Vancouver, B.C. – September 21st, 2023 – Coast Hotels Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of APA Hotel Canada, Inc. and one of North America’s fastest-growing and one of Canada’s largest hotel brands, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dale Prout as Director, Development, located in California.

In his new role, Dale will focus on growing Coast Hotels’ portfolio of franchised and managed hotels in North America specifically targeting key locations throughout the West Coast of the USA to support the company’s exponential growth and expansion strategy.

“On behalf of everyone at Coast Hotels, we are delighted that Dale has taken on this new strategic role. I know that his significant hotel franchise development experience and very strong knowledge of the US accommodation sector along with a very extensive network of industry contacts will prove essential in reaching our growth goals” said Mark Hope, Senior Vice President, Development, at Coast Hotels.

In his new role, Dale brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise in franchise sales and business development, working for several international hotel companies. Most recently, he served as Director of Franchise Development for Radisson Hotel Group.

“I’m thrilled to join the Coast Hotels development team,” said Prout. “The prospect of contributing to Coast Hotels expansion strategy in the US is truly exciting. With their forward-looking vision of brand development and expansion and their focus on franchisee and owner satisfaction, I look forward to collaborating with the talented team and driving impactful development initiatives.”

With this significant appointment, Coast Hotels underscores the company’s dedication to expanding its footprint in the United States, setting the stage for an exciting chapter of growth.


WASHINGTON – 21 September 2023 – Canada’s hotel industry reported its highest occupancy level since August 2019, according to CoStar’s August 2023 data. CoStar is a leading provider of online real estate marketplaces, information and analytics in the property markets. 

August 2023 (percentage change from August 2022):

Occupancy: 77.4% (+1.4%)

Average daily rate (ADR): CAD226.04 (+5.8%)

Revenue per available room (RevPAR): CAD174.87 (+7.2%) 

“Although year-over-year growth has moderated from earlier this year, performance improvement in August was still a considerable achievement against stronger metrics from last summer’s ‘revenge travel’ period,” said Laura Baxter, CoStar Group’s director of hospitality analytics for Canada. 

“Demand patterns across the segments are starting to normalize. Both transient and weekend occupancies have been gradually returning closer to 2019 levels over the course of this year. This is not the same for ADR, however, as both segments continue to see rates at an elevated level.

“While hoteliers have reported strong demand from tours, sports teams, and smaller groups, demand from large groups has lagged. Group rates, however, are making up for much of the shortfall in demand, and we anticipate booking patterns to normalize moving forward.”

Among the provinces and territories, Newfoundland and Labrador recorded the highest August occupancy level (88.2%), which was 3.3% above 2022. 
Among the major markets, Vancouver saw the highest occupancy (86.4%), which was 0.8% ahead of August 2022.
The lowest occupancy among provinces was reported in Saskatchewan (64.3%), up 4.1% against 2022. At the market level, the lowest occupancy was reported in Edmonton (+10.5% to 66.7%).
“Hotels in Alberta housed wildfire evacuees, creating elevated hotel demand in the market, and strong occupancy growth in Calgary and Edmonton. With a short tourism ban put in place in the Okanagan, hotel performance in Kelowna fell year over year. The ban has been lifted, and hotels are ready to welcome visitors.”

For more information about the company and its products and services,


While we may love the camaraderie of a packed bar cheering with fellow fans, it's no secret that crowded spaces can quickly become stuffy and uncomfortable. 

To ensure a comfortable and cool environment for every patron, bars should look to Invi Air, an innovative air diffuser manufacturer, and its game-changing linear diffusers. Sports stadiums, like the Buccaneers, have integrated these revolutionary diffusers into their venues, so it’s a no-brainer for bars and restaurants to use them to watch the game. 

Invi Air’s linear diffusers handle double the airflow compared to traditional metal diffusers so bars can double the cool AC for their guests in the same amount of ceiling space. They're made from a proprietary composite material that nearly eliminates condensation forming on the grilles, so guests won’t be dripped on from pumping HVAC units. 


