the time,” says Rutman, searching for that
perfect deal that will satisfy all Best Western
Most hotels participate in third-party travel
sites to some degree. It’s best to do so under
the following caveats: (1) stay on top of how
your property uses the tools; (2) ensure you
can honour the lowest rate your customers
may find for your hotel across all the OTRs;
and (3) remember that what’s useful to one
property may not be useful to yours. Whereas
Hilton might make rock-bottom sales at the
last minute on Priceline, that kind of opaque
site won’t work for Accent Inns’ price point,
which doesn’t have as much RevPAR wiggle
room. In addition, certain sites work for
certain purposes. TravelZoo, for instance,
is geared more to the leisure customer. It
takes your hotel’s amazing deal and targets
a motivated-to-travel audience during those
slow weeks where you don’t have any group
business. “We’ve done it a couple of times in
different locations and it worked very well,”
says Baumgardner.

The Human Touch
If you’re not quite ready to embrace the
wonders of technology, don’t worry. Through
all the electronic buzz, there’s still room
for good old-fashioned, flesh-and-blood
reservations and travel agents. Despite their
lack of buttons, links, and sexy graphics,
humans are still the best sellers around. “One
thing you may not get as a customer online… is
the dialogue back and forth,” describes Curalli.
“People will implicitly trust a discussion.”
Like the waiter who upsells a glass of wine to
complement your mussels, or the reservations
agent who books rooms for the next three cities
you travel to, the human touch still sells better
than any widget ever could.

                                                     InnFocus 13
                       Medical Tourism
        Canada Chosen as Top Medical Tourism Destination
                                               by Amanda Jackson

Medical tourism, the phenomenon whereby people who live in one country travel to another to receive
medical, surgical, or dental care for either personal or financial reasons, is of growing interest to American
travellers as revealed in the results of the Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2010 Portrait Of American
Travelers (SM).

14 InnFocus
“Given the rapidly escalating cost of major medical care in the US,
interest in exploring the benefits of medical tourism comes as no

Fielded in February 2010, the study details      be up to 70% less than in the US). Two-thirds
familiarity with the medical tourism concept,    (66%) mention comparable or a better quality
the reasons for considering this alternative     of care, while 43% cite access to medical
to domestic care, and countries in which         treatments or procedures that are not covered
US citizens would be most likely to seek this    by their insurance at home or shorter waiting
type of care.                                    periods to access care (41%). Another one
Fully one-half (50%) of leisure travellers are   out of five (22%) cites access to experimental
now familiar with the concept of medical         or non-FDA approved treatments and/or
tourism, and one out of six (17%) would          concerns about privacy (20%).
consider having a medical procedure done         Among countries measured in the survey
outside the US, assuming it is perceived to      as possible medical tourism destinations,
be of comparable quality. Another one out        Canada reigns as the number one choice. The      For more information on the Ypartnership/Harrison
of five (22%) is “not sure,” suggesting they     top ten countries include:                       Group 2010 Portrait Of American Travelers(SM)
would also be open to considering this as an     - Canada (42%)
                                                                                                  please visit the Publications section of www.
alternative to treatment at home if certain      - United Kingdom (32%)
conditions were met.                             - Germany (31%)
                                                                                                  Ypartnership is America’s leading marketing
Given the rapidly escalating cost of major       - Sweden (28%)
                                                                                                  services company serving travel, leisure and
medical care in the US, interest in exploring    - France (24%)                                   entertainment clients. For more information, visit
the benefits of medical tourism comes as no      - Mexico (13%)                                   www.ypartnership.com. Harrison Group is a leading
surprise. Among adults who would consider        - India (11%)                                    market research and strategy consulting firm
                                                                                                  specializing in sophisticated market strategy, market
travelling outside the US for major medical      - Singapore (10%)                                analytics, survey and forecasting services. For more
care, 84% cite the lower cost as the primary     - Costa Rica (9%)                                information, visit www.harrisongroupinc.com.
reason why (the cost of performing major         - Brazil (7%)
surgical procedures can, in some instances,

                                                                                                                                        InnFocus 15
              Fairmont Pacific Rim
              Contemporary Luxury in One of the World’s Best Cities
              by Alex Van Tol

              You can’t imagine a better location for a hotel. Built on            the hotel in early 2010 after relocating from his previous
              reclaimed railyards on the shoulder of Vancouver’s scenic            job renovating, repositioning, and opening a property
              Coal Harbour, the new Fairmont Pacific Rim backs right               for Fairmont in Newport Beach, California. “We wanted
              onto the financial district and is in the heart of downtown          each property to have its own unique selling points.” The
              Vancouver’s waterfront district. “We’re connected to the             Fairmont Pacific Rim went for a contemporary vibe, but
              convention centre by an underground walkway,” notes                  with a luxury feel. “If it gets too contemporary, it can
              General Manager Randy Zupanski. “We’re a block from the              be cold and too minimalistic,” he explains. “You want
              cruise ship terminal, a block from the sea plane terminal,           to have that edginess, but also that luxury.” The feeling
              and a block from the Canada Line Sky Train. The beauty of            was accomplished by combining luxurious linens, quality
              this property is it can act as either a resort hotel or a business   furnishings, and superior beds with state-of-the-art
              hotel on any given day.” With 22 storeys of hotel and another        technology. There are mirror TVs in every bathroom, touch
              26 storeys of residential housing built on top, the Fairmont         lighting, touch drapes, and 42-inch surround sound TVs
              Pacific Rim is a large and complex mixed-use project.                with connecting media panels, so guests can plug in their
              No stranger to complex projects (his career has seen                 iPods or laptops. The Fairmont Pacific Rim is also one of
              him opening hotels in Renfrew, Calgary, Vancouver, and               the first hotels in Canada to offer high-definition television
              Shanghai, to name just a few places), Zupanski recognized            in every guestroom.
              that with two other Fairmont properties already existing             Moreover, the hotel invested in a linen tracking system
              in Vancouver, the Fairmont Pacific Rim had to set itself             that embeds a chip in every uniform and linen item in the
              apart by offering quite a different experience. “That was            hotel, enabling each one to be tracked when it’s sent out
              the mission from the start,” reflects Zupanski, who opened           for laundering. “All items are scanned prior to leaving the

