The Sandman Centre Announced as New Home to Kamloops Blazers

The Sandman Centre, Kamloops BlazersSandman Hotel Group, The Kamloops Blazers Hockey Club, and the City of Kamloops have announced a 10-year naming-rights partnership rebranding the downtown arena as The Sandman Centre.

The Sandman Centre will host all Kamloops Blazers games and many other major events including concerts, the Subway Super Series, Hockey Day in Canada, and the 2016 Women’s World Hockey Championships.

“We are elated to enter into a partnership with Sandman Hotel Group. Their presence throughout Canada is well-recognized,” commented Director of Sales and Marketing, Dave Chyzowski. “Sandman Hotel Group is already one of the Western Hockey League’s premiere sponsors. We are very excited for this new long-term partnership.”

The Sandman Centre officially opened its doors in the fall of 1992 as the Riverside Coliseum, previously known as Sport Mart Place and over the last 10 years as the Interior Savings Centre.

“We’re extremely excited to be part of the city’s arena. This is an incredible sports, cultural, and entertainment venue offering fantastic games, events and concerts to the City of Kamloops and the surrounding communities,” said Taj Kassam, President and COO of Sandman Hotel Group. “Sandman has been a proud citizen of the City of Kamloops for the past five decades, and this partnership allows us to show and share some of this pride.”

As long-time corporate residents, Sandman opened its first Kamloops’ hotel in 1968 and its second in 2014. Together with the Kamloops Blazers and the City of Kamloops, Sandman Hotel Group looks forward to the first home game of the season on Saturday, September 26th against the Kelowna Rockets.

“We’re proud to continue our long-standing relationship with the Blazers and look forward to this collaboration with Sandman over the next 10 years,” commented Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar. “This partnership brings with it the promise of many exciting entertainment opportunities to be hosted at the new Sandman Centre.”

The Many Faces of the August Long Weekend

kids in grass_96137972Most Canadians are well versed in the stories of Christmas and Easter, and we all know that Canada Day recognizes the birthday of our nation. But for many, the first-Monday-of-August long weekend (often referred to on calendars as “Civic Holiday”) is shrouded in mystery and, at times, confusion.

Let us clear the air.

A long time ago, there was a lengthy and dreary gap between Canada Day and Labour Day where no holiday occurred. The first Monday of August, occurring right between the two, seemed like the perfect place for a summer holiday.

But there is more to it than that. Few know that what is most widely known as “Civic Holiday” actually has ties to the abolition of slavery which officially took place on August 1, 1834. Some communities across Canada call this “Emancipation Day”.

Across Canada, the day is known as “British Columbia Day,” “New Brunswick Day” or “Saskatchewan Day,” depending on where you are. Alberta calls it “Heritage Day,” and in Nova Scotia and PEI, they celebrate “Natal Day”.

In Ontario, the holiday has many aliases. It began in 1869 when Toronto City Council marked it as a “day of recreation”. Later on, Burlington recognized the Monday as “Joseph Brant Day”, while Brantford, Oshawa, Ottawa, and Sarnia all followed suit with names of their own (Founders’ Day, McLaughlin Day, Colonel By Day, and Alexander Mackenzie Day respectively). Municipalities across Ontario have a range of local names for the holiday honouring different historical figures, yet most Ontario workplaces simply go with “Civic Holiday”.

Today, Toronto’s official name for the first-Monday-of-August long weekend is “Simcoe Day”, and it coincides with Toronto’s annual Caribana festival. And although many organizations give employees the day off , this Monday is not a “statutory holiday” nor is it recognized or mentioned in Ontario’s Employment Standards Act.

As for Manitoba, there’s a new movement to have the weekend renamed Terry Fox Day starting next year. A bill to rename the holiday after the Winnipeg-born icon will be introduced in the upcoming fall session. Fox died in 1981 at the age of 22 while attempting to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research.

