Six Canadian hotels are acting as pilot properties for the testing of the "Courtesy of Choice" program, developed by the International Hotel Association to accommodate both smokers and nonsmoking hotel guests. The program combines the effective use of ventilation with staff education and guest communication, according to the association.

The six hotels in the pilot program include The Toronto Hilton, Toronto Airport Hilton, Novotel North York, Novotel Montreal, Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel, and Chateau Louis in Edmonton. After the first phase of the pilot program is completed at these hotels, the Hotel Association of Canada will roll out the program nationally later in 1997.

In December, just in time for the ski season, the Pinnacle Resort at Whistler opened in Whistler, BC. The mountain destination's first "boutique" hotel, the Pinnacle has 84 suites, each with its own Jacuzzi tub, fireplace, kitchen, and mountain view. The resort is located in the heart of the village, within walking distance of the Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain ski gondolas. It features a Mediterranean-style restaurant called Quattro, an outdoor lap pool and hot tub, plus a meeting room for up to 120 persons.

Opened in 1996, the Echo Valley Ranch Resort is a luxury wilderness property at the base of Marble Mountain, near Clinton, BC. It is a half-day's drive north of Vancouver or a one-hour flight from the city in the ranch's private amphibious aircraft. Echo Valley is a working ranch where 170 head of cattle roam the 10,000 square acres. Echo Valley's main lodge, a grand log structure, has sweeping views, decks, and a hot tub under the stars. There are six individually designed bedrooms, plus two luxury cabins that sleep an additional eight guests. A private business center provides office services, as well as meeting rooms for small seminars, teambuilding programs, and incentive groups. There is also a health salon, plus horse riding (on Tennessee Walking Horses, bred at the ranch), hiking, wildlife safaris, flight-seeing, fly-fishing, and rafting.