16 InnFocus
hotel, and scanned upon return,” describes Zupanski, who arrived one and a half
years prior to the hotel’s opening to oversee every aspect of its operations while
under construction. “It tells you the life of any piece of linen, how many washes
it’s been through, and how long you’ve had it.”
                               The 15,000 sq. ft. Willow Stream Spa provides a
                               resort atmosphere to the property and boasts nine
                               treatment rooms, a nail salon, separate lounges for
                               men, women and couples, steam rooms, experience
                               shower, state of the art fitness centre, and yoga studio.
                               The adjacent year-round outdoor terrace offers a
                               relaxation area with meditation pods, two Jacuzzis
                               (one with television), and gas fireplaces, and provides
                               an additional area for spa guests to lounge or enjoy a
                               light lunch or snacks.
                                As always, Fairmont properties keep their
                                environmental footprints top-of-mind, and the
                                Fairmont Pacific Rim is no exception. An energy-
                                efficient Inncom system controls temperature and
Randy Zupanski, General Manager
                                lighting when guests leave the room. And when the
                                city of Vancouver began encouraging its Olympic
guests to drink the city’s tap water, the Fairmont Pacific Rim jumped right on
board, offering reusable Fairmont-inscribed water bottles. So far, the move has
been a hit. “We launched that in the minibars,” explains Zupanski. “Rather than
just selling bottles, we offered reusable ones. That drew a lot of attention.” Many
guests buy them as souvenirs. “Vancouver probably has some of the best natural
water in the world,” boasts Zupanski, adding that the hotel is also considering taking
it a step further with its turndown service, offering a carafe of water with glasses.
A full 70% of the rooms at the Fairmont Pacific Rim embrace the water view with
floor-to-ceiling windows. “We also have 35 suites ranging up to 3,000 square feet,
two of which are truly differentiators,” reports Zupanski. A night in the bi-level
Chairman’s Suite sells for $6,000 (but split between 60 people, you can shuttle
in on the private elevator and then serve dinner on the outdoor terrace, so it’s
actually a steal). In the hotel’s pool area you’ll find five cabanas with fire pits and
televisions. The pool-facing rooms have outdoor balconies with gas fireplaces.
“It has a very LA feel to it,” notes Zupanski, who spent three years in California
on the heels of a seven-year stint with the Sheraton Eau Claire in Calgary (also
operated by Fairmont).
Even with that chic LA vibe in the pool area, Zupanski and his team recognized
the importance of creating an authentically local feel throughout the property. It’s
a Fairmont thing. “Every hotel is not the same in every city,” he observes. “You
differentiate yourself through the food you serve, the amenities, and the artwork.”
Every guestroom in the Fairmont Pacific Rim offers beautiful photographs of BC
above the main bed. “We don’t use the same uniform in any one hotel either,”
explains the career hotelier who started out 33 years ago washing dishes. “Ours
had to feel West Coast, with a Pacific Rim focus.” There’s a little taste of Asia in the
uniform, but the fedoras on the doormen give off an unmistakably West Coast vibe.
“If the uniforms are designed right and they fit the hotel where it is, it also should
be something that your team wants to wear.” Not sticking staff into a uniform that
feels like a uniform helps to build pride, he reveals.
“Everywhere you look, there are unique points of difference,” notes Zupanski, right
down to the 140-foot long light sculpture designed by local artist Joseph Woo and
the $240,000 Fazioli piano in the lobby. But what really sets the Fairmont Pacific
Rim apart are the colleagues, boasts Zupanski. “We had 6,000 applications for 300
initial jobs,” recalls Zupanski, who says a great property is nothing without highly
engaged staff to run the show. “We had the ability to attract the very best to open
the hotel.” Opening five days before the 2010 Games, Zupanski and his team were
certain business would slow in the following months. “Once we hit April, though,
we were way ahead of projections,” he recounts. Now the property runs a team of
up to 450 colleagues, and is anticipating a strong finish to the year. “It’s been a
home run in every aspect.”

                                                                                           InnFocus 17
                      Energy Efficiencies
                                                by Chris McBeath

“Of one thing we can be sure: energy will be more challenging and more important in the future. Will
you, and your business, be ready?”                         ~Peter Schwartz, Chairman, Global Business Network.

