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Ode to the BC Ferries

Friday, August 26th, 2011
BC Ferry photo

BC Ferries, one of the best trips you'll ever take

Confession: I love BC Ferries

How I love thy chocolate buffet filled with Roger’s chocolates, decadent cupcakes, chocolate mousse cups, Florentines, four different kinds of chocolate cake, Grand Marnier Mountains, and  - oh my, I must go back for more!

I love the serenity of the Seawest Lounge, the chaos of the playground, the flat screen TV’s playing the hockey games, the coffee machines (Dear Lord, thank you for blessing the BC Ferries with Americano machines that make divine coffee for us unfortunate coffee snobs of the world).

I love the Smart Start breakfast (it’s actually good!), the wireless internet, and best of all, the fact that I can get my toes done while en route to a business meeting in Vancouver? Heaven. (more…)

 

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The Ups & Downs of Being a Female CEO

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Confession: I’ve cried in a business meeting

Accent Inns BC hotel chain CEO talks about crying

Confession: I've cried in a business meeting.

You do not know what shame that confession brings me.  My only consolation was that I was 7 months pregnant.  Well, the first time it happened.  The second time I have no excuse, other than being female, and in the corporate world tears are not  cool. And that brings me to my topic today:  the  ups and downs of being a female CEO. (more…)

 

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25 Trees to represent 25 Years

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011
Victoria hotel chain Accent Inns president mandy farmer planting dogwood tree

Mandy Farmer plants a BC Dogwood tree in honor of Accent Inns 25 years in business

Last week (June 30) Accent Inns celebrated 25 years in Business. What started as an exciting and unknown venture for founder Terry Farmer has become a 25 year success story. With Mandy Farmer at the helm of Accent Inns for the last few years, our BC owned hotel chain has focused even more on our our place in the environment. Accent Inns has always been a great supporter of local BC communities and for us, caring for our surroundings was just considered the right way to operate a business. From recycling bins to asking guests to re-use towels to save on laundry soap going into the drains, Accent Inns was an early adopter of such ideals.   (more…)

 

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Victoria Hotel Chain – Accent Inns celebrates 25 years in Business

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Terry farmer jumps for joy - Victoria hotel chain, Accent Inns Celebrates 25 years in business

Terry Farmer founder of the BC hotel chain excited over Accent Inns awesome success

25 years of BC success adds up to good things for Accent Inns

June 30, 2011, Victoria, BC – Although the BC owned and operated hotel chain Accent Inns has undergone many changes during its 25 year history (including its name, ownership and décor), one thing that’s never wavered is the hotels’ values and community commitment.

“Accent Inns has always stood strong on a number of principles – and being a good employer has always taken the top spot,” said Mandy Farmer, CEO of Accent Inns. “While we pride ourselves on providing great value, cleanliness and customer service to our guests, we couldn’t do any of it if we didn’t have such great staff.”

A testament to Farmer’s dedication to her staff is Accent Inns’ low staff turnover – 48 per cent of the hotel line’s current employees have been with the company for 10 years or more. (more…)

 

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Confession: Today is our 25th anniversary.

Thursday, June 30th, 2011
Accent Inns anniversary rubber duck

Accent Inns 25th anniversary rubber duck

25 years ago my dad Terry made the drastic decision to take a complete left turn in his career, leaving the construction industry to dip his toes into the fun, vibrant world of tourism.  Where was I during this chaotic time in his life? Did I even notice what was up with my dad? Well, I was an oblivious little 12 year old, being chauffeured around in the back seat of station wagon, and you know what? I did notice something weird happening.  My dad started humming.  He’d hum in this high pitched, off key sort of jubilant way.  When I’d say to him, “um, Dad? You’re like totally embarrassing me in front of my friends?!” he wouldn’t know what I was talking about!  “I’m not humming” he’d protest! (more…)

 

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Great Hotel Service Means Great people and Great Training

