The Vancouver-based company looks to expand eastward

Sandman, Northland Properties Corporation’s most recognized hotel brand, conjures images of peaceful sleep and sweet dreams, but don’t be fooled by the clever moniker. This company is hardly a slumbering giant.

Northland, the parent company of the Sandman Hotel Group — which includes Sandman Hotels Inns & Suites, Sandman Signature Hotels & Resorts, Moxie’s Classic Grill, Dencan Restaurants, Rockford Wok|Bar|Grill, Shark Club, Chop Steakhouse & Bar and Revelstoke Mountain Resort — doesn’t lack diverse offerings. But, the executive team was obviously not satisfied to cautiously wait out the troubled economy, as the company recently acquired the Sutton Place Hotel Group.

According to terms of the deal, Northland Properties Corp. has acquired the Sutton Place brand as well as properties in Vancouver and Edmonton, while Sutton Place hotels in Chicago and Toronto are not included in the purchase. “This acquisition of not only the properties but the brand as well, gives Northland three distinct offerings that we can fit into primary, secondary and tertiary markets,” says Salim Kassam, vice-president of Marketing, with Northland’s Property and Hotels Division. Along with our other brands, we’ve always been interested in adding the right luxury brand.”

Additionally, Tom Gaglardi, president of Northland Corporation, sees the possibility of future expansion, particularly for the respected upscale badge. “The Sutton Place Hotel Group is an important acquisition for the company,” he says. “We will look to add locations in primary marketplaces across Canada and possibly internationally in the coming years. We welcome the brand and the team members of the Edmonton and Vancouver locations into our company.”

While only hinted at within the proposed structure of the Sutton Place brand, Northland’s Sandman Signature division is already set to take the international plunge, with news that a new 175-room Sandman Signature hotel is slated to open this summer in Newcastle, England. “If you look at the U.K. as a long-term marketplace, the views are very good. And, recently, it became much more conducive to foreign investment,” says Kassam. “Newcastle has very strong year round occupancy, supported by conventions, and a very strong bio-tech industry.” And, the company simply could not beat the location. “It’s just a fantastic site, right across the street from St. James Park, home of the Newcastle Football Club,” he adds.

For Northland, where Kassam describes the investment mood as cautiously optimistic, the future will certainly be an exciting one, which fits well with what the marketing manager notes is a unique Canadian story. “As a company, we’re starting to achieve some significant industry weight, which is interesting as a hotel company from the west moving east, as opposed to big companies from the east moving west.”


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