18 InnFocus
Energy management is taking the green ethos to new levels. Fueled by
an increasing energy demand, diminishing resources, and global climate
change, technology is reshaping the economies of energy use.
                                                                               Simple Initiatives for
                                                                               Immediate Savings
“Based on a year-round operation and 70% occupancy, an average
150-room hotel contributes three tonnes of greenhouse gases into the
atmosphere,” reports Christina deVries, Director of Marketing of an
Ontario-based company whose specialty is sourcing green power and              Faucet aerators
carbon offset opportunities. “That’s the equivalent of driving 200 cars,          13% reduction in water use per sink
heating and lighting 100 homes, or taking 5,000 airplane flights.” Add         Ionic laundry systems
to this the fact that most buildings waste almost 30% of their energy,            50% reduction in laundry operational costs
and you have a good case for considering an energy-audit.                      Low flush toilets
                                                                                  Up to 40% reduction in overall water use
Electrifying Results                                                           CSA Approved LED Emergency EXIT signs
                                                                                  90% reduction per sign in electricity
Accounting for approximately $1.5 billion in energy expenditures,
                                                                               Dimmer/motion light controls
hospitality ranks as one of the most energy intensive commercial sectors
                                                                                  20% reduction per light in electricity
in Canada. However, because energy utilities are also one of the most
                                                                               Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs
controllable costs in a hotel operation, any changes to upgrade light
fixtures, heat modalities, and electrical appliances can deliver significant      75% reduction per bulb in electricity
results.                                                                       LED light bulbs
                                                                                  80% reduction per bulb in electricity
At The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, a lighting retrofit meant $42,000
                                                                               Energy Star appliances & ice machines
in annual savings. Working with BC Hydro’s Power Smart Program,
                                                                                  20% savings in electrical consumption in refrigerators, 41% dishwashers
the combined savings for Fairmont’s five established properties
                                                                               Use of ceiling fans & Energy Star ceiling fans
(excluding the recently opened Fairmont Pacific Rim) was a whopping
$700,000. “At the time, our energy savings were equal to the revenue              40% reduction in A/C electricity
of more than 3,500 occupied hotel rooms, on average,” notes Mark               Energy Star TVs
Andrew, Regional Vice President and General Manager, The Fairmont                 30% reduction per unit in electricity
Hotel Vancouver. “Sustainable best practices is one of Fairmont’s core         Programmable thermostats
values,” he continues. “Case in point, we were among the first hotels in          20% reduction in heating/cooling costs
Western Canada to incorporate a centrally-controlled guestroom energy          Low flow shower heads
management system, which uses occupancy sensors and door switches                 70% reduction in water use per shower
to determine if a room is occupied and then adjusts lighting and heating       Motion sensor taps, toilets
levels accordingly.”                                                              50% reduction in water use per sink
Kimpton’s Pacific Palisades also took advantage of BC Hydro’s Product          Source: Planet Energy, www.planetenergy.ca; tel 289-360-3027
Incentive Program. Not only did the hotel receive over $12,000 in

                                                                                                                                              InnFocus 19
                                                     financial incentives for its upgrades, but those    light. By holding off, there is now a choice of

   Ideas at Work                                     improvements saved more than 521,000
                                                     kilowatt hours of electricity each year - a value
                                                                                                         shapes, sizes, and colour temperatures.” He
                                                                                                         also advises keeping an eye on the amount of
                                                                                                         heat that some LED floodlights generate as
                                                     of over $26,000 - as well as a reduction of
   >>>The Conrad Indianapolis hotel is                                                                   well as the durability of the new, dimmable,
                                                     nearly $10,000 on maintenance costs.
   revamping its steam distribution area: the                                                            high-efficiency lamps.
   radiant heat that formally vented out into
   the street now vents to heat emergency            Lighting up Savings, Watt by Watt
   stairwells in the winter months.                                                                      Harnessing Natural Heat
                                                     The challenge is to save energy at an affordable
   >>>The Conrad Indianapolis also plans to          cost. For Chateau Victoria, it’s been a three-      With its remote island location, where energy
   recover hot water condensate that would           year, careful program of incremental change,        has traditionally involved propane and
   normally be thrown down the drain to              shaving money off its power bills, one step         generators, the Pacific Sands Beach Resort
                                                     at a time.                                          has turned to geoexchange technology.
   pre-heat its domestic hot water. Initial
                                                                                                         Geoexchange heating and cooling is highly
   cost savings are anticipated at $5,000-           “We started with our exit signs, changing
                                                                                                         efficient - requiring up to 75% less energy than
   $7,000 per year.                                  them over to LED [light-emitting diode]
                                                                                                         conventional systems. Here, special systems
                                                     lights,” says Mark Pennington, Maintenance
   >>>Guests at The Nature Inn at Bald                                                                   take advantage of the sun’s energy stored in
                                                     Manager of the 177-suite property. “Last fall,
   Eagle in Pennsylvania, can use an in-room                                                             the ground, where the earth’s temperature
                                                     we installed new light strips over the wet
   monitor to track how much energy was                                                                  remains at about 12ºC throughout the year.
                                                     bars in all the suites, replacing the big round
   consumed during their stay at the inn                                                                 In the winter, pumps are used to extract
                                                     ‘Fat Albert” incandescent bulbs for CFLs
                                                                                                         heat from the ground or ground water and
   >>>Hilton’s LightStay Program monitors            [compact fluorescent lamps], and changed
                                                                                                         transfer it into buildings for space and hot
   energy used in all utility areas, including       the 60 watt ceiling incandescent bulbs with
                                                                                                         water heating. In the summer, the pumps
   electricity, water, and garbage. It keeps         13 watt CFLs.” A lighting re-work in the entry
                                                                                                         reverse the process, removing heat from the
                                                     canopy reduced wattage from 4,100 watts to
   a running tab on energy consumption,                                                                  building and returning it back to the ground,
                                                     about 1,150. The hotel saved some $700 per
   and provides recommendations/                                                                         thus cooling the building.
                                                     year in that area alone.
   requirements in order to maintain
                                                                                                         Biomass gasification is another innovative
   LightStay sustainability level.                   “This fall, the hotel started to upgrade hallway
                                                                                                         energy system, which creates low-cost heat
                                                     ballasts and lights,” reports Mr. Pennington,
   >>>Paris’ Hotel Fouquet’s Barrière                                                                    through a thermo-chemical process known
                                                     who goes on to share a few guidelines when
   has replaced detergents with water                                                                    as “starved air combustion”. This ultra-clean
                                                     considering a switch to new lighting. “Keep a
   electrolysis, and recycles waste as fertilizer,                                                       technology transforms locally sourced wood
                                                     watch on new technologies, and use a Power
   which it converts into heat and electricity.                                                          waste - municipal tree trimmings, mill scraps,
                                                     Smart Alliance member company to help
   The hotel also offers guests hybrid                                                                   pine-beetle damaged lumber - into energy.
                                                     keep on top of options. For instance, the
                                                                                                         Terasen Gas is studying the feasibility of a
   limousine service and electric E-Solix            earliest CFLs were too large for some hotel
                                                                                                         biomass system that would use waste heat and
   bicycles.                                         fixtures and didn’t produce a warm, inviting

