British Columbia-based investment and development company PAR999 Holdings Inc. has announced that it will build a luxury resort in Hinton, Alta. which will also serve as a hospitality education centre, and is planning to break ground in 2023. Hinton, originally a mining town, is referred to as "the gateway to the Rockies" and is located within a 15-minute drive of Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
PAR999 specializes in sustainable hotels, hospitality research and education projects, and theme resorts. The company is combining two of its projects, Bliss Hotels and Resorts and the Center for Hospitality Studies and Research, within a luxury hotel/resort and hospitality education center to be built on existing golf course grounds in Hinton, Alta. Amenities will include a service hotel, a main hotel, a retail village, conference centre and teaching block, amphitheatre, bar, and gourmet restaurant.
PAR999 held an open house on September 28, 2022, welcoming over 200 locals and potential investors to review the hotel and hospitality training center plans. Locally owned newspaper "The Hinton Voice" featured a front page spread covering the proposal going public, sharing that the Town of Hinton had put out calls for expressions of interest (EOI) for the potential development of the land containing the existing golf course; three EOIs were received, and the town council chose to proceed with PAR999's proposal.
PAR999 CEO and founding partner Amir Hassan stated: "My stance has been the same from day 1 up until now, and that is we need to turn Hinton into an experiential tourism hub." While repeat golf customers of the existing course shared input, PAR999 ensured that its representatives addressed all concerns so that the golf course as it is currently is minimally disrupted.
Hassan has stated that PAR999 was interested in Hinton not only because of the attractive wilderness surrounding the area, but because the region surrounding the Jasper National Park has a significant shortage of quality accommodations for tourists who flock to the area yearly to visit the park, hike in the Rockies, go sightseeing, and even merely travel through the area.
Thus the idea for the teaching hotel—Bliss—was born, in which 600 students per year can live and work. This is the other measurable need in the area: a sustainable model to train the next generation of hospitality workers. The Hotel Association of Canada has pointed out that the government wants to help available workers gain employment and rebuild after the pandemic with meaningful jobs, and the hospitality industry has a shortage that those workers can fill.
Consumer demand for accommodation services in Canada is outstripping the availability of these workers right now. The hospitality industry is in dire need of workers—rooms are going unsold, business is being turned away, plans to renovate existing hotels are being scaled back or even eliminated altogether. By 2035, it is projected that the hospitality industry will be short 10,000 people; and available full-time jobs in the industry will grow by 33 per cent.
"If the labor [sic] shortage is not addressed, the accommodation industry could experience a labor [sic] shortfall of 10,000 by 2035," says Hassan. "Canada has yet to explore the benefits of combining academia with the hotel industry. Our solution is to develop human capital to dovetail with the industry demand."
PAR999 is an investment and development company that creates next-generation concept hotels and resorts. PAR999 works closely with credible public institutions on projects that range from small to large and play an impactful role in developing intellectual human capital for the hospitality industry as well as having major positive impacts on the rural communities that host the education facilities.