Prestige Hotels locates in Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert is the third northern location for Prestige Hotels and Resorts after two more locations opened in Smithers and Prince George

More cranes might be popping up at the Fairview Container Terminal at the Port of Prince Rupert in the near future, but in the meantime, one was spotted right downtown putting up a new sign at the Prince Rupert Hotel.

The decal, signalling the new branding of the location, has breathed new life into the building.

Two brown, circular ‘Prestige’ signs were installed on each street-facing corner of the hotel, and the business is experiencing some other changes that have gone along with it.

“This location is still managed by the original ownership group – we’re currently recruiting for a general manager for that location – and we’re excited for 2016. We’ll be able to launch the brand formally by the end of the month, even though the sign has already gone up. Our website and guest services will become ‘Prestige Prince Rupert’,” said Rebecca Monsen, vice-president of operations for West Coast Hospitality, Prestige’s ownership group.

“Later on in the spring we’re going to invite the community in to take a tour of this hotel and see some of the changes that we’ve been making. We’re really elevating our product offerings to match the Prestige brand standards – we’ve been doing a lot of work there.”

Prince Rupert is the third northern location for Prestige Hotels and Resorts after Prestige Hudson’s Bay Lodge opened in Smithers earlier in 2015 and Prestige Treasure Cove was rebranded in Prince George.

With the number of industry professionals that move through Prince Rupert on a regular basis, Monsen and the company knew that some aspects of the accommodation experience needed to be ramped up at the Prince Rupert location, expected to be filled with corporate clientele who are familiar with the Prestige brand, and had been asking about a location in Prince Rupert for quite some time.

“We’ve been elevating our product offerings to match the needs and requirements of a standard corporate client and positioning the hotel to be more attractive. The brand standards are helping us do that [with] rooms, guest spaces, service standards and more,” said Monsen.

Earlier in January, West Coast Hospitality held all-day meetings with staff to alert them to some of the changes that will be coming to the location.

“We really wanted to inform [them] about what [the transition] is going to look like for them and for them to become more familiar with the brand. We’ve been talking about it [with them] for awhile,” she said.

With tourism strong in the summertime due to the fishing season, Monsen believes that the Prince Rupert location fits in well with the company’s vision.

“We see it as an opportunity similar to [Smithers and Prince George] that fits our brand. We’re a smaller community, we do have a good, strong tourism business that comes through in the summer … and they have a lot of connections in the tourism market in B.C. [Prestige] is just a really community-focused brand and that fit with the community of Prince Rupert,” said Monsen.