The phenomenally successful Hotel Zed brand will be adding its cool factor to downtown Kelowna next summer, announces Accent Inns/Hotel Zed CEO Mandy Farmer.
Since the first Hotel Zed launched two years ago on a busy street across from a Victoria suburban shopping mall, the new hospitality brand has exceeded all of Farmer and Tourism Victoria’s expectations. Hotel Zed is a completely unordinary, interactive, lively, and unique space that brings guests together to share the fun. A full transformation of a drab two-star motel brought a mega-watt colour palette, which brightened the neighbourhood, and carefully imagined amenities created an unparalleled buzz. Results were well beyond anticipated returns and in its first year of operation, Hotel Zed generated a reach of more than 10 million in earned media alone.
Farmer spent the last 12 months searching for a second location in BC and found it across from Kelowna’s city park and the lakeshore. The 52-room Abbott Villa was begging for some funkification and rebellious fun, the kind that stops people in their tracks and encourages them to explore.
“We are going to do in Kelowna what we did in Victoria, and in what I think is an even better location,” says Farmer. “We are going to up-cycle the hotel, keeping the best part of its architecture and create almost from scratch a retro-modern and back to retro accommodation experience.”
In-room wowza colour palettes, refurbished Tanker steel desks, rotary dial phones and lava lamps are matched with high-tech hubs for todays Technorati. A well tricked out lobby (and free coffee!) encourages social interaction, with state of the art sound system, record player and albums available for everyone’s listening pleasure. Manual typewriters encourage postcards to family while Ping-Pong promises hours of active fun. Hotel Zed’s signature 1967 VW buses are recognized across town as it shuttles guests to Victoria’s hot spots and the plan is to do the same in Kelowna. Construction is expected to begin November 2015, with Hotel Zed opening in time for Kelowna’s 2016 summer season.
“We are so proud of how well received our Hotel Zed brand has become in Victoria. Our chain of Accent Inns hotels across BC are well respected within the leisure and business travel community for providing solid value and a great night’s stay,” says Farmer. “But, with Hotel Zed we wanted to do something revolutionary. Something that would make people stop and go, ‘whoa… how fun is this?!’ Of course, the service has to live up to the design, and over the past two years we have created a hotel property that is exciting guests to the point where they are sharing it with friends and family before they arrive, during their stay and then after their stay! It’s so awesome to see guests so entirely stoked to be staying here.”
Besides drawing more excitement and energy to the local neighbourhood, Farmer is also counting on Hotel Zed’s proven track record for generating buzz will also help drive people to Kelowna.
“Tourism Victoria has been able to get dozens of media hits for the Hotel Zed and we know that has helped to drive significant business back to the property and city,” says Tourism Victoria’s CEO Paul Nursey. “It is just so easy to get travel and lifestyle media to cover the Hotel Zed because it is so unique and newsworthy. It hits a sweet spot.”
This sweet spot was augmented special events (who can forget the Valentine’s NOONER package?) and promotions for residents and visitors. Farmer and her team are already meeting with Tourism Kelowna to find ways to Zed-ify experiences unique to the Okanagan.
About Hotel Zed, Victoria
Hotel Zed is a ridiculously fun and eclectic hotel in Victoria, BC, Canada that is so awesome your mind will be blown. We’ve got bold colours, retro-style and modern technology. Plus, typewriters, record players, comic books, ping-pong lounge, Wii and the coolest ’67 VW shuttle bus. Our laid-back lobby lets you make friends with others or your own inner Zed. We are rebels against the ordinary! Doors were thrown open in May 2014 by Mandy Farmer, one of Profit’s Top100 Canadian Women Entrepreneurs, aka President/CEO of Accent Inns – Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Employer-of-the-Year, BC Business Magazine’s 5th Best Company to Work For in 2011. For more information, visit www.hotelzed.com.