Are successful companies wired differently than the rest of the pack? Do they drive innovation better than competitors? Do they face similar challenges? What makes them go the extra mile? Those are questions that come to mind as Hotelier profiles this year’s collection of Pinnacle Award winners.

Since presenting our first award almost two decades ago, the intent was to honour and showcase successful companies leaving an indelible mark on the industry they serve. But what constitutes success? As we know, one person’s definition can be vastly different from another’s. To minimize differentiation, we established criteria focusing on sales and unit growth, but also took into account human resource training and development, as well as community involvement.

In looking at past winners, ranging from such Fortune 500 companies as Four Seasons and Marriott, and comparing them to this year’s winners, common threads are evident. Successful companies have an uncanny ability to look at the hotel landscape and see opportunities others miss. Almost without fail, they treat employees as more than just staff but as an essential component of their success. They also demonstrate a strong commitment to giving back to their communities (whether it’s through sharing time and expertise on industry boards or financially supporting worthy causes). And as environmental concerns continue to grow in importance, an increasing number of companies are breaking new ground in this area. Undoubtedly, environmental sustainability will prove to be an integral marker for future success.   

As Canadians we’re often reticent to trumpet our triumphs, but after two decades of presenting these awards, it’s gratifying to see success knows no boundaries. This year’s Pinnacle luminaries are having an impact on our soil and around the world, whether it’s the rise of Sandman Hotels, Inns and Suites — a company that a few short years ago was struggling to find its identity — or the celebrated ascent of design firm Yabu Pushelberg onto the global stage, where 14 of its next 16 hotel projects are being planned outside of Canada. The stories you’re about to read examine how success manifests itself in the hotel business, and invariably it’s always about more than bricks and mortar. We hope you enjoy this edition.

In the spirit of the season, the team at Hotelier magazine would like to extend the very best of the season to our readers and advertisers. May you enjoy good health, happiness and prosperity throughout the season and into the New Year.   


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