Thursday, June 23rd, 2011
Kamloops hotel trains staff for great customer service

Kamloops hotel team member Karen gets congratulated by GM Katie

There are two very important groups of people that mean everything to Accent Inns; our awesome customers and the very special individuals that make up our team. We know that one of the best ways to provide incredible guest service is to have team members that are engaged, well trained and happy. In that regard our own Kathy Gaudry (HR Manager) recently travelled around to all 5 Accent Inns B.C. hotel locations and our Blue Ridge Inn in Victoria. Read below for Kathy’s comments on the fun process. (more…)

 

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What Father’s Day means to us Dads

Friday, June 17th, 2011
Victoria hotel employee John Espley and his Daughter

Being a father is a wonderful Experience

This weekend is Father’s day. Last year I presented a blog post about the top 10 things a father and daughter could do together.  This year I thought I’d offer some insights, my observations on what effect being a father has on a fella and in my opinion, the most important thing  Fathers can do for their children.

First off let me give away a secret, dispel a myth, breakdown the facade that us men put forth (sorry guys).  You may see us as macho men, big strong guys that can build anything or tear anything down, the creators of life’s inventions, the leaders of men, captains of industry, masters of our domains and the heads of the household (ok I was pushing it on that last one…). In truth we are at our very best , pushed to achieve, most vulnerable and most satisfied when we are known as “Dad”.  Now I know some of you may scoff at this notion, believe that I exaggerate but alas I have real proof. (more…)

 

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I’m in love

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
Mandy Farmer loves accent inns bike friendly hotel program

Mandy Farmer loves her new bike

I’m in love. I’m exhilarated. Optimistic.  Refreshed.  And yes, a little out of breath.  As usual, rain or shine, I’ve biked into work this morning, and feel awesome and excited to start my day.  Who am I in love with?? Don’t worry honey, yes, it’s still you, but my new bicycle is the hot new love of my life.  It’s a girl-bike which means I can wear a dress, my uniform of choice instead of a business suit, and it’s a retro styled Amsterdam upright two wheeler, in raspberry with wood trim and leather seats. Mmm-hmm! (more…)

 

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Accent Inns Founder Receives First Ever Tourism Life Member Award

Friday, April 29th, 2011
Terry Farmer of Accent Inns victoria hotel chain enjoys `semi-retirement`

Terry Farmer enjoys `semi-retirement`

On Thursday April 28, 2011 friends, colleagues and supporters gathered at Tourism Victoria’s annual general meeting witnessed Terry Farmer being named this year’s Life Member award recipient. “A successful entrepreneur, tireless volunteer and beloved employer, Terry Farmer, founder of the Accent Inns Hotel Chain, has made British Columbia a better place to live, work and play,” said a long time employee with the locally owned and operated hotel chain and those words were repeated as Dave Cowan, GM of the World Famous Butchart Gardens named Terry farmer as the first ever recipient.

 

 

No matter who describes his work ethic – loyal employees of Accent Inns, tourism operators who have enjoyed his vision and expertise, or his family who are following in his management footsteps – they all reply that Terry Farmer is a man who cares deeply about people, his community, the environment, and tourism in this province.

Terry is past president of the B.C. Chamber of Commerce, past director of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, founding chair of Pacific Sport National Training Centre-Victoria, and past chair of Tourism Victoria, the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and the Oak Bay/Greater Victoria Summer Games. (more…)

 

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We Don’t Serve Crap to our Guests

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011
Free Hotel Breakfast - you get what you pay for

"Free" hotel breakfast? I'd rather eat at a restaurant, thanks.

People always ask why we don’t do a free breakfast like other chains that include it.  And it’s very simple why we do not: we offer high quality, affordable family restaurants at all our locations and we also have kitchenettes in many our rooms for those who want to bring their own (and all rooms have fridges).

Basically the bottom line is that we don’t want to offer anything unless we can be proud of it. Many hotels that offer these free  breakfasts do so with low quality ingredients such as powdered eggs, nuked low grade frozen sausages (I can only imagine what goes in them) and other highly processed inexpensive and non-nutritious foods like donuts in order to keep their costs in line.

 

With our tag line being Quality Where it Counts we just can’t serve that crap to our guests!  And, if we went and offered a higher quality breakfast (grade A eggs, real bacon…etc.) our costs would be out of line, we wouldn’t be competitive, and we’d have to raise our rates.  Not cool. (more…)

 

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