Columbus, OH – September 12, 2019 – Red Roof® has announced that Greg Aden is expanding his role with Red Roof and will be joining the team as Consultant, Franchise Development, West Coast and will be leading franchise development for the Western United States. Greg brings more than 30 years of hospitality experience plus financial services knowledge and leadership coaching to the organization.

Greg is a former Vice President of Franchise Development-Western US with IHG where he led strategic franchise development for five globally recognized brands and provided mentoring and leadership for seven regional directors. At IHG, Greg was recognized as the most prolific franchise development person in company history, setting sales records as he provided top-level client service and created genuine franchisee relationships.

Greg owns Aden Leadership, a coaching and consulting firm focused on guiding top performers and leaders to create a positive impact in the world of development and leadership. Using an authentic language and behavioral approach, Greg’s coaching incorporates transformational methods to help his clients find their true sense of purpose and perform at their highest and best selves. 

Greg is based in Denver, Colorado where he enjoys life with his two boys, Brooks and Jackson. 


San Francisco, September 17, 2019—Sandman Hotel Group, Canada’s fastest growing hospitality company, has officially partnered with Duetto, a hospitality revenue platform with a best-in-class pricing application, to maximize profitability across its entire portfolio of hotels, resorts, and inns.

Sandman, which operates The Sutton Place Hotels, Sandman Signature Hotels & Resorts, and Sandman Hotels, Inns & Suites, is implementing the technology firm’s pricing application, GameChanger; its solution for intelligent reporting, ScoreBoard; and its groups business application, BlockBuster.

With more than 50 Hotels, Resorts, Inns, and Suites, from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador, the US, and the UK, and with several properties under development, Sandman is Canada’s fastest-growing, privately-owned hospitality company.

Duetto’s revenue strategy platform brings together core technologies and data to make them accessible through multi-tenant cloud architecture, powering a suite of applications delivering a holistic revenue strategy that increases organizational efficiency, revenue and profitability.

Sandman will use ScoreBoard to quickly and efficiently produce and share multi-property reports such as financial forecasts and budgets, leading to more accurate reporting and streamlined operations.

With GameChanger, the company plans to yield rates independently by property and stay date, room type, booking channel and customer segment, driving increased revenue, profit and efficiency. Using BlockBuster will help Sandman bring together sales and revenue management to effectively yield group bookings and optimize contracted business.

"We were looking for a modern application to enable innovative strategies throughout the organization," says Michael McNames, Director of Revenue at Sandman Hotel Group. "We are confident in Duetto's best-in-class technology, but perhaps more importantly, it was a cultural fit for an agile company proving to be cutting-edge market leaders."

“Sandman Hotel Group is an innovative industry leader eager to empower their teams with the right resources,” says Patrick Bosworth, CEO and co-founder at Duetto. “We're excited to help them along a journey of making more informed decisions to maximize opportunities.”

In addition to the newly opened Sandman Signature Plano – Frisco Hotel, US (Sandman’s first hotel in Texas and the United States); Sandman Signature Aberdeen Hotel, UK (Sandman’s first hotel in Scotland and third in the UK); Sandman Signature St. John’s Hotel, NL; Sandman Signature Calgary Airport Hotel, AB; and Sandman Signature Ottawa Airport Hotel, ON, Sandman has also announced new Canadian hotels in Sherwood Park, AB; Saskatoon, SK; and Winnipeg, MB.


Toronto, Canada, Sept. 9, 2019: When it comes to adventure travelers, China is an untapped market totaling USD $8.2B per year, according to new research from Bannikin Travel and Tourism, a leading travel consultancy based in Toronto and Hong Kong.       

The China Adventure Tourism Market Study, which surveyed more than 300 Chinese travelers over the age of 18 who had taken a trip in the past year, determined that 16.3% of respondents ­­— 23.49 million people — chose an adventure trip for their last holiday. For a market with outbound tourism numbers continuing to see double digit growth, this means there are considerable opportunities for adventure travel brands looking to expand their product offerings for Chinese adventurers.

“This report delves deep into who Chinese adventure travelers are—their planning habits, income, spending habits and dream destinations,” said Natasha Martin, managing director of Bannikin Asia. “We’ve never had better insight into how to market towards the Asian travel market and break into one of the largest tourism spends out there.”