“His birthday is on July 28 — that’s very close to the Civic Holiday,” said Manitoba’s Premier Greg Selinger. “So it is just a way for us to think of his contribution as we are enjoying time with our family on the long weekend.”

No matter where you’re from, where you’re celebrating, or what you call the holiday, enjoy the long weekend!

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SANDMAN HOTEL GROUP PLANS FOUR-STAR HOTEL IN THE CITY CENTRE OF ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND

Robert Gordon University (RGU) has sold its St Andrews Street building in the heart of Aberdeen city centre to Sandman Hotel Group in a multi-million pound deal which will allow the university to continue with the development of its Garthdee campus.

Sandman will transform RGU’s St Andrews Street building into a four-star premium hotel complex with 220 rooms, including 61 one-bedroom suites, a restaurant, and convention facilities.

Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal of RGU said, “The sale of St Andrews Street to Sandman Hotel Group will provide major benefits to the city as well as RGU. The capital received will allow us to continue with the development of our teaching and learning facilities, providing our students with an outstanding educational environment. In addition, the city will benefit from a new four-star hotel and a development which will help drive forward the regeneration of Aberdeen’s city centre.”

“We are thrilled to open our first hotel in Scotland and partner with RGU,” said Taj Kassam, President of Sandman Hotel Group and The Sutton Place Hotels. “Our brand of hospitality fits perfectly into the iconic city of Aberdeen. I was educated in Scotland and this is where I began my career, so it gives us a great feeling of pride and excitement to open a property here.”

RGU is currently in the process of building new facilities for the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment as part of the ongoing development of the university’s Riverside East building which opened to students in September 2013.

Professor von Prondzynski added, “Staff and students of the Scott Sutherland School will benefit from working closely with colleagues from other disciplines than has previously been possible. In addition, the development of our campus is allowing us to better engage with our professional and industry partners.”

The new facilities will complement the university’s existing buildings at the east end of the campus in terms of their innovative design and style, while providing an outstanding educational environment for its students.  The campus will retain its park-like ambience and provide a recreational setting for the benefit of staff, students, and the local community.

Which way to the beach?

Whether you’re looking for a stretch of sand to spread out and relax with a good book, an outdoor court to spike a volleyball, or a catwalk to strut your stuff, Vancouver’s got it. You’ll easily find a beach everywhere you turn.

The following is a list of some of the best beaches in the city.

Kitsilano Beach

Kitsilano Beach

If Vancouver is “Hollywood North,” then Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach – or “Kits Beach” to the locals – is our Venice Beach. Buff and bronzed bodies are sure to make their rounds but don’t be wary, you’re sure to fit in somewhere amidst the mix of joggers, stroller-pushing families, sun-worshippers, and everyday loungers. Grassy patches above the tide line are perfect for tossing the disc, the tennis courts are always popular, and the beach attracts volleyball players from all over the city. And don’t forget Kits Pool where kids and adults can splash away the day in an outdoor, heated salt-water pool with a wrap-around view of the city, ocean, and mountains. It’s almost three times the size of an Olympic pool.

Jericho Beach

Jericho Beach

When all the elements are right, fishing and a picnic at the Jericho Beach pier makes for a perfect evening. Enjoy the long, sandy stretch with stunning views of the North Shore Mountains and downtown core. It’s also a great spot for sailing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, and beach volleyball.

Spanish Banks

Spanish Banks

To commemorate the discovery of the Spanish explorers in 1792, the British named this particular shore Spanish Banks. The least crowded of Vancouver’s beaches, this stretch of sand is a wonderful retreat for those who wish to escape from the pace of city life. Skimmers alert: this is the perfect place for skim boarding once you learn the optimal tidal conditions.

