PLAINFIELD, IL, OCTOBER 17, 2019 -- Following a decade of record growth, hotel franchisors are putting new focus on ensuring their brands’ flags are in tip-top condition. Tired, neglected properties with lower quality index scores are being issued property improvement plans (PIPS) to upgrade. Failing to comply with even the smallest PIP detail may put the hotel owner in jeopardy of having their flag pulled.
PIPS are an expensive proposition. Not unsurprisingly, few hotel owners welcome them. But because PIPs are part and parcel of hotel ownership, the challenge is how to make an older hotel thoroughly brand compliant, while keeping PIP cost reasonable.
According to Cicero's Development Corp., a general contractor specializing in hotel renovations, before signing off on a PIP agreement, hotel franchisees should pay close attention to avoid potentially costly mistakes. Although situations differ from brand to brand, terms are typically negotiable. Brands are especially receptive to negotiating PIPs with hotel owners who have existing relationships with the brand or who own or manage other franchised properties. 
If owners are careful about expenditures, they can save money during a PIP, reports Sam Cicero, president of Cicero's Development Corp., who offers the following Tips for PIPS.

  1. Painstakingly review PIP requirements with the PIP brand representative to quantify its content and to assist with judgment calls. It is not uncommon for franchisors to oversimplify PIP elements with words like “all” or “throughout the property,” which leaves contractors having to price in the most expensive scenarios.
  1. Identify other negotiable items in the PIP agreement such as the types of flooring tiles or wall finishes. These can vary widely in price. Ask your general contractor to break out the price of alternative items because they may be the first things to propose as "value engineering" points to the franchisor. 
  1. As a rule, any long-term maintenance items should be removed from the PIP. Yes, the hot-water heaters and roof will have to be replaced at some point, but if it’s not immediately necessary, wait.  
  1. Sometimes franchisors allow PIP work to be broken into several stages that coincide with the hotel’s cash flow. While this sounds good in theory, it usually increases the overall PIP cost because the contractor has to repeatedly restage. Don’t take the bait. A better approach is to devise a plan keeping the work to a single floor at a time, while other floors are left open for guests. Besides keeping revenues flowing into your operation, it isolates the work and will minimize guest inconvenience.
  1. It is not uncommon for time-consuming disruptions to occur in the course of implementing a PIP. Before getting started you will want to discuss the implications of disruptions with the franchisor as it effects deadline requirements and possible penalties.
  1. If you feel your property is being unfairly targeted for an extensive PIP, research if there is another property under the same flag that recently underwent a PIP but was not subjected to the same requirements. This knowledge may give you leverage during negotiations. 

Finally, once you have settled on the entire scope and details with your franchisor, be sure to select a team of contracting professionals who specialize in hospitality work. Choosing the wrong contractor can negate all the benefits made in steps one through six.
Like most elements of a business transaction, PIPs are negotiable in both their scope and timeframe. It is recommended that hotel owners negotiate as much as they can up-front before signing off on their PIP agreement, or before sharing the PIP with potential investors. Keep in mind that it is the end-goal of the franchisor to not only make the best deal, but to maintain the highest brand standards and the best appearance for your hotel. The key is to find a balanced cost solution that meets brand requirements and the hotel owner's budget.

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07 109123011 07 RI YYCBL Hearth Room 300wToronto, ON (February 18, 2020)Atlific Hotels’ Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown/Beltline District has been recognized as ‘Établissement d’hébergement’ by the Grands Prix Du Design 2020 in Quebec. Architecture firm LEMAYMICHAUD conceived of the property’s design and claimed the esteemed prize at the official awards gala on February 5, 2020. The ‘Établissement d’hébergement’ award is considered to be the grand prize in the hotel category. 

The Grands Prix Du Design awards recognize Quebec talent including industrial designers, architects and landscape architects in all areas of interior design. The jury reviewed more than 500 projects before honouring the selected winners at one of the most prestigious award galas in the industry. 

Photo Courtesy: Atlific Hotels

Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown/Beltline District was recognized for its brilliant and thoughtful design, inspired by the building’s roots as the beloved Alberta Boot Company. Paying homage to the city’s culture and the building’s heritage, boot-stitching patterns can be found thoughtfully integrated into guest rooms, while age-old advertisements are seen in the lobby. 

The 35-storey hotel, which is the largest hotel of the brand in North America, has 390 guest rooms, a complimentary breakfast buffet, free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour hour two-floor fitness centre, and a complimentary grocery delivery service. Conveniently located in the Beltline District in downtown Calgary, the Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary offers quick and easy access to the city’s top attractions, including the Calgary Tower and Scotiabank Saddledome. 


TORONTO, ONTARIO – February 12, 2020 –  Forbes Travel Guide unveiled its annual Star Rating list today, naming The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel for 2020.

Known for its personal service and facilities that it provides to its guests, this marks the fifth consecutive year for the hotel to be honored with this distinguished rating, one of only 7 hotels in Canada and 268 globally.

“We are honored once again to have been recognized as one of an elite group of luxury hotels around the world to receive the Forbes Five-Star Hotel rating.” says Franck X. Arnold, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto.
“Our Ladies and Gentlemen are very proud of their achievement. They work diligently to ensure our guests experience genuine care and comfort during their stay with us and create memories that will last a life time.”

Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, the hotel has completed a re-imagination of its rooms and suites, paying homage to the proximity to the waterfront, entertainment district and the history of travel and leisure.

The hotel’s 263 guest rooms and suites overlook the beautiful Lake Ontario and iconic CN Tower or views of the city skyline. Just minutes from theatre, sporting arenas and entertainment venues, The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto is in the center of the excitement of this diverse city.

“We have been committed to championing genuine Five-Star service for more than 60 years, and this year’s winners, as always, exemplify the very highest standards in hospitality,” said Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel Guide.

“It is difficult to earn a Forbes Travel Guide rating, and all our Star-Rated winners have shown how incredibly deserving they are of their accolades by demonstrating sheer dedication in their passion for service. We congratulate them all.”


TORONTO, ON, CANADAFebruary 10, 2020– Finding and managing your video feeds is now faster and easier for dormakaba’s Keyscan Aurora users.  The new Keyscan Aurora access control management software version 1.0.19 integrates with OpenEye Web Services (OWS). This licensed module allows users to quickly retrieve, view and manage video feeds through the cloud using OpenEye’s web services and the OWS viewer app featured in the Keyscan Aurora interface.

“This integration with OpenEye OWS is designed to make your video management experience faster and easier,” says Derek Christian, Keyscan Product Manager. “The OpenEye OWS interface with Keyscan Aurora software couples access control and video management, with all its features and functions, into one convenient platform.”

The OWS Keyscan Aurora integrated interface advantages include:

  • Efficient connectivity to recorders using OpenEye Web Services’ Web Connect technology
  • Improved connection reliability
  • Elimination of manual entry and connection setting updates
  • Ability to retrieve immediate live (or retrospective) video verification of security alarms and events triggered by Keyscan Aurora directly in the OWS viewer
  • Convenient services bundle including search by date and time, PTZ camera controls, and multiple pane view preferences
  • Ability of programmed alarm events to activate a video pop-up and/or floor plan active map with selectable device icons for instant camera switching and viewing of the alarm or event area

The OWS VMS integration is installed with Keyscan Aurora Version 1.0.19, or later, and requires only a single EAUR-OWS video integration license code to activate. For more information, visit


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