The 2019 study found that 2.7% of departures could be categorized as ‘hard adventure,' while 13.6% pursued ‘soft adventure’ experiences. Though Chinese consumers do not necessarily associate adventure travel with risk-taking activities, such as rafting or mountain biking, they do associate it with remote destinations that can be perceived as exotic and potentially dangerous.

The survey was sent with the objective of discovering how many Chinese travelers actively seek-out adventure while on vacation. Here are the report’s main findings:

  • The total adventure market size for China (based on accommodation spending only) is USD $8.2B per year.
  • Adventure travel spend from China represents 0.64% of total international tourism spend.
  • The top destinations for adventure travelers were United States, Thailand, Australia and Japan.
  • Time in nature, camping and backpacking are some of the most popular activities for Chinese adventure tourists.
  •  72% of Chinese adventure travelers spend between 4-10 days abroad, lower than Western adventure travelers. 

Bannikin Travel & Tourism runs a leading travel trade development satellite office in Hong Kong, with a team of Asia market experts to assist destinations and tour operators on how to tap into the burgeoning Asia adventure marketplace.

To download the full report, click here.


Toronto, ON (September 12, 2019) – Atlific Hotels is delighted to announce the recently completed renovations of Holiday Inn Montreal-Longueuil. The hotel’s public spaces, meeting rooms and guest rooms have been transformed by Interior Design Firm Hager Design International Inc. to elevate the guest experience with clever and stylistic changes that reflect the liveliness of Montreal. 

“We are pleased with the hotel’s dynamic new look and trust that guests will appreciate the thoughtful upgrades put in place,” said Raymond St-Pierre, Vice-President Operations, Atlific Hotels. “These renovations exemplify everything that Atlific Hotels is about – creating hospitality experiences that prioritize guest needs and ensure a relaxing and functional stay.” 

The redesigned lobby and atrium have been brightened to welcome guests to a modern and multipurpose space with unique design elements. Guests are warmly received at the revamped check-in area, where two individual service pods are a refreshing departure from a standard reception desk. Decorative light fixtures elevate the minimalist entry experience. From the reception area, guests seamlessly flow into the six story, open interior atrium. With a soaring ceiling complete with skylights, the naturally lit area evokes a warm and welcoming environment inspired by earthy tones. Ample seating options allow for guests to connect and relax, where comfortable accent chairs, elongated couches and chic tables are available at every turn. Playful elements of design appear in the wooden cabinets, with open shelving that include unique pieces of art.

Photo Courtesy: Atlific Hotels

Beside the atrium lies the lobby bar and restaurant, L’Atrium, ideal for guests who wish to grab a drink and bite. Connecting the atrium and L’Atrium is a decorative airplane, positioned in the center of the ceiling to punctuate the hotel’s airy feel and naturally guide the guest journey from one space to the next. L’Atrium is a full-service restaurant open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Guest rooms have been transformed to introduce new furniture, fabric and fixtures into the space, featuring a modern colour palette of grey and neutral hues. Luxurious and plush white beds with a triple sheeted duvet act as the centerpiece. A funky, graphic pattern appears on the headboard, adding a design forward feature. Strategically positioned, dark wood side tables juxtapose the bright bed on each side. Soft, grey carpet adds texture and comfort. Suites feature an inviting living room area that includes cozy furniture and circular tables to draw guests in. The updated washrooms feature a wall mounted backlit mirror, allowing for plenty of room on the smooth, clean counter tops.  

Renovations to the meeting rooms include sophisticated furniture and decor. All 10 meeting rooms are bright and colourful thanks to new sculptural chandeliers. The vibrant, blue and green carpeting brings a fresh and playful flare to the rooms, reminiscent of the spirit and style of Montreal. Multiple, wooden tables are flexible to accommodate for various events. 

The indoor pool and spacious fitness centre have also been updated. The latter features hardwood flooring, high ceilings and windows, creating a bright and motivating leisure area for exercise. State of the art fitness equipment is the perfect finishing touch to this space. 

Located directly across the Saint Lawrence River to Old Montreal, Holiday Inn Montreal-Longueuil provides spectacular views of the city of Montreal and easy access to historic Old Longueuil, a heritage site with unique charm, restaurants, shopping and events. The hotel is also a short drive away from the center of downtown Montreal, where guests can stroll along the city’s lively streets and explore everything that the world-class city has to offer.


