Although Andy Loges is an industry veteran, enthusiastic advocate and award-winning hotelier, he’s still a committed team player.
There’s no grandstanding here. The newly appointed GM of the Hilton Toronto Airport, a 419- room bustling hotel, across from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, humbly avoids taking sole credit for anything, including his recent Ontario Hostelry Institute Gold Award.
“It was a huge honour,” Loges says. “Completely unexpected. It really speaks to the people I’ve worked for and with. That award belongs to the team.”
While the 47-year-old, Victoria, B.C.-born Loges has certainly earned his stripes in the industry — kicking off his unexpected career as a bellman at the Harbour Towers Hotel in his hometown when he was 22 — the award wasn’t bestowed to simply recognize a near lifetime of service. Instead, it was given to celebrate Loges’ extensive involvement in hotel advocacy.
“I’m very involved in the community,” he says. “I’ve always been a part of the Vancouver Hotel Association, and when I moved to Toronto, I joined the Toronto Hotel Association, which I now chair. I’m also on the Board of Tourism Toronto. I’m an advocate for the industry because we’re a big business and we need to be heard.”
But while times are undoubtedly tough in the hospitality sector, the hotel business has always been about adapting. “As a business we’re always reinventing ourselves,” Loges says. “We have to be savvier. Guests don’t just complain to the front desk anymore, they go on Trip Advisor. There’s no sitting back and enjoying our reputation or what we think we did well yesterday.”
What’s perhaps most impressive though, is that Loges’ focus on the success of his property and his industry doesn’t interfere with his passion for improving communities beyond his hotel’s front doors. During his long tenure in Vancouver, the hotelier was involved with the YVR Golf for Kids tournament, an event that generated funds for The Canuck Place children’s hospice. When he moved to Toronto in 2004 to accept a GM post at the Marriott Bloor Yorkville, he participated in a Children’s Miracle Network golf tournament and raised funds for the charity.
In fact, the GM’s passion for people seems to define his professional life, so it makes sense that he’s most excited about the newest group of people he’s been working with, and is just as quick to praise his new home. The recently refurbished and modernized hotel has just come out of a two-year, threephase, $15-million facelift to update rooms, the lobby and meeting space. The hotel also boasts Bliss, its new globally inspired restaurant that guests have embraced.
“With the recent renovations, I see huge opportunities for this property,” the GM says. “Our industry is very competitive, and the Toronto airport market is extremely competitive, but this hotel has huge potential.”