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BWH Hotel Group announced today that David Kong, President and Chief Executive Officer, will be following in the footsteps of other industry giants and will be inducted into BTN Group’s Business Travel Hall of Fame later this year.

The Business Travel Hall of Fame established in 2011, honors distinguished business travel leaders that have had a profound impact on the travel category. Representing the lodging sector, Kong is following in the footsteps of industry giants, such as the founders of Hilton Hotels, Southwest Airlines, and JetBlue, the CEOs of American Airlines, British Airways, Avis, Hertz, and the Chairmen of Hyatt, Marriott, and Concur, among others. Kong, the longest serving CEO in the hotel industry, is being recognized as a trailblazer whose contributions will leave a lasting imprint on the travel industry.

“David’s induction into The BTN Group’s Business Travel Hall of Fame is a testament to the key role he has played as a leader and advocate in the business travel sector,” said Louis Magliaro, Executive Vice President/Group Publisher, The BTN Group. “His work to transform BWH Hotel Group into a global powerhouse has undoubtedly forever changed the landscape of the travel industry. With this recognition we are celebrating both David’s personal contributions, as well as the contributions of BWH Hotel Group, to our industry.”

“I am deeply honored to be recognized by BTN Group and inducted into the Business Travel Hall of Fame,” said Kong. “To be included among such a distinguished list of accomplished individuals is truly humbling. I am proud of the journey we have been on to become a hotel brand of choice for business travelers across the world. We have worked diligently to provide the diverse solutions our customers are seeking from expanding and contemporizing our product offerings to investing more than $2 billion in property improvements and renovations. As we celebrate our 75th anniversary, I am deeply grateful for the ongoing support and commitment of the travel buyer community and look forward to our ongoing partnership.”

Under Kong’s leadership, BWH Hotel Group has evolved into a modern and innovative global hospitality powerhouse. Today the hotel company offers 18 vibrant and exciting brands covering every chain scale segment from economy to luxury and every type of accommodation, including boutique/lifestyle and extended stay. Kong has grown the portfolio to include Best Western® Hotels & Resorts, SureStay Hotel Group® and WorldHotels Collection™.  With Kong’s guidance, BWH Hotel Group has become a trusted leader in business travel, earning a number of industry accolades, such as Best Western® and Best Western Plus® ranking as the number one midscale and number two upper-midscale hotel brands by Business Travel News.

Kong’s dedication to the travel industry extends beyond his work at BWH Hotel Group. He is a long-time active member of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), serving as its chairman in 2010, and continuing to serve on the executive committee and the foundation’s Board of Trustees. In 2010, Kong was appointed to the United States Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board and served for three years.

In 2019 Kong was honored for his commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusivity by GBTA WINiT as Best Make Coach of The Year. In 2019 Kong was recognized for his innovation with Hotel Interactive and Guest Magazine both naming Kong Innovator of the Year. Kong also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) in 2014 and also the 2013 Stephen W. Brener Silver Plate Award at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference for his contributions to the resurgence of Best Western and services to the industry. Finally, he was also inducted into the University of Hawaii's Hall of Honor in 2013.

 
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Victoria, BC: Inn at Laurel Point welcomes general manager Eda Koot to lead its distinguished team. With over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Koot brings a team-focused and results-driven leadership style to the celebrated Victoria hotel.

Koot is honoured to carry on the legacy of founders, Paul and Artie Arsens, and the incredible work of Reverend Canon Ian Powell, who has been the general manager of Inn at Laurel Point since 2006. Powell, winner of the 2019 BC Hotel Association’s Hotelier of the Year Award, has long been a mentor of Koot’s, hiring her early on in her career. Stepping into his shoes brings this journey full circle.

“Inn at Laurel Point is leading the charge towards a sustainable future” says Koot. “We're collaborating with non-profits like One Tree Planted and earlier this year, the property was the first hotel in North America to sign onto The Climate Pledge. As we head into an exciting new chapter after the pandemic, I’m looking forward to continuing to showcase the property’s commitment to the community and to sustainability.”

Koot began her hospitality career with Delta Hotels in Calgary, along with several years at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Calgary before accepting a general manager position at Delta Red Deer Hotel in Alberta. She then moved to British Columbia, working as the general manager at Delta Hotels in Victoria, Whistler, Sun Peaks and the Lower Mainland. During her time at Delta Sun Peaks Hotel & Resort, Koot helped create a year-round destination by growing summer offerings at the property, as well as in the village itself. Most recently, as general manager of Pacific Gateway Hotel at Vancouver Airport, she successfully oversaw the hotel’s transition from being part of the Delta brand, to an independent hotel, while achieving the property’s highest ever top line revenue growth. During her time there, Pacific Gateway received many accolades, including the Hotel Association of Canada’s Environment Award.

“We are so pleased to welcome Eda to the team,” says Brooke Harris, director of sales and marketing. “With her skills, experience and commitment to carry on the Arsens’ legacy, Eda is the perfect fit to guide us into the recovery phase of the pandemic and beyond.”

The travel industry now enters a renewal phase, which coincides with recent renovations at the property. In 2020, Inn at Laurel Point debuted a large-scale, multi-million-dollar ground floor renewal, originally conceived in 1987, when owners Paul and Artie Arsens asked their friend Arthur Erickson to design a second hotel wing (now called the Erickson Wing). He agreed, and Inn at Laurel Point became the first and only hotel in Erickson’s portfolio.

