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Algoma’s Water Tower Inn & Suites Celebrates 40 Years of Success
Written by Carol Neshevich   
Thursday, 05 June 2014 00:00

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JJ Hilsinger admits he was flying by the seat of his pants when he first embarked on opening a hotel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., in 1974. At the time, he was the owner of several popular Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises in the Northern Ontario town, and he had acquired a plot of land behind one of his stores — with no real plan for what to do with it. “The most significant thing I could think of to do with that land, other than put in storage lockers, was to put in a hotel. The town really needed a hotel back then,” says Hilsinger, owner of Algoma’s Water Tower Inn & Suites. But aside from spending a great deal of time at hotels in a previous job as a travelling salesman, he had no experience in the hotel business. “I had to learn very quickly,” he says, noting that his first few years in operation were, frankly, “brutal.”

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Hoteliers Are Helping the Environment and Their Bottom Line
Written by Laura Pratt   
Thursday, 05 June 2014 00:00

greenIn March, self-described tree-hugger Virginia Trelenberg unveiled a program at her hotel, which was designed to create better environmental efficiencies. Trelenberg thought that introducing 96-gallon plastic recycling bins to each floor of the Ramada Langley-Surrey, a three-storey 83-room hotel in Surrey, B.C., would dramatically reduce the property’s landfill-bound trash. Further, it would send a strong message to guests and employees about the company’s commitment to sustainable practices. But when the disposal company came to collect them after their first week in use, they were empty. “I put the totes where they belonged and walked away,” the GM remembers. “I just assumed everybody would understand their importance. But when I looked in them and saw nothing there, I was shocked. I thought: ‘I’ve done a poor job relaying this message.’”

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Airbnb, Starwood and Hotel-Musee Reinvent the Hotel Scene
Written by Rebecca Harris   
Thursday, 05 June 2014 00:00

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As the story famously goes, Airbnb got its start in 2008, when design-school graduates Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia began renting out air mattresses in their San Francisco apartment to help pay the rent. The startup has since grown into a massively successful web business that allows hosts to rent their homes, apartments and spare rooms to travellers from across the globe.

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Innovative Hotel Bars are Engaging Locals and Travellers
Written by Lisa Van De Ven   
Thursday, 05 June 2014 00:00

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No longer a dark, drab respite for weary travellers, today’s hotel bars are designed to wow, comfort and entertain, whether through vibrant patterns, floor-to-ceiling windows, colourful LED lighting or signature flourishes. The design is often determined by the market, marrying trends and functionality to create a space where both guests and locals can gather.

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