20 InnFocus
residue from a sawmill in the city of Quesnel.
This unique renewable energy system would
utilize otherwise wasted energy sources.

Resourcing the Resources
In most cases, a successful energy program
will require a property to make basic changes
in the way it uses technology, none of which
need be drastic or costly. Natural Resources
Canada, has a hoard of tips and year-round
checklists to help staff embody energy
efficiencies into their modus operandi.
(Go to www.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca/com.)
Combined with reduction programs offered
by companies such as BC Hydro, Teresan Gas,
Planet Energy, and HAC’s Green Key rating
scheme, savings can be significant. Check out
www.energystar.gov, too. Although it’s geared
to the US market, it’s an informative site that
will add fuel to your grist.
With Expedia and Travelocity both singling
out green hotels, and programs such as
Hilton’s Light-Stay Program (see sidebar),
energy management is no longer a behind-
the-scenes operational issue, it is an in-
your-face consumer preference. And that’s                                                                                                 Courtesy of Terasen Gas
something to get energized about!

    Power Hungry
    According to the US Dept of Environment’s Annual Energy Outlook Report (2007), world demand for all energy sources over the next two decades is expected
    to grow by 57%, largely because of Asia’s economic and manufacturing thirst. During this time US demand, and similarly Canada’s, is forecasted to increase
    by 31%. In terms of electricity, North American needs are anticipated to grow by at least 40% which, with the demise of fossil fuels (currently coal fuels half
    of all electrical generation), will necessitate a new power infrastructure equal to nearly 300 power plants.

                                                                                                                                                          InnFocus 21
              Human Resources     by go2

Best Practices for Dismissing Employees
                            In the previous issue, we reviewed the importance     is minimal traffic in your operation, either at
                            of performance management programs, through           the beginning or end of the day. Whenever
                            which employees are given focused directions,         possible, conduct the meeting early in the week,
                            clear warnings, and opportunities to improve.         so the dismissed employee can access legal and
                            We also reviewed the performance improvement          other support services and actively begin her
                            plan (PIP), a crucial tool when an employee’s         job search (which should begin immediately).
                            substandard performance becomes an ongoing            Being dismissed before the weekend is likely
                            problem. Legal experts agree that performance         to be extremely frustrating or depressing for
                            management programs can help avoid lawsuits,          terminated individuals. Check for significant
                            and that courts are likely to hold for the            dates for the employee, such as a birthday or
                            employer in a dismissal suit if a documented          anniversary, and avoid dismissing on these
                            PIP has not been implemented.                         dates.
                            The loss of a job can be a traumatic experience,      Terminations should always be conducted in a
                            but the best employers demonstrate the value of       private and neutral setting where there will be
                            thoughtfully planned and skillfully executed job-     no interruptions. When planning the location,
                            loss notifications. Of course, if you are operating   consider how the employee will react to the news.
                            in a unionized environment, the collective            Some employers retain the services of an out-
                            agreement must be followed for discipline and         placement consultant to provide impartial and
                            discharge. For non-union workplaces, here             confidential support, meeting with the employee
                            are some best practices that will assist in the       immediately afterwards or at an agreed-upon
                            termination process:                                  time and place off-site.
                                                                                  Have all paperwork ready to be presented to the
                            Create a Detailed Dismissal Plan
                                                                                  employee. This includes the termination letter,
                            Plan the termination for a time when there            release, and payment details up to the final day