Thirty years later, their vision was completed with the help of John Graham of Graham Sherwin Studio, who worked with Erickson on the original project. With the completely transformed lobby, entranceway, meeting spaces, outdoor garden area, and Aura Waterfront Restaurant + Patio, under Koot’s new leadership, Inn at Laurel Point is perfectly positioned to welcome guests to an exciting new chapter.

For more information or to book a stay, visit www.laurelpoint.com.

 
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 BWH Hotel Group announced today that Lawrence (Larry) M. Cuculic has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer by the company’s Board of Directors. Cuculic has been serving as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the company for 12 years and will assume his new role as President and CEO on December 1, 2021.

“Together with my fellow Board of Directors I have great confidence in our decision to appoint Larry our new President and CEO,” comments Ishwar Naran, Board Chairman, BWH Hotel Group. “Larry brings tremendous experience from his prior roles, military background and longstanding position within our organization. Larry is a trusted and decisive leader whose collaborative and strategic approach will undoubtedly lead the company to even stronger financial success, driving positive growth for our hoteliers.”

Cuculic takes the helm of the global hospitality powerhouse at a pivotal time in the company’s history. Under the leadership of outgoing President and CEO, David Kong, BWH Hotel Group has grown from one to 18 vibrant and exciting brands across every chain scale segment, from economy to luxury. The company boasts successive records of RevPAR growth, culminating at 113.9 in 2021, as well as industry-leading levels of guest and hotel satisfaction ratings. Under Cuculic’s leadership, BWH Hotel Group is on track to continue leading the industry as a powerful global hotel company.  

“It is a true honor to be selected as the next President and CEO of BWH Hotel Group by our esteemed Board of Directors,” said Cuculic. “During my tenure with the organization I have had the great privilege of working alongside David Kong and witnessing the remarkable impact he has made on our company and the industry as a whole. I can only hope to live up to the legacy David is leaving behind and I am committed to ensuring the long-term success of our members and our organization. I am fortunate to have the support of our Board and one of the most successful senior executive teams in the industry. I am excited  and look forward to working together with our Board, our members, my colleagues, and our corporate associates to usher BWH Hotel Group into its next chapter.”

“I am pleased to be passing the reigns of BWH Hotel Group to my long-term colleague, Larry Cuculic,” comments David Kong, President and CEO, BWH Hotel Group. “I have worked alongside Larry for 12 years and have been continually inspired by his thoughtful leadership and strategic thinking. Throughout his tenure, Larry has gained valuable experience through a wide range of responsibilities, including our Central Reservations and Contact Centers. He is conversant in many areas of our company and is well liked and respected throughout the organization. Larry is the ideal candidate for the role of President and CEO. He is the right person to lead our organization through the recovery phase of the pandemic and to capitalize on new opportunities ahead. I am confident that together with our strong senior executive team, Larry will drive even more success for BWH Hotel Group and our hoteliers in the years ahead.”

 
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Atlific Hotels is proud to announce that it has been recognized as the Global Design Best Project CONNECT 2020 award winner from Marriott International.

The Global Design Best Project Award recognizes the top project completed for each Marriott® Select Brand, based on design, cooperation, participation and process. Atlific, along with owners QuadReal Property Group were bestowed the award for their 2018-2019 collaboration on Atlific’s managed property, Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown/Beltline District. The award was received on July 23, 2021.

“We are very pleased to receive this honour on behalf of the Quadreal Property Group and Atlific Hotels.” said Philippe Gadbois, Senior Vice President, Operations. “It is a fantastic testament to the pride we put into our collaborative partnerships to ensure delivery of the best possible experiences for our guests.”

Atlific and QuadReal opened the hotel on March 1, 2019, in one of Calgary’s most dynamic neighbourhoods, the Beltline District. Built on the site of Calgary’s historic Alberta Boot Company, Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown/Beltline District pays homage to the city’s cowboy roots. The hotel allows guests to make the most of their stay with proximity to top attractions, including the Calgary Tower and the Scotiabank Saddledome. Walk to local downtown spots or hop on the CTrain, just one block away, and explore nearby restaurants and shops. Offering a full kitchen in each suite, complimentary breakfast and grocery delivery, free Wi-Fi and a 24-hour, two-story fitness centre, a stay at the property makes each day in Calgary feel effortless. For more information and to book a stay, please visit the hotel website.

 
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Condé Nast Traveler recently announced the results of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards with Fairmont Waterfront recognized as the #2 Hotel in Canada.

More than 800,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers submitted responses rating their travel experiences across the globe to provide a full snapshot about the places they can’t wait to return to next. The Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry. The full list of winners can be found here.

“On behalf of the entire Fairmont Waterfront team, we are over the moon to be named the 2nd best hotel in Canada in these prestigious and coveted awards,” says Jean-François Vary, General Manager of Fairmont Waterfront. “We are honoured and grateful to be recognized by the discerning readers of Condé Nast Traveler, and we look forward to turning moments into memories with them for years to come.”

A Four Diamond urban haven located on Vancouver’s dynamic harbourfront, Fairmont Waterfront is a luxurious and laid-back West Coast gem in the heart of downtown and is the perfect choice for the eco-minded traveler. This 5 Green Key and 4 Green Key Meetings property offers 489 guest rooms overlooking  the working harbour, coastal mountains, and sparkling city skyline while connecting guests to the best of everything Vancouver has to offer. The hotel’s expansive rooftop garden is home to a honeybee apiary and is thought to be one of the city’s first green roofs. Fresh, handcrafted artisanal cuisine pairs perfectly with a world-class wine list, local craft beers, and expertly mixed cocktails in ARC Restaurant + Bar.

 

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