March 9, 2018

Kelowna, BC – Island Lake Lodge has won the coveted 2018 Employees First Award, presented this afternoon at the BC Tourism Industry Conference in Kelowna. The award is sponsored by go2HR, BC’s tourism human resource association, as part of the 2018 Tourism Industry Awards.

The Employees First Award recognizes a British Columbia tourism industry employer who has upheld high standards of excellence in human resources and people management practices. Based in Fernie, BC, Island Lake Lodge runs on a grassroots, team-oriented organizational culture.

“At Island Lake we recognize how important our staff are to the overall success of the company. They are the very foundation of the brand and business and their stories are integrated into the overall story of the company,” said Mike McPhee, Island Lake Lodge’s Director of Sales and Marketing. “We have striven to be a modern employer with an offering of unique benefits, perks, flexibility, continual training / education and collaborative atmosphere.”

The company’s vision and values revolve around providing a safe workplace and a collaborative environment. Some examples include:

  • Extensive onboarding training at the beginning of each season, covering occupational health and safety, social media, guest services, and more;
  • Ongoing support for professional development, such as First Aid, WHMIS, avalanche training, Red Seal Chef training, and Serving It Right;
  • Weekly staff recognition, and end-of-season awards that include peer recognition;
  • Company perks and benefits including swag giveaways, staff meals, shuttle to work, catskiing trips and outings, and photos contests; and
  • Open and ongoing communication including suggestion box for employees, regular team meetings, and monthly employee newsletter.

With such a dedicated focus on employee training and satisfaction, Island Lake Lodge has seen positive results as their retention rate steadily climbed over the years. In 2017, 90 per cent of staff had returned for the season. On TripAdvisor the company is ranked #1 in the speciality lodging category in Fernie and awarded a Certificate of Excellence. It is not uncommon to see individual staff regularly recognized by guests in post-visit surveys.

“Island Lake Lodge’s inclusive, team-oriented culture contributes to a high level of employee satisfaction, which in turn leads to high levels of guest satisfaction,” said Arlene Keis, go2HR’s CEO. “By providing a work environment that employees can grow, thrive, and take pride in, Island Lake puts their employees first and boasts an impressive retention rate, setting a fine example for our industry as an employer. We congratulate the Island Lake Lodge team on their achievements.”

To learn more about the BC Tourism Industry Awards, visit


DENVER (March 8, 2018) — RLH Corporation (NYSE:RLH) announced today the improved Hello Rewards App featuring all of the company’s hotels. As part of the evolution, the Hello Rewards App will include more convenient mobile keys for Hotel RL hotels, allowing guests to use their phone as their key and get into their room faster than any other solution.

Another unique feature, guests will have text capabilities for select properties with the ability to communicate directly to hotel staff during any phase of the stay, including before and after visiting the hotel. Additionally, guests can check in through the app at all Hotel RL locations, with rollout to Red Lion Hotels and Red Lion Inn & Suites hotels this spring so guests can get their vacation started faster.

“We built the Hello Rewards App with the modern traveler in mind,” said RLH Corporation SVP and Chief Information Officer John Edwards. “The Hello Rewards App refresh puts more control in the hands of our guests, and is easier to implement for our franchisers than other solutions. As just one example, the Hello Rewards App works with multiple door lock manufacturers, letting our owners choose the solution that works best for their property.”

To ensure a seamless travel experience for hotel guests, the Hello Rewards App is in sync with interactive screens, powered by InfoGlass, in select hotel lobbies, allowing guests to search and discover the local area in the lobby then take it with them on the go through the app. 

Guests enrolled in Hello Rewards, the company’s innovative guest recognition program, have an elevated customized experience with access to their account and stay credits in real time. All users will also have access to curated local recommendations to enhance their travel experience.

"Travelers can communicate with the hotel how and when they want, whether before, during or post their stay," added Edwards. “It's all about putting our guests in control. On site, the app can alert hotel staff of guest preferences, ensuring an individualized special visit at each hotel." 

The enhanced Hello Rewards App can be downloaded from the Apple AppStore and Google Play. To learn more about franchising with RLH Corporation, visit We don’t wait for the future. We create it.


Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 5 March 2018: Global Hotel Alliance (“GHA”), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotel brands and operator of the award-winning, multi-brand loyalty programme, DISCOVERY, today announced that JA Resorts & Hotels has joined its portfolio of independent hotel brands, adding a collection of seven hotels and luxury resorts to GHA’s network of more than 35 independent brands and over 500 hotels.

Established as Dutco Hotels in 1981, JA Resorts & Hotels became an international hospitality brand in 2012. In addition to a unique collection of hotels in the United Arab Emirates, today the group manages the award-winning Maldives resort JA Manafaru and JA Enchanted Island Resort, a Seychelles luxury resort in the Sainte Anne National Marine Park.   The portfolio also includes restaurants, event catering, gourmet dining cruises, a marina, golf course and other sporting facilities.

Chris Hartley, GHA’s CEO, is thrilled to welcome yet another unique brand to the alliance: “GHA and JA Resorts & Hotels both call Dubai home, so the GHA team have all got personal experience of the groups  fabulous hotels and resorts, whether it’s for a night out on JBR at the heart of Dubai’s vibrant beach-front scene, or a weekend at the incredible JA Hatta Fort Hotel  in the Hajar mountains just outside the city, They have  a great reputation and a long history in this region, and bring  more local flavour to GHA’s eclectic collection of truly independent brands; and thus more great choices for our 11-million DISCOVERY programme members”

Anthony Ross,  CEO, JA Resorts & Hotels added: “creating memories for our guests is one of our brand’s core values, which fits perfectly with the DISCOVERY loyalty programme and its Local Experience awards, distinctive activities that capture an authentic taste of each destination. We are delighted to become part of this worldwide alliance and benefit from its huge global reach and advanced technology, helping us reach more customers in new markets.” 


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