The Leduc-Nisku EDAtorial
Leduc Blog
Service with a Smile
October 13, 2016
Take a drive past Nisku on the QE2 and pay attention to the businesses you pass. You’ll see a lot of industrial shops, car dealerships and hotels. Thanks to the oil boom of 2008, Nisku exploded with hotel construction and now has just over 3000 beds available. What seemed like a pending shortage of hotel rooms has now turned into what might look like to some, a serious surplus. But there’s one hotel in Nisku that has taken the state of the economy and used it to their advantage.

Founded in 2001, The Executive Royal Hotel quickly became one of the primary stayovers for business travel to and from the Leduc-Nisku region. In fact, the hotel was busy enough that in 2009 they expanded, adding 70 rooms. The Royal is the largest hotel in the Edmonton region with 255 rooms, along with three food and beverage outlets and 10,000 square feet of conference space. Since opening, the hotel has gone through a few changes, like replacing the hot tubs with an exercise room, as well as a complete renovation of the entire original wing just last year.  There is no doubt that an economic downturn has a direct effect on any service-based business and the story of the Executive Royal Hotel is no different.     

David Vandermeulen, General Manager of the Executive Royal Hotel, stated quite matter-of-factly that “this economy has made us a better business”. As the buzz word ‘diversification’ is brought up almost daily in Nisku, he and the Executive Royal Hotel have listened and managed to find new streams of clientele. Looking around the brick and steel structure, David remarked: “they don’t build hotels like this anymore. After 15 years the Royal has achieved “landmark” status and it isn’t just a hotel, it is where people come to meet each other over lunch, where weddings are celebrated, and where hundreds of young people in our region have had their first work experience.” Construction aside though, if there’s one thing this economic downturn has taught David about the Executive Royal Hotel, it’s that their exceptional service and committed hotel staff is the Royal’s real competitive advantage. “Our people and our service is what sets us apart from the competition,” explained David. “We currently have 140 employees (most of whom live in the Leduc-Nisku region) and each one of them is essential to our success.” It’s not just about making service a core value, but ensuring the hotel staff want to provide the best service possible. David believes that you can’t do a good job unless you truly want to make your guests happy and that the hotel industry must place more emphasis upon service than any other area.   

Looking toward the future, David couldn’t help but smile when asked about the recent announcements of horse racing coming to the airport lands.“This region already has so much to offer our guests, but you can never have enough when you are part of a competitive marketplace,” said David. “Our guests are very excited and it’s safe to say we are as well.” David also mentioned the importance of regional collaboration and what’s good for the region is good for the hotel. “Doing what we can to support and promote regional growth is important and a major reason why we work closely with the Leduc-Nisku EDA,” explained David. “It’s true that rising tides float all boats.” No matter what the future holds, it’s clear that the Executive Royal Hotel has a clear understanding of the business model for success and will remain a fixture on Airport Road for years to come.