Lucky 13: Why It’s Sandman’s Favourite Pick

It was 1966; somewhere approximately half way between the now bourgeoning cities of Prince Rupert and Prince George, in the small town of Smithers, BC, where Sandman Hotel Groups’ story began.

Against the backdrop of the Hudson Bay Mountain, just west of the Babine Mountain range, our first location rose over 45 years ago along Highway 16 West, and set the stage for what has turned out to be one of Canada’s greatest business success stories.

Founded by Bob Gaglardi, son of famed Highways Minister Philip Gaglardi, and father to Tom Gaglardi, CEO of Sandman Hotel Group, Bob developed this seedling location which would eventually spring from a single property in Smithers to over 40 hotels, suites, inns and resorts all across the country (and now with a flagship Sandman Signature in Newcastle, England to boot).

Being family operation, the company has always had a strong commitment to quality and loyalty, not just within the company, but also with their customers, and, naturally, the Lucky 13 Rewards Program is an extension of these timeless ideals.

Just after Sandman’s second location opened in Kamloops in 1967, Bob decided to create a plan for his company to reward customers for their longstanding brand loyalty.

A simple stock card at the time,  for each night that a guest booked, they would receive a hand-written signature from the GM on the back of the card. When they had  saved up enough of these signatures, they got to reserve a free stay with Sandman at any location.

But what number of signatures would fit the task?

That was an easy choice for Bob. Considering his father Phil was born on January 13th in the year 1913, lucky number 13 rose to the occasion both as tribute to Phil’s legacy, and as a cheeky play on old superstitions that, for the Gaglardis, seem to have a reverse effect.

“It’s a big seller” says Bob, who now sits comfortably watching over his ever growing businesses, “that number was a tribute to my father, because, aside from being born on the 13th day, in the year 1913, for many, January is also considered a 13th month… so it was an obvious choice.”

Obvious and successful, as this is the program’s 45th year in action, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

No longer using the GM “autograph” method, the card, of course, has a more modern look than the original versions from the 60s – and yet, the commitment to loyalty is the same.  A commitment which keeps Sandman’s valued customers coming back year-round because, after all, who doesn’t love earning a free night’s stay.

For more information about the Lucky 13 Rewards Program check out our website here:

Or watch our video:

Don’t forget, on Friday the 13th , in celebration of our legendary Lucky 13 Rewards Program, we’re having a special promotion for all our program members! Check our website, Facebook, Twitter, or, on Friday the 13th to find out what it is!

Trust us; it’s a lucky one.

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