PLAINFIELD, IL, JULY 2, 2019 -- The Society of American Value Engineers international defines value engineering as a “function-oriented, systematic, team approach to provide value in a product, system, or service.” In layman's terms, value engineering has always meant one thing: saving money without compromising quality. True value engineering is not simply a matter of cutting costs, but rather giving careful consideration to all options, always with the project's goals in mind. A well-planned and well-executed value-engineering process can improve a hotel renovation without sacrificing its essential integrity.

Larry Miles, considered by many to be the father of value engineering, introduced this process nearly 70 years ago. When Miles developed the analytical field of value analysis for General Electric after the Second World War, he identified two elements of the value equation—function and cost—and balanced them against one another. As Miles approached the problem of enhancing value, his objective of value analysis was to identify all elements of function and cost, and to express their mutual interdependency so that an informed decision could be made between the two.

Applying that same thinking to hotel renovation, the value engineering process becomes a systematic approach that engages a team from multi-disciplines, including the owner, architect/engineer, designer, contractor and sometimes an outside consultant, who review the project in an attempt to expose optimum value both short term and long term. Of course, time is also a commodity that must be taken into consideration.

Brainstorming early on in the process will determine what products, systems and processes are used to help eliminate unnecessary cost. In both new construction and renovation, value engineering is too often introduced during the design phase of a project. Doing so does not offer as much of a benefit as it would during the planning stage due to the potential impact of project redesign. Consider this: upfront construction costs account for a mere 11% of the total lifecycle costs of a building. That underscores the fact that early decisions have a critical impact on the long-term cost of ownership. Likewise, when a professional team works together from the beginning of the planning stage of the renovation, the right materials can be specified from the start, thereby avoiding unnecessary change orders and delays in the schedule.

Compromise Cost... Not Quality

The essence of Value Engineering is compromise. For instance, can 2000 pieces of ceramic tile be substituted for marble in the lobby? That depends on several things, such as what is the hotel owner's expectations? What kind of wear and tear the flooring will be subjected to? How does this tile affect the overall design? While the project programming may show the client wants marble, changing to a ceramic tile that looks like marble and multiplying that savings by 2000 may become worth considering by all parties.

For another example, let’s consider a mid-size hotel under renovation and instead of considering what products are used, lets analyze where they come from. The owner’s chief concern is time; the hotel rooms have been taken off line, so the quicker the renovation is completed the faster they can be profitably turned back over to the hotel. If buying the building products from an overseas vendor, although the cost maybe lower than "Made in America," you need to consider the time it takes to not only manufacture but to ship the product. It may be advantageous to source the product locally to alleviate the chances of materials not being received on time due either to communication issues or not allowing enough time to produce and ship, or due to problems that sometimes can occur at U.S. Customs that could hold up delivery.

While these types of compromises may be tedious, they eliminate the need to redesign or respecify materials and methods at a much later phase when funds have already been poured into the renovation. As a creative aspect, compromise forced by cost contraints can also be a good tool for setting the parameters on design possibilities. Given the many possible design approaches and the limitations, the value engineering process helps narrow down the possibilities, often forcing a team to be more creative or inventive in its compromises.

Of course, compromise simply for the sake of compromise is pointless. Instead, the goal should always be to ensure a project is performed and delivered using the best value approach that maintains design integrity without compromising quality, yet eliminating products, processes and designs that generally drive up the overall cost. If something doesn't provide extra long-term value and it can be substituted with an alternative, the hotel owner's expectations are sure to be exceeded.


While every hotel renovation project is unique, generally speaking value engineering involves a set of core stages that include:

  • Identifying the main elements of materials and methods
  • Analyzing the functions of these elements
  • Researching potential alternative materials and methods to achieve these functions
  • Carefully evaluating each alternative to ensure that it is viable and beneficial
  • Accurately costing each potential alternative by taking into consideration all factors (e.g. shipping, storage, lifetime maintenance, etc.)
  • Evaluating each potential alternative, and highlight those that have the highest chance of being successful substitutes.

A fundamental feature of value engineering, and what makes it so advantageous in a hotel property renovation project, is that it does not seek to alter or diminish the project’s conceptual vision, or make sacrifices with respect to project material and quality, functionality, performance and reliability. On the contrary, value engineering can actually improve aspects by identifying innovative options and new approaches.

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