English Bay

West End Beaches

The southern edge of the West End neighbourhood has two of the most attractive waterfront urban environments – English Bay and Sunset Beach. Amazingly, this large stretch of sand is no more than a 30-minute walk from Sandman Hotel Vancouver City Centre and an easy 10-minute walk from Sandman Suites Vancouver Davie – Street, with no commercial exploitation intruding on the peaceful environment. In summer, English Bay becomes a jumping off point for rollerblading adventures, strolling for ice cream, and picnics. Kids will love the floating slide and parents will appreciate the full time lifeguard. It’s also the place to lay down your blanket and look up to the sky during the Honda Celebration of Light international fireworks competition (2014 dates: July 26th, 30th & August 2nd)

Third Beach

Second & Third Beaches

Second Beach is a quick stroll north from English Bay into Stanley Park. Like Kitsilano Beach, Second Beach also has an immense, heated outdoor pool. Further along the seawall lies secluded Third Beach, which is due north of Stanley Park Drive. Locals tote grills and coolers to this spot, a popular place for summer evening barbecues and sunset watching.

Wreck Beach

Wreck Beach

This six-kilometre long, secluded beach is Canada’s first and largest, legal, clothing-optional beach. It’s located at the western tip of Vancouver, adjacent to the University of British Columbia campus, down a long flight of steep stairs. On a summer weekend, as many as 14,000 visitors flock to the beach which stretches from the Musqueam Reserve to Spanish Banks West. Vendors Row, located down the middle of the beach below Trail 6, offers snacks and refreshments. Note: Wreck Beach enthusiasts are a loyal and protective bunch who take their right to “bare” arms, legs and everything else pretty seriously.

Why Waste Time at the Beach?

Research shows that the sound of waves alters wave patterns in the brain lulling you into a deeply relaxed state. Relaxing in this way can help rejuvenate the mind and body.

Also, floating in water means blood is diverted around from our lower limbs and pumped towards our abdominal region – the part of the body near the heart – because we are no longer standing upright. Fresh blood being pumped around the body brings more oxygen to our brain which makes us more alert and active.

Fresh air for sleep

If you’ve ever wondered why we always sleep more soundly after spending the day on the beach, it’s because of the sea air. Sea air is charged with healthy negative ions that accelerate our ability to absorb oxygen. Negative ions also balance levels of seratonin, a body chemical linked with mood and stress. Which is why after a holiday you feel more alert, relaxed, and energized.

So next time you’re looking for an excuse to spend the day at the beach, the real question is, “Which beautiful Vancouver beach?”

 

SANDMAN ACCEPTS BITCOIN FOR HOTEL RESERVATIONS

bitcoinSandman Hotel Group is proud to announce they are now accepting bitcoin as a valid form of payment. As the first Canadian hospitality company to accept bitcoin, guests can now make reservations at over 40 hotels across Canada using the online currency.

Bitcoin is the world’s most widely used alternative currency with a total market cap of approximately $8.1 billion.

“Vancouver hosted the TED talk summit earlier this year. This event brought a diverse and tech savvy group of travellers and presenters to the city. Our hotels had a number of enquiries regarding payment through alternative payments including bitcoin. As a customer focused company with an eye on technology, we decided to incorporate this emerging technology as a payment option,” said Salim Kassam, Vice President of Marketing for Sandman Hotel Group.

“There is a great deal of concern regarding the fluctuation in values of bitcoin. This can be seen to a certain extent in any traditional currency. Bitcoin has seen larger fluctuations; however, we mitigate this by taking an instantaneous exchange value and converting them to Canadian dollars.

“We feel that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies may be here to stay. We can tell you without question that more and more of our customers are seeking to pay with this currency, and our job as hoteliers is to be accommodating to the changing needs and requests of our guests.”

Sandman has partnered with bitcoin payment processors Coinbase for the initiative. Coinbase is an international digital wallet that allows you to securely buy, use, and accept bitcoin currency.

To make a reservation using bitcoin is extremely simple. Guests visit Sandman’s website and select bitcoin as the payment option. An e-invoice is sent to the guest and they accept and transfer their bitcoin payment into Sandman’s bitcoin account which is hosted by Coinbase. Once the payment is confirmed, so is the reservation.

To find out more about Sandman Hotel Group, go to http://www.sandmanhotels.com.