22 InnFocus
of employment. The termination letter should         Refrain from pressuring or allowing employees          damaging rumours. Make this an opportunity
be a standard template that has been reviewed        to sign the release immediately. You should            to reinforce your organization’s values by
by your lawyer to ensure it meets all legal          advise them to take it away and seek                   addressing staff concerns or questions in a way
requirements.                                        independent legal advice before signing. Make          that is respectful and maintains confidentiality
                                                     sure a dismissed employee understands that             to the person leaving. Accessibility, honesty,
Write out notes or a rough script in advance of
                                                     the termination decision is final.                     and empathy will go a long way toward
the meeting. This will help keep you focused
                                                                                                            maintaining employee engagement.
and avoid turning the meeting into a debate.
                                                     Concluding the Termination Meeting                     There is no single right way to terminate
It is recommended to have a managerial level
                                                     Unless there is a compelling reason not to,            the employment of an individual or a group
colleague sit in as a witness, in the event that
                                                     offer employees options on how to collect their        of employees. It depends on the number of
there is a dispute later about what was said. In
                                                     belongings, communicate with coworkers, and            employees affected, the roles of those people,
a unionized environment, you will likely have
                                                     leave the office in a timely fashion. With this        and the individuals themselves. Whatever
to include a shop steward.
                                                     small gesture, terminated employees are more           practices you follow, be deliberate in your
                                                     likely to feel that they are departing on their        planning, mindful of your organization’s core
Conducting an Efficient and
                                                     own terms, with their dignity intact. Make             values, and respectful of the impact of your
Compassionate Meeting                                                                                       actions on both departing and remaining
                                                     arrangements for dismissed employees to get
Keep the termination meeting as short as             home safely. Arrange for a cab if necessary.           employees. Your reputation and the productivity
possible. Explain the purpose of the meeting,                                                               of your employees depend on it.
                                                     Make notes of the meeting immediately
provide the employee with the dismissal letter,
                                                     afterwards, consulting your witness if necessary.      go2 is BC’s tourism and hospitality human resource
and advise that the essential details are provided
                                                     In the event of possible litigation, it is important   association responsible for coordinating the industry’s
in the letter. Be prepared to answer questions                                                              Workforce Development Action Plan, a key component
                                                     to have a complete record.
about how the company will handle references.                                                               of the industry’s growth strategy. For more information
Advise the employee not to read the letter now.      You should immediately communicate with                on using human resources to improve your business’
                                                                                                            bottom line, visit www.go2hr.ca.
Rather, the employee should review it at home        the rest of your staff about their colleague’s
and return a signed copy by a certain date.          departure in order to avoid the spread of

                                                                                                                                                     InnFocus 23
                     Sustainable Hotel
                      Kitchen Trends
                                    Value and Honesty
                                             by Jason McRobbie

Hotel restaurants are no more immune to industry trends than any other restaurant. This holds doubly
true in a culinary destination such as BC, where the resident population and international clientele
have developed a definitive taste for local ingredients and global value. It triples in the busy core of

24 InnFocus
In the 24 years between Expo ’86
and the 2010 Games, BC’s hospitality
scene evolved. Liquor laws changed,
as did global economies and consumer
Dining out means something different
these days, regardless of the money
spent. It is a more casual and consciously
calculated affair. From vista to vine and
gate to plate, BC has become a culinary
destination in its own right, and it is
not just visitors who are looking for an
authentic taste of the West Coast.

Opportunities in Our Own
With the combined impact of celebrated
chefs across BC espousing the virtues of
eating local, the Vancouver Aquarium’s         Oru’s Butter Chicken with Tandoor Roasted Naan
Ocean Wise program is taking seafood
sustainability onto menus nationwide,
and farmers’ markets are continuing to attract
ever greater numbers. Gone are the days when          Beating the Competition                           When the Fairmont Pacific Rim first opened
everything arrived in one single truck - at                                                             its doors across from the new Vancouver
                                                      Behind those top toque talents there are
least for those restaurants setting the bar                                                             Convention Centre, overlooking the harbour,
                                                      hoteliers keen to establish a culinary presence
with local diners.                                                                                      there was no question that the restaurant
                                                      capable of contending with both the volume
                                                                                                        would be a showpiece. Its menu would
For hoteliers, the local market has become as         and the credentials of the competition.
                                                                                                        be distinct. It would have to stand on its
integral to operations as the internal client.        Moreover, at a time when the province’s
                                                                                                        own in a busy market. Fairmont hired
For savvy chefs in top kitchens across the            culinary capitals are brimming with small-
                                                                                                        Executive Chef David Wong, Canada’s
province, this has opened up new realms               seat local bistros, high-volume cocktail
                                                                                                        2010 Bocuse d’Or competitor, and invited
of regional opportunity. Hotel kitchens are           cuisine chains, and venerated regional
                                                                                                        him to bring along some very talented
exploring their own backyard as never before.         destinations, the hotel dining room has
                                                                                                        colleagues, and then let the people, passion,
Hiring the right talent has become the key to         developed some serious competition.
                                                                                                        and product clarify their culinary offerings.
forging those connections.
                                                                                                        The result? The Fairmont’s restaurant, Oru,

