Monday, January 9, 2012

Victoria Inn Invests in its Meeting and Convention Capacity

Thunder Bay has enjoyed some of Ontario's highest hotel occupancy rates over the past year due to growth across a number of segments. The convention and meeting segment, in particular, has grown significantly as the city solidifies its place as the "Unconventional Convention" destination, attracting more local, regional and provincial corporate events.

The Victoria Inn is making some changes to meet the growing demands of Thunder Bay's red hot conference market. The former Scuttlebutt's Grill and Bar space within the hotel has closed after fifteen great years and the space formerly occupied by that iconic watering hole is being transformed into new meeting and convention space. Situated adjacent to the Hotel's existing flexible space ballroom, the new renovation will connect with sliding panels to create a ball room capable of hosting up to seven hundred and fifty persons.

According to Ray Nadeau, General Manager of the Victoria Inn, the new space should be available for booking sometime in April 2012. This transformation follows a series of previous investments the hotel has made in the past several years that include renovated guest rooms and improvements to increase their environmental sustainability, making them a leader in urban sustainable tourism.

This is an encouraging sign within the community's tourism industry to see this capital reinvestment to capture growth within the meeting and convention market. The city's corporate market is a significant contributor to the city's overall tourism economy and is important to ensuring we maintain a successful four season tourism. The corporate and conference market traditionally drives late fall, winter and early spring occupancy in the city in a big way along with seasonal sport tourism events.

They way I see this is that offering more choice in meeting space will open up new opportunities that extend the benefits beyond the host hotel. Larger conferences often rely on multiple properties working together to accommodate delegates and this investment is certain to create potential new accommodation business for the five properties along the Arthur St strip. This will also have the potential to increase opportunities in the airline, rental car and culinary segments.

Congrats to Ray and the Victoria Inn for making this investment into the meeting and convention segment.

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