Hotel operators can combat rising rates with audits, accountability, and awareness of post-pandemic challenges

By Terri Stanganelli

Just as ensuring hotel safety requires leaving no asset or process unexamined, the quest for affordable property coverage requires casting a wide net.

Property insurance is probably the biggest insurance-related concern for all hotel operators this year. It is a very difficult market. Brokers tell us they have not seen a property market like this in 30 years. Thanks largely to an active 2022 hurricane season, reinsurance rates for 2023 have risen 25% to 30%. Carriers are passing on those increases, in the form of property rate hikes that brokers tell me could reach 50%. As coverage levels shrink, deductibles are increasing. Meanwhile, windstorm coverage for locations that need it is becoming harder to find.

Layered coverage?

As carriers’ willingness to write ground-up limits wanes, a layered program is more likely.  A $20 million property might now need five different carriers to spread the risk.  Know upfront, however, that this approach will cost more – how much depends on your individual situation.

Hoteliers who have not yet renewed policies for this year should expect many questions from underwriters as insurance carriers look closely at property values to ensure that they are commensurate with replacement costs. Additionally, buyers must leave no stone unturned – contact every carrier you can in seeking more affordable property coverage.

Most property claims involve water, be it an errant sprinkler, a burst pipe, or an overflowing toilet. Accordingly, some hotel policies have higher deductibles for water claims than other claims. Whereas your all other perils (AOP) deductible might be $25,000, the deductible for water-related claims could be $100,000 or significantly more, depending on your claim history.

Having a claim does not always mean that the insured failed to take care of their property. When outdoor temperatures approach - 30°F or more, as they did this winter in the Mount Washington area of New Hampshire (reaching -108°F degrees), some pipes are bound to freeze. It is our job to minimize avoidable exposures wherever we can, in part by keeping up with scheduled property inspections.

Additionally, focusing conversations on learning and sharing best practices goes a long way toward mitigating risk, which ultimately can help keep premiums in line. Consider an auditing process using a central document to track all life-safety conditions. Quarterly, hotel team members can document when the last fire inspection occurred, as well as inspections of CO2 detectors, boilers, ANSI-UL kitchen equipment, smoke detectors, elevator operations, emergency lighting, and other life-safety gear. Make life safety a priority by providing tools for your team to help them be accountable. 

Lowering liability

The outlook for liability coverage is less clear, but it is safe to assume these rates likely will continue increasing as well. Our guests and our society seem to grow more litigious every year. Although legal venues favorable to the insured exist, carriers would much rather settle claims than take chances in court. During the last 5 years, I cannot recall a single claim that has crossed my desk actually going to trial.

The ongoing labor shortage could be contributing to staff injuries. When a shrinking housekeeping staff must clean more rooms per shift, workers will be moving faster and perhaps not observing all applicable safety protocols.

If a claim occurs at your property, always take your carrier’s recommendations to heart. If a housekeeping worker slips while cleaning a bathtub, for instance, claim documents will indicate whether the worker was doing this task correctly, with the right equipment and cleaning products, or perhaps requires retraining.

In public spaces, outdoor pools are now open. Some states and policies require lifeguards on duty during open hours; others do not. Common-sense precautions range from ensuring that gates are locked after hours to maintaining pool-area structural integrity and water quality.

Industrywide, liability risk favors no particular season. Slips, falls, and accidents can happen anytime. Best practices for avoiding these issues and associated rate impacts begin with keeping safety top-of-mind year-round. Monthly safety calls that include one’s entire property portfolio can facilitate companywide sharing of lessons learned at individual sites.

One bright spot for 2023 could involve cyber coverage. Formerly just a handful, the number of companies insuring against cyber risk is expanding. With competition could come rate reductions for buyers whose cybersecurity programs are on point.


VICTORIA, B.C. (September 13, 2023) –Canada’s renowned Castle on the Coast, Fairmont Empress, welcomes four new culinary leadership members to serve its award-winning food and beverage outlets, including Q Restaurant, Q Bar and the hotel’s pastry division.

