Management Today - Spring 2016 - 48


PROFILES

"It's basically giving the guests the experience that will make them smile."
-Keith Levit, CEO

Service
Strategy
CANADA'S LAKEVIEW
HOTELS ALWAYS
KEEPS CUSTOMERS
AND EMPLOYEES
COMING BACK.
>LAKEVIEW GROUP OF COMPANIES

BY TIM O'CONNOR

Fifty-two years after Keith Levit's
father founded Lakeview as a land development firm, the company has evolved
into one of the largest Canadian-born
hotel brands. As a photographer, Levit
has a nationwide showcase on the walls
at Lakeview Hotels & Resorts. "We
acquire hotels so I can have more wall
space for my art," he jokes.
Levit joined his father's company in
1983 after earning a master's degree in
real estate and regional science. Around
that time, Lakeview began its first
major surge into the hotel industry. The
company redeveloped two properties
into Sheraton hotels and built a third
from the ground up - making it the first
developer to open three Sheraton hotels
in the same year. "That's one way to get
into the hotel industry," Levit says.
In the beginning, Sheraton managed
those properties until Lakeview eventually took that management in-house.
The company later secured the exclusive
right to bring the Country Inn & Suites
by Carlson brand of hotels to Canada in
the early 1990s. This gave Lakeview the
experience of introducing a new brand
into the market.
By the late 1990s, Lakeview introduced its namesake hotels into the

48

// Lakeview manages 21 hotels and resorts in
Canada, including The Grand Winnipeg Airport
Hotel in Manitoba.

market and converted its Country Inns
into Lakeview Inns & Suites. Today,
it manages 21 Lakeview Hotels &
Resorts as well as two Four Points by
Sheraton properties.
Targeting the Right Market
One of the company's flagship hotels is
Lakeview Hecla Resort, located two hours
north of Winnipeg. The 90-room Hecla
Resort has seen several owners over the
years - including the province of Manitoba - but it never could find success.
"When Lakeview took over the
property in late-2012 we rethought the
resort's target market and shifted the
focus to families looking for a weekend
getaway. Room rates were lowered to
entice Manitoba visitors who could
make the two-hour drive to the hotel
but couldn't afford to stay there be-

MANAGEMENTTODAY-MAGAZINE.COM SPRING 2016

fore," says Chris Miller, vice president
of operations.
That strategy has been a success and
occupancy rates have surged. Even
during the frigid winter - which drives
away many visitors - the resort is a
busy place. "Operationally, we have
better controls in place and we're appealing to the market the resort should
have been appealing to in the first
place," Miller says.
Having opened its doors in 2013,
The Grand Winnipeg Airport Hotel by
-------------------------------------- [ PROFILE ]
Lakeview Group of Companies
www.lakeviewhotels.com
Headquarters: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Services: Hotels
Employees: 1,000
---------------------------------------------------


http://www.MANAGEMENTTODAY-MAGAZINE.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Management Today - Spring 2016

Contents
Management Today - Spring 2016 - Cover1
Management Today - Spring 2016 - Cover2
Management Today - Spring 2016 - 1
Management Today - Spring 2016 - Contents
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