                                                                                                                                        InnFocus 25
                                                                                                          to the heart of the matter where the product
                                                                                                          is sourced.
                                                                                                          “Our ordering is no different from any top
                                                                                                          restaurant in town. I have financial goals like
                                                                                                          every restaurant chef. That said, those goals
                                                                                                          are spread across three restaurants and a
                                                                                                          catering floor,” notes Chef Wong. “We did so
                                                                                                          much business this year with Steve Johansen
                                                                                                          of Organic Ocean with their spot prawns,
                                                                                                          scallops, and whole salmon, it was blinding.
                                                                                                          We support the small suppliers on all sides
                                                                                                          from the proteins to the vegetables to the
                                                                                                          spices. We made the decision to use cage-free
                                                                                                          eggs. It’s a huge topic of conversation and it’s

                                                                                                          The Menu
    Chef David Wong at Oru
                                                                                                          If it all speaks to the trend of honesty, Wong
                                                                                                          reveals another trend in his decision to keep
                                                                                                          Oru’s menu as cleanly worded as possible. “It
“... diners are a savvy, experienced, and discerning bunch, so we                                         gives us something to talk about. If you try to
have taken aim at what they really want: value and honesty.”                                              list everything that is local, soon it turns into
                                                                                                          a Yellow Pages directory. There is nothing
has delivered Asian authenticity with a West    have taken aim at what they really want: value            that explicitly acknowledges our sourcing, but
Coast credibility from day one.                 and honesty.”                                             every ounce of our being speaks to it. We all
                                                                                                          believe in it, in the kitchen. We do it on our
“With the name of the hotel including the
                                                Value and Honesty                                         side, but we don’t sell it to the guest at every
Pacific Rim and being on the water, the
                                                                                                          opportunity,” he explains. “The expectation
owner had a really great idea in putting an     Value, Chef Wong explains, is not merely                  that diners have at a restaurant like Oru is
Asian restaurant here,” explains Executive      a matter of plate pricing. Through the eyes               that we should do it. The people that care
Chef David Wong. “From there though,            of an increasingly educated dining public,                know when they look at the menu.”
we could have gone in so many directions.       it extends to every aspect of the experience:
Some hotel restaurants are more bound to        the ingredients chosen, the panache of the
                                                                                                          Regional Renaissance
their internal guest than other restaurants,    plating, the knowledge of the service, and
and that creates a certain menu mindset.        the nuances of the environment. As diners                 What has emerged is a regional renaissance
We’re at the other end of the spectrum. Our     become increasingly well-versed in matters                of farmer/chef/grower/producer/consumer
target market clientele has always been the     of mealtime, the value expectation when                   relationships rooted nowhere more evidently
restaurant goers of Vancouver, so we are        choosing to eat out is trending ever higher.              than on the menus of the province’s top tables.
positioning ourselves no differently than any                                                             While these range wildly in format - from
                                                “Vancouver diners know when something
other restaurant in Vancouver,” continues                                                                 family-friendly pizzerias to Iron Chef chains
                                                is done for the right reasons, and when
Chef Wong. “Vancouver diners are a savvy,                                                                 to bright lights, top tables, and hotel havens -
                                                something is too slick or calculating.” reveals
experienced, and discerning bunch, so we                                                                  their menus all tie back to the farms and fields
                                                Chef Wong. The honesty factor goes straight
                                                                                                          that fuel their kitchens.

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26 InnFocus
“Anyone can create food and keep
consistent with food flown from South
America or Mexico,” explains Chef Chris
Whittaker, Executive Chef for O’Doul’s
Restaurant & Bar at the Listel Hotel in
Vancouver. “The challenge is to use what
is available now and what is available
here. Basically what we want to show is
that sourcing ingredients locally is entirely
possible. There is so much you can do
with them.”
As with any top restaurant, hotel chefs are
getting out of the kitchen to connect with
the dining public. More and more often,
the suppliers themselves are being brought
to the table and seasonal turns of menu are
interspersed with a continuous evolution
of menu offerings.

Supporting the Local Economy
“Food security is so important. Supporting
our local farmers, our local fishermen,
and our local meat producers is so
important to our economy, and also to the
environment,” explains Chef Whittaker.
At a recent FarmFolkCityFolk “Dinner &
Dialogue” event, a five-course affair fueled
by chef/supplier pairings, he teamed with
one of O’Doul’s not-so secret weapons,
Notch Hill Farms.
For farmers such as Sue Moore of Notch
Hill Farms, who delivers to O’Doul’s
regularly, having a high visibility client can
make a world of difference. “They keep the
local product on the table,” acknowledges
Moore. “They show people how good
it tastes and people get curious about
vegetables - different vegetables like gold
beets and purple carrots and crones - and
then they come to the farmers’ markets
and they demand them. And that just
really helps us out.”
Diva at the Met’s Executive Chef Quang
Dang is no stranger to local suppliers
after his lengthy sojourn at the sustainably
celebrated C Restaurant. That network
has proven invaluable in re-establishing
his domain at Diva, a hotel kitchen long
renowned for hiring such prolific top
talents as Chef Michael Noble.
“Diva has always had a food first identity
and our hotels are boutique, so our hands
are not necessarily as tied. That change
is spreading more widely though. Local
food is not a marketing gimmick,” reports
Chef Dang.
Asked if local could really be considered a
trend any longer, Diva’s top talent grins.
“It’s a reality.”