Helmed by Executive Chef Morgan Wilson, the hotel’s culinary operation comprises more than 80 culinary professionals across its restaurants, bars, banquet venues and pastry kitchen, producing hyper-local and seasonal menus reflective of the regional abundance grown, harvested and found throughout Vancouver Island. The team welcomes Steven Fernandes as Executive Sous Chef, Tyler Paquette as the Q at the Empress Restaurant Chef, Lucas Gurtner as Sous Chef and Gerald Tan as the Executive Pastry Chef.

“We are infusing our culinary team with fresh inspiration as we mark our 115th anniversary,” said Morgan Wilson, Executive Chef of Fairmont Empress. “We are always seeking to innovate our programming and menus—and are very excited to bring together a group of talented and experienced experts to further enhance our vision. They complement our existing talent, each with their own style and passion for the culinary arts. We cannot wait for our guests to come and try some of our new offerings such as Sunset Sips, a new evening cocktail and culinary experience.”

Steven Fernandes, Executive Sous Chef

Fernandes joins Fairmont Empress’ team as Executive Sous Chef, leading the culinary team alongside Executive Chef Morgan Wilson. Under the leadership of Chef Wilson, Fernandes will oversee In-Room Dining, Banquets, Q Restaurant, Q Bar, and the ongoing development of the hotel’s iconic Afternoon Tea. Fernandes has been a part of the Fairmont brand for the past 11 years, most recently serving as the Executive Sous Chef at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. As part of Fairmont Empress’ continuously evolving spirit, Fernandes feels that the hotel is a trendsetter for Greater Victoria, satisfying his passion for creating new flavours for others to discover. 

Tyler Paquette, Q at the Empress, Restaurant Chef
Paquette joins Fairmont Empress as Restaurant Chef at the signature Q Restaurant and Q Bar, where he will lead the culinary team and oversee the menu development of both dining venues. Prior to his role at Fairmont Empress, Paquette held the role of Sous Chef at the lauded Langdon Hall in Ontario, where he managed a culinary brigade that saw the restaurant rise the ranks to the No.4 Restaurant in the nation on the coveted Canadas100Best list. Hailing from Vancouver Island, Paquette is no stranger to the Victoria community. At a young age, he knew that the culinary industry was his calling, finding the constant search for refinement and precision to motivate his career. In his free time, Paquette enjoys travelling and foraging for wild plants, affirming his passion for discovering new culinary innovations while respecting the surrounding bounty of ingredients rooted in nature.

Lucas Gurtner, Q at the Empress, Sous Chef
With more than 15 years of culinary experience and multiple prestigious awards within the industry, Lucas Gurtner joins Fairmont Empress as Sous Chef and the supporting lead of Q Restaurant and Q Bar. Beginning his culinary career with an apprenticeship in 2008, Gartner found himself at the Relais & Châteaux luxury Sonora Resort, where he moved up the culinary ranks from Junior Sous Chef to Executive Chef and finally, as the resort’s Culinary and Beverage Director, becoming the youngest Executive Chef in the Relais & Châteaux portfolio at the age of 27. He then made his way up north to the remote luxury Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, where his passion for local harvesting and sustainability harmonized the resort’s deep roots in sustainable culinary philosophies. A Victoria native, Gartner grew up on the island and credits his father, a former Suisse Certified Chef de Cuisine, as his most considerable influence and mentor who has helped shape his career into what it is today. His new role marks a homecoming for the Chef, one that he looks forward to.  

Gerald Tan, Executive Pastry Chef

Gerald Tran joins Fairmont Empress as Executive Pastry Chef, overseeing the preparation of desserts and pastries throughout the hotel, including an integral role in the execution of the world-renowned Afternoon Tea at Fairmont Empress. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, Tan began his culinary career studying Culinary Arts at De La Salle University. He eventually made his way west and moved to Canada in 2009, where he started working as a First Cook at the Hyatt Regency Calgary. He continued his work in the industry and most recently held the role of Executive Pastry Chef at the luxury five-star St. Regis Hotel in Toronto.

For more information on culinary offerings at Fairmont Empress or to book a stay, visit


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