After only eight months of operation, Val-d’Or’s Quality Inn & Suites, a joint venture between CREECO and Trahan Holdings, has already been awarded for outstanding performance and quality of service, beating out other hotels in the Choice Hotels Canada chains. According to the hotel’s general manager, Michael Prince, every year during the Choice Hotels’ fall conference, all 300 properties under Choice Hotels Canada have the opportunity to participate and enter their properties into different categories under the Awards for Property Excellence (APEX).

“As a new property we were allowed to enter into three different categories and of those three, we won two. One of the awards was for ‘Rookie of the Year’, a category which all new properties that have opened up under the Choice Hotels banner are eligible for,” said Prince.

The Val-d’Or Quality Inn & Suites was in competition with every newly built or converted property within Choice Hotels, including other Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn banners, and came out on top to win the Rookie of the Year award.

According to Choice Hotels, this award goes to the property that has embraced Choice programs, demonstrated a passion to provide the best guest customer experience possible, and symbolizes the qualities expected of a hotelier within the Choice Hotels Canada system.

The hotel also picked up the “Spirit of Hospitality” award in the provincial division, after achieving high levels of guest satisfaction among the more than 60 Choice Hotels in Quebec.

“You have to look at the fact that we have a really beautiful property here and for a mid-scale hotel, the price-to-quality ratio is very good. Then we have a staff that has banded together in a very short period – it’s only been eight months since we opened. Not only do they enjoy their work, but they do everything that they can since they are committed to the satisfaction of the clientele,” said Prince.

According to Prince, he couldn’t have a better staff and explained that the hotel staff actually goes through all of the client comments on a weekly basis. If there’s been an issue, the staff has been quick to find a solution so that the situation doesn’t repeat itself again.

“The result is that we have shown that we can really do this to the best of our abilities. The outcome is winning the prize for customer satisfaction,” said Prince.

And, it was actually the hotel’s guests who were responsible for seeing that the establishment was rewarded for its efforts. According to Choice Hotels, customers are regularly surveyed about their experience at each establishment. The company uses a combination of survey answers to determine the likelihood that a past guest will recommend the hotel to family and friends, showing their satisfaction with the establishment.

The Val-d’Or Quality Inn & Suites actually managed to garner the most “likelihood to recommend” votes from its clientele during the qualification period, earning it top prize.

According to Prince, having business giants like CREECO and Trahan Holdings as the hotel’s shareholders also contributes to the success of the business because they are so experienced when it comes to large operations like airlines and hotels.

“They have made sure that they have a good team in place and, more importantly, they give the tools to the team to make sure it can operate in a professional manner. It is to their merit that it’s easy for us to decide right away as to whether we should cut back on one thing or do another thing right from the beginning,” said Prince.

Winning these two awards has also made for yet another moment of Cree pride and yet another symbol of Cree success, according to Rodney W. Hester, Vice-President of the hotel’s Board of the Shareholders and the Business Development Coordinator for CREECO.

“This is a great honour for the Crees of Eeyou Istchee. We share this achievement with our business partners and all of our shareholders, which includes each and every beneficiary of the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. This is yet another example of how CREECO has become a shining example of success,” said Hester.