                                                 InnFocus 27
                                Tourism Indicators
                   BC Customs Entries                         Provincial Occupancy & ADR
                                June 10   July 10   Aug 10                                          June 10               July 10               Aug 10
US Total                        508,549   682,872   634,261   Occupancy                              65.5%                74.0%                 76.2%
% change                         -2.7%     4.8%      -1.7%    % change                                0.6%                 3.2%                  0.0%

US Overnight                    346,463   486,995   443,463   Avg. Daily Room Rate                  $137.47               $143.29               $142.89
% change                         -2.8%     4.5%      -2.6%    % change                               1.0%                  2.4%                  -0.7%

Asia/Pacific Overnight          100,963   109,676   105,171
% change                         28.2%    16.9%      23.1%
                                                               All percentage comparisons are versus the same period in 2009.
                                                               Customs entries include international visitors who cross Canada Customs in BC. These figures
Europe Overnight                59,648     77,977   79,475
                                                               do not account for all visitors to BC since domestic visitors are excluded as well as international
% change                         4.7%      7.4%      6.8%
                                                               visitors who cross Canada Customs outside BC yet still travel to BC. Likewise, customs entries
                                                               include visitors that cross Canada Customs in BC, but who continue on to other provinces.
                                                               Sources: Statistics Canada, PKF Consulting, and www.tourismbc.com
Total International Overnight   517,380   691,093   640,651
% change                          2.8%     6.3%       2.2%

28 InnFocus
          Build a Sales Team
         your Customers Love
             to Buy From
                               by Colleen Francis

When customers enjoy working with you, you improve your chances of
making a sale. Here are seven skills GMs and business owners should
insist on developing in their sales teams to create a more positive
customer experience:
1. Show empathy and compassion. You have to care about your
customer (no matter how good an actor you are, faking it won’t work).
Ask questions, take notes, and lean in to show that you’re engaged.
2. Make eye contact. Eye contact lets people know you’re interested
in their well being. Make eye contact when you walk into a room full of
strangers, and especially after you get to know people - it helps cement
existing relationships. So few salespeople ever look their prospects
directly in the eye. By simply smiling and making eye contact, you can
set yourself apart.
3. Give first. Don’t expect prospects to give you their business without
you giving them something first. This doesn’t mean that you should give
away free product in the hopes they will buy more. Rather, look to give
away things that increase your value. Perhaps they need a referral to a
partner; perhaps you can solve their business problem by sharing an
idea you heard from someone else.
4. Express your true intent. Tell customers upfront: “I don’t know
if there’s a fit between what you need and what I have right now, but I’m
hoping we can explore that in more detail during this meeting. Then we
can mutually decide if there is a reason to move forward.” This advice
runs counter to 90% of the approaches used in the field today, but you’ll
be pleasantly surprised by the response you get.
5. Don’t rush the client. All too often, salespeople jump way ahead
of their prospect’s buying curve. When the sales person is trying to close
while the prospect is still evaluating options or determining risk, trust
is broken, the prospect feels pushed and the sale can disappear. Get
approval from the customer to move ahead in increasing increments.
The first approval might be just to agree to speak openly with each other,
as outlined above. The second could be an agreement on a follow-up call
or meeting date. The third might be gaining agreement on the decision-
making criteria, then a commitment to have the “big boss” present at
the site tour, followed by an agreement to a purchase decision date.
6. Be colloquial. When you use simple language, people respond
better and trust you more. Never try to impress prospects with your
extensive vocabulary - you may end up just sounding fake.
7. Use people’s names - in good measure. There are just two rules
to follow. First, be aware of whether your client is most comfortable
with first name only or title plus last name. Second, never overuse their
name - this only sounds corny and false. Although Dale Carnegie said,
“nothing is so beautiful to a person as the sound of their own name,”
you have to use your discretion.

Colleen Francis, Sales Expert, is Founder and President of Engage Selling
Solutions (www.EngageSelling.com). Armed with skills developed from years of
experience, Colleen helps clients realize immediate results, achieve lasting success
and permanently raise their bottom line. Start improving your results today with
Engage’s online Newsletter Sales Flash and a free 7-day intensive sales eCourse:

