October 12, 2023
By Robin Roberts
For more than 60 years, Atlific Hotels’ guiding principles have been driven by five simple, but often overlooked, qualities: integrity, ethics, respect, loyalty and culture, says Wendy Lamont, executive vice-president.
Integrity is at the core of how the Montreal-based company conducts business; ethics holds it accountable to the highest standards; respect for colleagues, clients and guests is non-negotiable; loyalty fosters long-lasting, mutually beneficial business relationships; and culture celebrates a familial camaraderie among not only partner hotels, but within the communities in which they operate.
“Our core values are the bedrock of our actions,” says Lamont. “For us, success transcends mere financial metrics. It’s a reflection of our unwavering dedication to fulfilling our promises to stakeholders and our ability to generate a positive influence on the lives of our employees.”
One of Canada’s largest privately held hotel and resort-management companies, with additional offices in Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver, Atlific Hotels operates nearly 40 properties coast to coast, from independent properties to big brands such as Marriott, IHG, Hilton, Wyndham and Radisson Hotels.
One of its early major achievements was introducing the Holiday Inn brand to Canada in the 1960s, with its first international Holiday Inn in Le Chateaubriand, Que. That was followed closely the same decade by the opening of the Holiday Inn Montreal Downtown, the largest Holiday Inn at the time, to coincide with Expo ’67. The company soon branched out into restaurant operations, bringing Wendy’s restaurants to Canada in the 1970s, ultimately ending that relationship a decade later. In the 1980s, Atlific acquired Ontario-based Venture Inn Hotels, comprising 16 properties, and Quebec chain Auberges des Gouverneurs, which encompassed 12 hotels.
The company expanded further in the 1990s when it was sold to Ocean Properties, which led to partnerships with IHG, Westin and Marriott.
Over the last year, Lamont says the company’s airport and city-centre hotels have growing at a faster rate than resorts, which have still seen growth, albeit at a slower rate. “This is primarily due to them having seen the strongest performance over the past few years, so other markets are just now recovering.”
According to Hotelier magazine’s annual Top 35 Report, Atlific Hotels reported gross sales of $351 million across 40 properties for year ending December 2022, up from $195 million the previous year.
And there’s more on the horizon. “We are excited about a number of promising opportunities, and our team is working to bring these to fruition,” says Lamont. “We’ve been diligently executing our company’s vision by following a comprehensive plan that was carefully crafted in 2020. The results have been quite remarkable, as we’re on track to surpass our five-year vision by the end of this year.”
As for innovations, Lamont points to those that are inward focused, including systems and processes and the people behind them. For example, Atlific has embraced a new platform to enhance its reporting capabilities. “We’ve also streamlined our work processes, fostering more seamless collaboration across all corporate disciplines and between our corporate support centre and field teams, including operations executives, area directors and general managers,” says Lamont.
“Additionally, we’ve maximized our financial resources efficiently, optimizing revenue streams to support our growth initiatives. And our commitment to continuous innovation has been instrumental. We’ve fostered an environment that encourages creativity and forward thinking, which has led to the development of new and improved processes, technologies, and services that keep us competitive.”
For example, Lamont says a new national operating platform, designed to empower general managers, has allowed them to assume stronger leadership roles. Because, as she reiterates, people are the priority. “Our culture is what sets us apart. It serves as a beacon, ensuring our commitment to excellence never wavers, much like a hurricane lamp that maintains a steady flame even in the most challenging conditions.”
Originally published by Hotelier magazine.