Winners Announced at National Student Competition: hotelNEXT

Winners Announced at National Student Competition: #hotelNEXT

TORONTO, May 19, 2017 /CNW/ - For the second year in a row, aspiring hotel developers from universities across Canada competed in a national contest called #hotelNEXT at the annual Canadian Hotel Investment Conference (CHIC). The student teams pitched their unique and feasible hotel concepts to a judging panel of Canadian investors and hotel owners in front of a live audience.

"Another compelling competition, the #hotelNEXT teams are to be congratulated on their creativity for their ideas and how they conveyed their concepts to the executive audience. Each team was full of confidence and shared their message with clarity and detail," said Charles Suddaby, Vice President, Hospitality & Gaming, Practice Leader at Cushman & Wakefield, who led a group of industry representatives to create this contest. "The interaction between the students and industry leaders was fantastic. On one hand, students had a chance to stand up and present their innovative ideas and knowledge – and on the other hand, industry leaders got to see how talented these young people really are."

The producer of the event, Big Picture Conferences, received 13 submissions from students across the country. A selection committee made up of; Charles Suddaby (Cushman and Wakefield), Robert Bruins (Oxford Hotels), Russell Beaudry (Colliers International Hotels), Samantha Charlesworth (Superior Lodging Corp.) and Lindsay Wright (InnVEST Hotels) picked the top three teams which were flown, all expenses paid, to Toronto.  Each team had 15 minutes to present their ideas for the hotel of the future using the criteria of creativity and return on investment. A panel of judges included; Billy Coles (BCP Construction/ CCR Hospitality), Brian Leon (Choice Hotels Canada Inc.), Minaz Rahemtulla (Jubilee Hospitality Association Canada), Fariyal Hasham (Jubilee Hospitality Association Canada) and the audience voted. Along with bragging rights, students were presented with cash prizes; $5000 (first place), $3000 (second place), and third prize ($2000).

The winners of the #hotelNEXT competition were:

First place: TEAM LIMESTONE GROUP- Brittany Lee and Phil Smith (Queen's University) created "Treehouse", an inspired 84 room hotel concept for Toronto's Liberty Village;
Second place: TEAM NOMAD HOTEL GROUP- Christian Cross and Scott Forler (University of Guelph) created the "Nomad Hotel", an 80-room limited service hotel concept aimed at attracting millennials in Vancouver's Gastown neighbourhood;
Third place: TEAM THE QUEBECERS- Laurence Bolduc, Felix-Emmanuel Cormier, and Jacob Papillon (L'Université du Québec à Montréal) created "MUVO" mobile accommodations for towns, festivals, weddings and corporate events.

"This competition is gaining interest among students studying at Canada's hotel schools and real estate programs across the country, because it truly allows them to showcase their inventive ideas," said Orie Berlasso, Conference Producer and Managing Director.  "In an effort to get more young people involved in our industry, #hotelNEXT provides the leaders of tomorrow a forum for sharing ideas and allows an exclusive opportunity for young people to connect directly with the Canadian hotel investment community."

Now in its 21th year, CHIC attracted a record breaking 600 participants from within the hotel industry.  Big Picture Conferences produces the event in association with CBRE Hotels, Colliers International Hotels and HLT Advisory Inc. The annual event attracts stakeholders from Canada's $16.7 billion lodging industry representing 8,500 hotels, motels and resorts.

About Big Picture Conferences
Big Picture Conferences is dedicated to the production of conferences and networking events for the Canadian hospitality industry. Big Picture Conferences delivers turnkey events by developing program content, organizing quality speakers, coordinating marketing services while managing venue arrangements, registrations and finances. Big Picture Conferences 'must attend' events include: the Hotel Association of Canada's National Conference, Canadian Hotel Investment Conference, Canadian Restaurant Investment Summit, Canadian Restaurant Operators Summit, Hotel Capital Connection and the Western Canadian Lodging Conference.

Video with caption: "Video: WINNERS ANNOUNCED AT NATIONAL STUDENT COMPETITION: #hotelNEXT ". Video available at:


SOURCE Big Picture Conferences Inc   

For further information: Orie Berlasso, Big Picture Conferences, 416-924-2002 ext 229,; Rebecca Thompson, Point Guard PR, (647) 227-0840,