                                                                                       InnFocus 29
            Names in the News
Congratulations to the new general managers at the following properties:            Peter Larose is the new Director, Industry Workforce Development for
Ross Borland, Comfort Inn and Suites – Victoria; Jonathan Cross,                    go2, replacing John Leschyson, who retired in September after seven
The Hospitality Inn, Port Alberni; Max Dickson, Fairmont Hot Springs                years with the organization. Lauren Bond has been appointed to the
Resort, Fairmont Hot Springs; Gordon Ferguson, Coast Penticton                      newly created role of Manager, Industry Workforce Development.
Hotel, Penticton; Sherrilee Franks, Bellasera Tuscan Villas & Piazza,
                                                                                    The Pan Pacific Vancouver has been recognized as number 13 in
Kelowna; Mike Greenhalgh, Accent Inns – Kelowna; Mary Jane
                                                                                    Canada’s top 30 hotels by readers of Condé Nast Traveler. The hotel
Hannah, Ramada Hotel Downtown Prince George; Noel Hayward,
                                                                                    was also awarded with a Platinum Choice award from Smart Meetings
Old Dutch Inn. Qualicum Beach; Azim Kassam, Days Inn – Cranbrook;
                                                                                    magazine. Congratulations to General Manager Tim Tindle and his team.
Lori Koop, Beach Acres Resort, Parksville; Eda Koot, Delta Burnaby
                                                                                    Hotels and resorts are rated by readers on many factors, including location,
Hotel & Conference Centre, Burnaby; Keith Lim, Spruceland Inn, Prince
                                                                                    food & dining, rooms and service. Vancouver, BC was also recognized as
George; Sherry Lindberg, Imperial Motel, 100 Mile House; Colleen
                                                                                    the top city in the Americas.
Love, Glen Lake Inn, Victoria; Shannon Maury, Ocean Trails Resort,
Parksville; Rebecca Menge, Treasure Cove Hotel, Prince George; Scott                Nine awards were presented by the Council of Tourism Associations
Miller, Sandman Inn – Vernon; Warren Morgan-Janes, Lakeview Inn                     (COTA) at the BC Tourism Industry Awards in October to recognize
& Suites, Fort St. John; Terence Oke, Travelodge – Nanaimo; Angie                   excellence, innovation and foresight in supporting BC’s tourism industry.
Parr, Recreation Inn & Suites, Kelowna; Mehb Peja, Best Western                     This year’s Environmentally Responsible Tourism Award was handed to
Austrian Chalet, Campbell River; Ian Pullan, The Fairmont Waterfront                The Fairmont Waterfront for its advocacy role in guiding the way
Hotel, Vancouver; Barb Schneiderat, Tiki Shores Condominium Beach                   towards sustainable and responsible tourism. The Fairmont Waterfront’s
Resort, Penticton; Roman St. Germain, Delta Sun Peaks Resort, Sun                   Green Partnership Program is a multi-faceted initiative that includes
Peaks; Lisa Taylor, Sooke River Hotel, Sooke; Sonya Wagner, Dilworth                managing a roof top apiary of 400,000 honeybees, growing its own herbs
Inn, Kelowna; Sean Williams, Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa,                     for the hotel’s kitchens, and leading the industry in waste management,
Courtenay; and David Woodbury, Ramada Victoria.                                     energy, and water conservation.

The Coachman Inn, Fort St. John is now the Howard Johnson – Fort St.                The Wyndham Hotel Group presented many awards at its first ever all-
John. Don Kim is the General Manager. Michael Love is Hotel Manager                 brand global conference in September. The Howard Johnson Hotel &
at the Loden Hotel, Vancouver. Raj Mahal is General Manager/Owner                   Suites Victoria won Property of the Year (Canada), while the Howard
of the Knights Inn – Barriere.                                                      Johnson Hotel Nanaimo won Heroes of Hospitality - Best Practices
                                                                                    (Canada). Knights Inn Canada award winners included Knights Inn
Kevin White has been appointed to the position of Sandman Hotels’
                                                                                    Barriere - Greatest RevPar Increase Year Over Year, and Knights Inn
regional director for North/Central BC.
                                                                                    Kamloops - Best Housekeeping Award.
In the cabinet shuffle in October, Margaret MacDiarmid became the
                                                                                    Congratulations to the Best Western The Westerly Hotel &
Minister of Tourism, Trade, and Investment, and Martyn Brown became
                                                                                    Convention Centre for being the first property in BC to earn the brand’s
Deputy Minister of Tourism.
                                                                                    “Best Western Plus” descriptor.
BCHA welcomes the following new board members: Mark Herron,
                                                                                    Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites is the first hotel in Victoria to offer
Stephen Peters, David Gibbs, and Doug Andrews.
                                                                                    their guests bird friendly, frog friendly, certified organic, and fairly traded
go2 has announced its 2010-2011 Board of Directors. The four new directors          sustainable in-room coffee service. The Chateau Victoria was awarded with
are Steve Paccagnan, President & CEO, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort;                a 4 Green Key Eco Rating last year and is diligent in a quest to continually
Paul Street, Director, Food and Beverage, Whistler Blackcomb; Jamie                 enhance its social, economic and environmental programs. They are
Tattersfield, Mountain Operations Manager, Sun Peaks Resort; and                    currently in the process of developing their first of many green floors.
Kate Tognotti, Dean of Instruction, Schools of Digital Media & Music,
Hospitality & Tourism, and Industry & Trades Training, Selkirk College.

         BCHA Membership                        28        Gescan                                  19          RONA Inc.                                7
         BCHICE                                 29        go2                                     22          Serta                                    7
         BC Hospitality Foundation               5        Hospitality Industrial Relations        12          Shaw Cablesystems                       13
         Backyard BC                             6        J.W. Woodcraft                           8          Ultimate Bedding                        11
         Best Buy                              IFC        Lubertex Inc.                           15          Vancouver Community College             27
         Coinamatic Commercial Laundry          23        MJB Law                                 18          Western Financial Group Insurance       25
         Coldstream Commercial                  BC        Orkin                                   21          Whiteshell Chairs                       12
         Essential Amenities                    26        Restwell Sleep Products                  9          ZLC Financial Group                     20

30 InnFocus
The BCHA’s 2011
Annual Buyers’ Guide
Y O ur Y eAr -r O und
re sOur Ce fO r BC ’ s
H OsPi t Ali tY i nd ust rY


                                                   | 1
                              2010 Buyers’ Guide

BCHA Supplier Members
Promote your products or services yearlong with
a display ad, enhanced listing, or a coupon offer.

BCHA Accomodation Members
Offer a special industry rate to BCHA members to
drive business in your slow season.

                  Book space by February 4th
                                                         Contact Joyce or debbie for details.

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