Hotel News The Halifax Nova Scotian Hotel (formerly Hilton International) has been purchased for $4.5 million by New Castle Hotels, a hotel ownership and management company based in Shelton, CT. The property will be franchised by Westin Hotels & Resorts, and will reopen this summer after extensive renovations of the interior, exterior, and grounds.
The new general manager of the hotel is Peter Semadeni, whose management experience includes a position as general manager of the Delta Barrington Hotel in Halifax.
The Nova Scotian is a landmark 1930s building with 307 guest rooms and 14 suites, as well as 23,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space.
The 232-room Holiday Inn Select Halifax Centre has completed more than $750,000 in renovations, and has increased its services and amenities. The hotel now features guest rooms with free local phone service, computer/fax modem, voice mail, coffeemaker, and iron. There are six meeting rooms, the largest seating 340 persons theater-style, plus a fitness center, executive floor, and 24-hour business center.
Inter-Continental Hotels and Resorts has announced the 300-room Lord Elgin Hotel, in Ottawa, as an addition to its international sales and marketing network. The hotel retains its independent ownership and management, while gaining access to Inter-Continental's reservation system and sales and marketing network. Built in 1941, the Lord Elgin Hotel is a landmark in downtown Ottawa. It completed a top-to-bottom restoration and expansion in 1991 and added 11 meeting rooms, the largest for 150 persons.
The 164-room Nottawasaga Inn, 45 minutes from Toronto in the picturesque rolling hills of the Nottawasaga River Valley, has added a 70,000-square-foot indoor recreation complex that includes a 25-meter pool; squash, racquetball, and tennis courts; an aerobics center; a weight-training facility; a children's center; and an 18-hole, themed mini golf course. This facility compliments the 34 meeting rooms.
The Estates of Sunnybrook, located on the campus of Sunnybrook Health Science Centre in Toronto, has added a new service for meeting planners: an in-house speaker's bureau. In conjunction with Speaker's Spotlight of Toronto, the Estates will offer clients who book events a lineup of professional speakers from which to choose. The Estates consists of two historic mansions, set on 52 acres.
Quebec Center on Schedule The new Quebec Convention Centre in Quebec City is on schedule for its grand opening on August 29. It is being built on Rene-Levesque Boulevard East, in downtown Quebec City, near the older convention center, which will cease operations in early August. The new center is connected via underground passage to two nearby hotels, the Hilton and the Radisson Gouverneurs, which offer 1,000 guest rooms. There are 2,500 guest rooms within five minutes of the center. With some 75,000 square feet of exhibit space and 30 meeting rooms, the new center already has 141 groups booked over the next five years.
GES Expands in Montreal Exposervice Standard Inc., the largest show services contractor in Montreal, has joined the GES Exposition Services family of companies. GES, headquartered in Las Vegas, is a leading general contractor for the tradeshow industry. In addition to Exposervice Standard, other Canadian acquisitions for GES include Panex Show Services Limited and Stampede Display and Convention Service Limited. Panex is Canada's largest general contractor and it operates in Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton. Stampede operates in Calgary and specializes in smaller shows.
Calgary in Expansive Mode The city council's finance committee has approved in principal an $18 million expansion at the downtown convention center, and a $3.7 million expansion to the Roundup Centre at the Stampede Park, according to the Calgary Sun newspaper. If approved, the expansion would triple the size of the 23,000-square-foot convention center, while the extra 15,000 square feet of meeting space at the Roundup Centre is viewed by Stampede board chairman Bob Dinning as just the first step in a long-term project for the facility. The finance committee has agreed to spend $150,000 for more detailed plans of the expansions and to help fund-raising efforts, according to the Sun.
Meanwhile, there are renovations and expansions under way in Calgary. They include a new "work center" at the Palliser Hotel, two self-contained work stations with telephones, computer and fax hookups, a computer terminal, boardroom access, and a range of office services.
At the same time, the Westin and Delta Bow Valley hotels are offering, for $20 and $15, respectively, a selection of guest rooms that have been especially equipped for business travelers, including items like printers, fax machines, speaker phones, and ergonomically designed desk chairs.
New in the city is the Alberta Children's Museum, which opened in June, and the Western Heritage Centre, which opened July 1.
Opening in 1997 will be the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Art, which will be housed in two renovated historic buildings in downtown Calgary. The museum will feature visual arts exclusively and will accommodate international, local, and regional exhibits.
Calgary's Science Center Theatre reopened in June, touting the "finest multimedia theater in North America," complete with digital star projector, 70mm motion picture projector, and state-of-the-art video projection capabilities.