Calgary Herald


- DAVID PARKER David Parker appears regularly in the Herald. Read his columns online at calgaryher­ business. He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at info@davidparke­

Moxy Hotels, a brand that boasts 125 properties across 24 countries, is about to open its first two in Canada. One is in Halifax and the second is in Banff, a conversion of The Voyageur Inn in partnershi­p with Drumheller-based Canalta Hotels.

Moxy participat­es with Marriott Bonvoy, the global travel program of Marriott Internatio­nal that offers members an extraordin­ary portfolio of global brands with exclusive experience­s.

“Moxy Banff is the result of a $30-million renovation of

The Voyageur Inn, Banff's first commercial motor hotel that was constructe­d in 1964,” says Brooke Christians­on, co-executive vice-president with his brother, Blair, of Canalta Hotels. “While most hotels in Banff offer a traditiona­l mountain experience, Moxy Banff stands out from the crowd with its bold mid-century design anchored in the centre by Bar Moxy, flanked on both sides by expansive rundle stone walls and unique precast wings that float over the parkade.”

Canalta Hotels is a family-owned and operated Canadian company with 43 hotels, founded by parents Cam and Sharlene Christians­on in 1974. Their first property opened as The Heartlande­r in Stettler in 1978 and by 1981 they also owned The Crusader there. The 1980s were “a bit of a grind” and the family moved to Hanna to open and live in the Hanna Inn. Cam formed Canalta Real Estate Services and opened two A&W Restaurant­s, two Mohawk/husky restaurant­s, three liquor stores and two more hotels in surroundin­g communitie­s.

As business grew, they relocated to Drumheller and set up their headquarte­rs, opened Canalta's first branded hotel in Weyburn, Sask., and built relationsh­ips with Wyndham to develop Ramada Inns and Hilton to open Hampton Inn and Suites properties.

The lure of Banff was answered in 2016 when the Christians­ons launched the Canalta brand in the Rocky Mountain resort with the purchase of the popular Voyageur and its neighbour, the Spruce Grove Inn.

The unique design of Moxy Banff is the result of Canalta working with Marriott preferred vendor New York-based Workshop/apd to bring to the hotel a cohesive interior design and an intentiona­l narrative thread that ties the guest experience together, along with Calgary's Metaphor Architectu­re that designed the modern exterior of the building.

The unconventi­onal room layouts of Moxy include toe-to-toe beds that increase the floor space while creating a giant daybed for lounging. There are rooms with double bunks, kitchenett­es and lock off suites that make two rooms into one. Playful programmin­g provides a year-round heated patio and outdoor hot pools.

The original Voyageur Inn had 88 rooms but, with nine rooms being added by closing its U-shape and taking ballroom and meeting space, the new Moxy Hotel offers 109 rooms and parking for around 20 vehicles.

Managing the new hotel will be Moxy Banff captain Sudeep Sandhu, who has moved from the next-door property to run a team that will have scheduled activities, as well as spontaneou­s options.

Moxy Banff will welcome guests in January, served by around 30 staff.

Cam Christians­on continues as president and CEO of the family-run Canalta Hotels company that he and Sharlene launched in rural Alberta almost 50 years ago. It now has more than 3,000 employees spread throughout the prairie provinces in its more than 40 hotels, and 40-plus A&WS and Boston Pizzas.

Two years ago, they opened Barneys family adventure park in Drumheller and more recently Drum Distillery, which will welcome visitors to a tasting room next summer.


■ You can mix and mingle with Alberta University of the Arts student artists while viewing and purchasing their original artwork at a First Night Fundraiser on Friday, from 5 to 9 p.m. The event, which has been running for more than 30 years in support of student bursaries, will also be open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

■ For 10 years, Calgary artist Paul Van Ginkel collaborat­ed with Pat Ward of Painted Pony Energy in producing calendars with 100 per cent support of Hopethopia. With the sale of that company, Van Ginkel has produced a beautiful 2024 calendar featuring his paintings in support of Kidsport, a collaborat­ion with Ron Scott of Big Hearted Cowboys.

 ?? CANALTA HOTELS ?? The new Moxy Banff will be the result of a $30-million renovation to The Voyageur Inn, which was Banff's first motor hotel.
CANALTA HOTELS The new Moxy Banff will be the result of a $30-million renovation to The Voyageur Inn, which was Banff's first motor hotel.
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