Pool memberships increase since local hotel completes renovations

By Drake Lowthers
Jan. 15, 2015

Evelyn McCormick really enjoys her daily swims at the Best Western.
The 67-year-old grandmother from Cornwall stands poolside with her two swimming buddies, holding her pool noodle under her arm.
She talked about becoming a new member to Best Western’s pool since major renovations took place.
“The pool is always wonderful. It always is at the perfect temperature.”
The Best Western on Grafton Street in Charlottetown has seen an increase in pool-gym memberships since investing $60, 000 to remodel its pool and fitness area.
General manager Francis Hince said the completion of the renovation was done as quickly as possible.
“The renovations lasted precisely one month, from Oct. 20 to Nov. 19.”
There were two sections to the renovations, the pool and the fitness area, with the pool requiring the majority of the attention, he said.
The deck was resurfaced in ceramic tile, the wooden panels were re-stained and the walls along with the ceiling pipes were painted.
“The pool itself, which used to be painted, was resurfaced in mosaic tile.”
The fitness area’s walls and ceiling were repaired and repainted, he said.
“The flooring of the gym was redone, from 1980s carpet to state-of-the-art, impact-resistant, commercial three-quarters of an inch rubber tile.”
Tracey Feehan, the hotel guest services supervisor has been with the hotel for 30 years. She was glad to see the pool renovations done.
“Three years ago, they drained the pool and did some resurface painting. It wasn’t a full renovation.”
Renovating the pool did bring some problems, Hince said.
“Besides having been closed for a month, we received negative reviews and comments from the guests in that matter.”
The pool and fitness area is for hotel guests and the people who have purchased memberships to use the facilities.
With the pool being closed they had to credit all pool-gym memberships with two free months, he said.
Feehan said the major benefit from the renovations should be the generated profit from pool memberships.
“With a nicer establishment, it attracts more guests to the hotel. We are now providing a better service for our guests.”
The renovations did mean the price of memberships rose.
Prior to the renovations the Best Western only offered a six-month and 12-month membership, Feehan said.
“Based on the fact that people couldn’t afford the memberships and the resulting increase in price, we now offer a three-month membership.”
A total of 8, 000 pounds of tile were ordered to complete the renovation.
Hince said the renovations were mandatory, coming from their property improvement plan, which outlined items to be completed in the 2014 calendar year.
Based on recommendations from the plan, design input had to be completed by SilverBirch, the hotel management company that owns Best Western. Then the hotel had to deal with product availability, contractor competency and availability for completion of the renovation.
The process had to be approved by their Vancouver head office, the asset management division and also with the vice-president of operations, Hince said.
For more information about pool-gym memberships, contact Best Western at 902-892-2461.